At X05 in Amsterdam, Microsoft has announced its lineup of games for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system as it gears up for launch Nov. 22 in North America, Dec. 2 in Europe and Dec. 10 in Japan.
According to the company, a series of special guests, including Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for Epic Games Inc., Todd Hollenshead, co-owner and CEO of id Software Inc., and Gerhard Florin, executive vice president and general manager of International Publishing for Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), joined Xbox executives Robbie Bach, J Allard, Peter Moore and Chris Lewis on stage to talk about their new titles for Xbox 360.
In particular, BioWare announced a new, previously unknown Xbox 360 exclusive title being published by Microsoft, Mass Effect, which apparently "places gamers in a vast galactic community in danger of being conquered by a legendary agent gone rogue." Also revealed was id's Castle Wolfenstein for Xbox 360, id Software's newest chapter in the legendary "Wolfenstein" series, and which is apparently utilizing a revolutionary new graphics technology targeted specifically at next-generation hardware.
In addition, previously known but nonetheless major announcements included Too Human from noted developer Silicon Knights (Eternal Darkness), Real Time Worlds' previously revealed GTA-style game Crackdown, Epic's Unreal Engine 3 showcase Gears of War, and EA's FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup, an apparent FIFA 06 variant which will be an Xbox 360 exclusive, as well as THQ's Saint's Row and Sega's Full Auto. EA also confirmed Superman Returns: The Videogame for Xbox 360.
Commenting on the announcements made at X05, Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Publishing for Xbox at Microsoft, said: "The biggest and the best names in publishing are committed to the success of Xbox 360, and looking at the titles we have announced tonight we are very excited. From exclusive titles to debuting the next installment of some of the world's best-loved franchises, Xbox 360 will redefine gaming and entertainment. The high-definition era of gaming starts now."
Notable among the revelations was no specific naming of the launch-day Xbox 360 titles, as had been expected by many observers. However, vital Microsoft first-party titles Kameo, Perfect Dark Zero and Project Gotham Racing 3 were all confirmed as part of the "Christmas holiday portfolio", meaning that they will, presumably, ship before December 25th 2005.
[UPDATED: 10/04/05, 11.00am - added details on Microsoft titles.]