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Microsoft Game Studios unveils full 2008 software line-up

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337w ago - Unfortunate Internet leaks may have reduced the wow factor, but Microsoft Game Studios has finally revealed its list of big-hitting 360 software releases from now until the end of the year.

The platform holder is set to confirm the list at its product showcase in San Francisco later today.

Epic's Gears of War 2 will be introduced at the show first, with MS confirming that today's showcase event will see the studio's Cliff Bleszinski "demonstrate dramatic new gameplay elements and stunning visual effects in a campaign sequence from early in the game". The title is due for a Holiday (Christmas) release.

Rare-developed Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise will also be shown off, and is scheduled for a September release.

For the first time, players will be able to collaborate together on a garden through a rich co-op experience, connect and play with others online via Xbox Live as well as instantly introduce new piñata species to their garden through an innovative new feature utilizing the Xbox Live Vision Camera.

And the game of the moment, Rare's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts - which has been at the centre of a raft of leaked internet stories this week - is pencilled in for a November release, according to Microsoft.

The full list of games and their...
 

MotorStorm 2 Demo before launch say Evolution Studios

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338w ago - Paul Hollywood, creative director at Evolution, said at Sony's PlayStation Day event that a demo for upcoming MotorStorm Pacific Rift is planned.

He also said the game will "be locked at 30 frames-per-second in 720p", something the pre-alpha demo version lacked at the event.

"Yes, there'll be a downloadable demo on the PSN Store before launch," said Evolution's Hollywood. "Autumn 2008 is when we're coming out. I don't know the date or what we're going to do with the demo - that'll be forthcoming."

MotorStorm is an arcade style racer so a stable frame rate is a must for the fast paced action. With the increase in the number of tracks and interaction of the environments its even more crucial to avoid drops.
 

Bioshock coming to PS3?

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340w ago - It's been long rumored that Bioshock would eventually make the leap from the Xbox 360 to the PS3. After all, 2K Boston's critically acclaimed title moved from the console to the PC, and a code snippet found in configuration files for that port last year listed PS3 settings.

Now, according to the upcoming issue of EGM, the move to Sony's system could be coming this fall. Supposedly in the rumor section of the magazine, Bioshock will be coming to PS3s this September, around the same time that details for Bioshock 2 will be released to the public.

Bioshock 2, it should be pointed out, is expected to be released across the PC, PS3 and 360 instead of being exclusive to one platform.

The port will supposedly feature the previously released downloadable content and will have improved visuals over the PC and Xbox 360 versions of the game.
 

Take-Two: BioShock 2 In 2009, Mafia Dev Acquired, Borderlands Delayed

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346w ago - Publisher Take-Two has announced the results of its first quarter, showing sales of $240.4 million and losses up to $38 million, as it announces that BioShock 2 will be released during fall of 2009, and that it has acquired Mafia developer Illusion Softworks.

Sales fell from $277.3 million the year prior, due to what Take-Two says was a lighter holiday release schedule. Sales were mainly driven by BioShock, Carnival Games, NBA 2K8, and continued sales of its Grand Theft Auto releases, including the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories in Japan. Losses were up from $21.5 million the year prior.

Take-Two meanwhile announced that its recently opened 2K Marin studio was developing BioShock 2, currently planned for release at the end of 2009. The publisher says 2 million copies of the original BioShock have been sold worldwide to date.

The company also announced that it has acquired Mafia and Hidden & Dangerous developer Illusion Softworks, which will henceforth be renamed 2K Czech. The studio is said to be working on Mafia II for PC and next-gen consoles.

Looking forward, Take-Two says the release of Borderlands, the sci-fi shooter originally announced in August of 2007 has been moved into fiscal 2009 -- some time after October of this year -- "to allow additional development...
 

DICE: Mass Effect, Bioshock, Rock Band Devs On Developing Narrative

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351w ago - BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka, BioShock's Ken Levine and Harmonix VP Greg LoPiccolo gathered at the DICE Summit to discuss the development and implementation of narrative in the context of their games, all of which are reputed for their strong story element.

Ken Levine began by contrasting the narrative style of his BioShock with the past works of Muzyka's BioWare team, known for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Baldur's Gate and, most recently, Mass Effect. "Personally, I'm way too lazy to write that many words," Levine said.

He explained, "Our goal was to tell the story in the world, visually, and make it optional for the player, so the gamer could experience the game on very different levels... I think it's great that the industry is starting to figure out how to tell narratives in very different ways."

Muzyka agreed that the increasing importance of narrative is exciting. More than that, he said, "The definition of narrative is continually evolving, and that's the most exciting part for me. There's many different ways to slice it."

Many Methods Of Storytelling

Muzyka says that many of the modern gaming narratives lead players, but still allow them the freedom to diverge from the story. "It flows, but it's still directed. Two of my favorite games...
 
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