Microsoft Provides First Look at Xbox 360 Portfolio for 2008
Yesterday at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2008, Microsoft provided a glimpse at the year 2008 portfolio and officially announced the launch of "Gears of War 2," exclusively for Xbox 360 this November.
Epic Games's lead designer Cliff Bleszinski announced that the epic saga of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad continues exclusively on the Xbox 360 this fall with "Gears of War 2." This sequel to the 4.5 million-selling "Gears of War" delves deeper into humanity's struggle for survival against the nightmarish Locust Horde, and promises to take high-definition visuals to a whole new level.
In addition, acclaimed developer Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios took the stage to showcase new multiplayer features for "Fable 2," introducing dynamic cooperative play, a first to the franchise. Molyneux also announced that later this year, and before the launch of "Fable 2," gamers can get a sneak peek at the game's world when the "Fable 2" pub games debut as a stand-alone download on Xbox LIVE Arcade. When "Fable 2" launches, gamers will have the ability to transfer currency earned in the pub games directly to their character in "Fable 2." This unique and first-of-its-kind experience, which can be found only on Xbox LIVE Arcade, will give the millions of "Fable" fans and gamers all around the globe the opportunity to jump into the "Fable 2" world with money already in the bank.
Tomonobu Itagaki also revealed new "Ninja Gaiden II" game-sharing features, including Ninja Cinema, which is enabled solely through Xbox LIVE allowing players to record and upload their best ninja moves to Xbox LIVE.
- "Gears of War 2" (Epic Games). Continues the story of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad in an epic saga of survival, loss and retribution. Developed by Epic Games exclusively for Xbox 360, "Gears of War 2" launches this November.
- "Fable 2" (Lionhead Studios). In addition to the dynamic co-op mode unveiled onstage, Peter Molyneux also announced that Carbonated Games is bringing the "Fable 2" experience to Xbox LIVE Arcade. Before the game's launch, gamers will be able to get an early taste of the "Fable 2" experience and gain a head start on earning currency for use in "Fable 2" by playing "Fable 2"-themed pub games that will be downloadable via Xbox LIVE Arcade. The currency earned in these Xbox LIVE Arcade titles will enable players to purchase items in "Fable 2" when the game launches later this year.
- "Ninja Gaiden II" (TECMO/Team NINJA). Tomonobu Itagaki debuted several new Xbox LIVE features of "Ninja Gaiden II," including the ability to capture and share videos of a player's glorious battles via the Ninja Cinema feature and upload them to Xbox LIVE. "Ninja Gaiden II" launches worldwide this June.
- "Too Human" (Silicon Knights). Microsoft also showcased the epic action game from renowned Canadian developer Silicon Knights, "Too Human," at a media event before today's keynote address. In "Too Human," players are treated to a nonstop barrage of action powered by the seamless integration of melee and firearms combat, plus deep role-playing elements.
Each game also comes packed with Achievements, so Xbox LIVE members can help add to the more than 1 billion Achievements already unlocked on the service to date. And, as with the "Fable 2" pub games, downloadable content in Xbox LIVE Marketplace allows gamers the opportunity to customize and enhance their gameplay experiences. Since the service launched, Microsoft has seen more than $250 million in digital revenue from Xbox LIVE Marketplace through the purchase of more than 20 billion Microsoft Points.
Xbox LIVE members have been using a large portion of those Microsoft Points in Xbox LIVE Arcade, which is the premier destination for digitally distributed, high-definition original and classic games. The following titles represent a sample of games launching on Xbox LIVE Arcade in the near future from the world's leading independent developers:
- "Braid" (Number None Inc.). Developed by Independent Games Festival Winner and experimental game designer Jonathan Blow, "Braid" is a platform experience that bends all the rules with the manipulation of time. "Braid" will launch this spring.
- "Castle Crashers" (The Behemoth). "Castle Crashers" is the second title currently in development by award-winning independent developer The Behemoth, creator of "Alien Hominid HD." The role-playing game (RPG) adventure will let up to four players hack, slash and smash their way together through a visually stunning hand-drawn landscape. "Castle Crashes" launches this summer.
- "Defense Grid: The Awakening" (Hidden Path Entertainment LLC). "Defense Grid: The Awakening" is the definitive tower defense game experience designed specifically for Xbox LIVE Arcade and launches this summer.
- "Go! Go! Break Steady" (Little Boy Games). An Xbox LIVE Arcade exclusive, "Go! Go! Break Steady" is the debut title from independent developer Little Boy Games. The combination music and puzzle game combines break dancing with novel gameplay and launches this summer.
- "Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness" (Hothead Games). The first video game collaboration between Penny Arcade creators Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins and legendary game designer Ron Gilbert, "Penny Arcade Adventures" is an RPG-adventure game set in a highly stylized 1920s universe filled with bizarre characters, outrageous combat and adult humor. The first episode of the game launches this summer.
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