Microsoft reveals Xbox 360 line-up

Is that all there is?

Microsoft has announced details of the games that will be available for its Xbox 360 console, but only a few titles are likely to be on sale by the launch date.

Around 200 Xbox 360 games are currently in development, but only a handful of these will be available in shops when the console goes on sale in Europe in early December.

In fact, just three titles have been confirmed so far by Microsoft. These include the action-adventure game Kameo: Elements of Power and the shoot-em-up title Perfect Dark Zero, both of which have been developed by Rare, a UK-based games maker owned by Microsoft. Project Gotham Racing 3 from the game studio Blizzard Creations will also be on sale.

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts, the world's biggest video games publisher, is aiming to have five titles on sale by the time the console is launched, including Need for Speed Most Wanted, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, Madden NFL 06, FIFA 06 and Road to FIFA World Cup.

According to a spokesperson for Microsoft Ireland, there has been a slight delay in announcing Xbox 360 titles because some are still going through the ratings process. However, the company is due to announce more titles over the coming weeks and it is expected that between 15 and 20 games will be available to purchase by Christmas.

Among the other games that are expected to be launched shortly are Quake 4, Superman Returns: The Videogame, Call of Duty 2, Castle Wolfenstein, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, MotoGP 2006: Ultimate Racing Technology and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 4.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 will sell for a recommended retail price of €309.99 in Ireland and £209.99 in Northern Ireland. The company is also launching a higher-priced option which includes a headset, HD-AV cable, Xbox Live Silver membership and other accessories; this will retail in the Republic for around €410.

The console is powered by three 2GHz cores and graphics are controlled by a 500MHz ATI chip. It also comes with a 20GB removable hard drive and, unlike its predecessor, the 360 will play DVDs straight out of the box. Though Microsoft is likely to benefit from being the first of the three games console makers to release its next-generation console, a recent report by Strategy Analytics suggests that Sony's PlayStation 3 will win 61 per cent of the next-generation console market by 2012. The report predicts that Sony will sell 122 million PS3s worldwide, Microsoft will sell 59 million Xbox 360s, while Nintendo's Revolution will trail the pack, selling just under 18 million units globally by 2012.

Copyright © 2005, ENN