Well, there is a ton of news coming out today from X06. While I don’t feel like writing about all if it (since you can find it elsewhere), I will write down a few of the news items that I personally think are cool.
First up is news that Halo is being turned into a real time strategy game by Ensemble Studios, the studio behind the Age of Empires franchise. The game is currently titled “Halo Wars“, but I would not be surprised if that title changed. Personally I was not too surprised at this announcement. Not too long ago, Microsoft shut down a Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour mod called “Halogen”, which was a Halo based RTS. The game will obviously be 360 exclusive, but there is no release date announced yet.
In other news, Bioshock and Splinter Cell 5 (not the upcoming Double Agent) will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PC. This is a pretty big blow to Playstation 3. If it continues to lose high profile games like these two, Sony will have a hard time convincing people to spend $600 this holiday. Bioshock should be out next spring. Splinter Cell 5 obviously has no release date (it doesn’t even have a name yet).
Doom is making its way onto Xbox Live Arcade. It should actually be up on there right now. It features multiplayer support, new graphics and sound, achievements, and online leaderboards. Lets hope this turns out to be awesome.
GTA4 was talked about in a bit more depth this time around. Peter Moore announced that Rockstar is working on two exclusive content packs to be released a few months after the game has shipped. He also promised that the content packs will have a lot of substance to them. He said that they are not talking about “an extra car or character here” and that the content packs will be lengthy. This is pretty big since that means that Xbox 360 is the only place to play the full GTA experience.
Sierra announced Assault Heroes and 3D Ultra Mini Golf for Xbox Live Arcade. I believe these will be the first two Sierra games to be available over Live, so this could be the start of something great. I am definitely looking forward to Assault Heroes.
Forza 2 will ship with 300 Cars on disc. Expect to see downloadable cars available after release. 300 cars is about 80 more then the previous game if I remember correctly.
The HD-DVD drive has an estimated retail price of $199. This is actually cheaper then I was expecting. Then factor in that it is being bundled with an Xbox 360 Universal Media Remote, and for a limited time, an HD-DVD copy of Peter Jackson’s King Kong and you got yourself a sweet deal. Expect it to be available in mid-November.
Peter also announced a partnership between Microsoft Game Studios, Marvel, and Cryptic Studios, developer of the acclaimed City of Heroes. “Together we will create a truly epic game, Marvel Universe Online.” It’s a massively multiplayer online exclusive for both Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.
And lastly, Banjo-Kazooie is coming to Xbox 360. There should be 160 games for Xbox 360 by this holiday.
Expect more news tomorrow.