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Resident_Screamo
04-26-2005, 11:22 AM
courtesy of ign

You've dialed Off the Record, the inner workings of IGN Xbox. This is the ongoing and unofficial place to learn what's going on behind the scenes of the videogame industry, specifically for the Xbox. When we learn it, we tell you here. Check back each Friday to find out what else has happened in this fast-paced, ever-changing industry.



In the last few weeks, Robby Rumors, our new investigative reporter here at IGN Xbox, has gleaned the watercoolers of America looking for good, clean rumors to offer you. This detail-packed story should raise a few interesting conversations on the boards.

Xbox 360 Titles Race to Launch
Wow, the things I've heard! You'd think that the guys who make games -- designers, programmers, and producers among others -- were a little like gossipy little high school girls. Man, do they love to, eh-hem, talk shop. We've learned that in addition to Microsoft's Perfect Dark Zero being a potential launch title, a few more are being lined up to boot.

These are lots of racing games coming your way. Microsoft is working diligently on Project Gotham Racing 3, lined up as a launch title, along with Atari's Test Drive, EA's Need For Speed Underground 3, perhaps Criterion's next Burnout title, and a renewal of a special Namco racing series. At least one more Japanese developer is officially in development with yet another racing title. So, what is that, six racing games at launch?

Launch Waves
Furthering its launch strategy, we've learned that Microsoft plans on shipping titles in waves. So, instead of releasing all 30 or 40 games simultaneously, MS will ship 15, maybe 20 games at launch, followed two weeks later by a second wave of maybe five to 10 games. Two to three weeks later, after everyone is full with the games they've bought, tasted, and fallen in love with, another wave of 10 or so games will wash in like the tide. It appears Microsoft has studied past hardware launches and analyzed which elements work best. All we can hope is that the hardware shipments are as plentiful as the potential software releases.

Halo 2.5
IGN's heard a new spin on the old pup. So, after all the hub-bub about Halo 2.5, which was spurned on by the game's abrupt ending and Bungie's supposed mad rush to finish it (also partially squashed by the Multiplayer Map Pack), this old dog has the balls to stick his head out again.

A source close to Bungie said that Microsoft plans to release Halo 2.5 with the launch of Xbox 360 this November. The game is allegedly nothing more than a prettied up, high-res, 720p, wide-screen version of Halo 2 -- with perfectly polished cutscenes sans those nasty LOD pop-in textures. Why would you want it, since you and 7 million other people already own it? Well, it's prettier for one, and who knows, maybe there are those same maps on it for Xbox 360, and maybe, just maybe it will come bundled with the hard drive, which is sold separately. It's just a rumor, but one of those nasty, sounds-like-it-could-be-true ones that stick to you. Kinda hard to skip the hard-drive when Halo 2.5 is on it, don't you think? And honestly, do you really think Microsoft will launch its new system without its ultra-successful flagship title Halo?

Channel Delibird
04-26-2005, 03:46 PM
Microsoft: Wow, the perfect idea! Let's ship our brand-new, massively-powerful console with our most-hyped game being...a slightly better version of a game for our last console! We can't lose!

I'm a Halo fan (and when it comes to Microsoft, that's as far as it goes), but I have to say that seems like more than a little bit of a rip-off.

MystiKal
04-26-2005, 10:36 PM
Ah we were talking about this at work today were all huge X-Box fans. This looks great.