Look, we could keep leaking this stuff out slowly in order to look all clever, but frankly that's not really serving you the reader. So, below are the salient points of the official Microsoft release news. Don't say we don't look after you.
· Halo: Reach (Bungie). As the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling Xbox franchise of all time, developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, Halo: Reach puts you front and center in the fateful moments that forged the Halo legend. As part of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, you will be called upon to defend the planet Reach, humankind’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. Starting on May 3, the Halo: Reach public multiplayer beta will give you the opportunity to drive the latest advancements in multiplayer gameplay in the blockbuster franchise that started it all on Xbox LIVE. Access to the beta will be available through the Halo 3: ODST game disc on Xbox LIVE.
· Alan Wake (Remedy Entertainment Ltd.). Launching May 21 in Europe, nightmares come to life in this Xbox 360 exclusive that will establish a new gaming genre, the gripping psychological action thriller. It is built like a chilling episodic TV series, where your wits and light are your only allies and you can pre-order your copy at participating retailers to reserve your Bright Falls Bonus Pack, which includes exclusive content such as avatar gear, an Xbox LIVE theme, and a making of video3. Those looking to immerse themselves in the mystery beyond the game can also pre-order the limited collector’s edition, packed with bonus discs of behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive in-game commentary and hints from Remedy, a game soundtrack, The Alan Wake Files book, and more, all bound together in a hardcover bookshelf-worthy package.
· Crackdown 2 (Ruffian Games). Available exclusively on Xbox 360 and hitting store shelves later this year, the sequel to the 2007 smash hit features over-the-top action, a massive living world, unprecedented online and multiplayer capabilities and stylish graphics. Reserve your copy in advance and stand above the crowd — you’ll receive a code to download four exclusive suits of Agency-Issue armor: Gold, Brushed, Red and Blue Metal.
· Dead Rising 2 (Capcom). Following the 2006 bone-crunching, zombie-bashing action adventure hit, Dead Rising 2 puts a new offbeat defender in the heart of the fight to save the United States from complete zombification. Before the mayhem launching in August and September, Dead Rising 2: CASE ZERO will release as an exclusive Game Add-on only on Xbox LIVE.
· Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 content pack (Infinity Ward/Activision). The first content packs for this award-winning title and biggest entertainment launch ever will be available first on Xbox 360 and Xbox LIVE.
· Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction (Ubisoft Entertainment). Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC on April 15 &16 in Europe, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction is the highly anticipated sequel in the multimillion-selling Splinter Cell series, and one of the most critically acclaimed Xbox franchises of all time. Uniting revolutionary gameplay enhancements with a high-octane, no-holds-barred storyline, the game also features intense co-op espionage missions on Xbox LIVE, making Xbox 360 the only console where you can unleash your inner renegade spy.
· FINAL FANTASY XIII (Square Enix). The Xbox 360 FINAL FANTASY XIII Special Edition Bundle includes a 250GB hard drive, two wireless controllers, exclusive downloadable avatar items and a standard-edition copy of the dramatic sequel in the multimillion-selling series. Xbox 360 is the only console outside of Japan to be bundled with the game, available in stores starting March 9, while supplies last. In addition, a very limited number of FINAL FANTASY XIII Limited Edition Faceplates have been created by designer Tetsuya Nomura. These faceplates are only available promotionally in fixed quantities across select retailers in Europe.
· Fable III (Lionhead Studios). Fable III delivers an unparalleled action and adventure experience as players journey from revolutionary to the ruler of Albion and beyond. With your trusted canine companion, you will embark on an epic hero’s quest against injustice, forge alliances, crush your enemies and take control of your kingdom. But with great power comes great responsibility. Will you honor promises made in your rise to power, or sacrifice allegiance for personal gain? Choose wisely, as the decisions you make will forever impact your ever-evolving world.
· Lost Planet 2 (Capcom). The next installment of the popular third-person shooter returns you to breathtaking environments, unique Vital Suits and larger-than-life bosses of the world of E.D.N. III. The story picks up 10 years after the original game as players follow the exploits of their own customized snow pirate on their quest to seize control of the changing planet. You’ll be able to play through the intense and action-packed campaign mode with three of your friends on Xbox LIVE. Lost Planet 2 launches in Europe on May 18.
· Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing (Valve). The first Game Add-on brings the original Left 4 Dead survivors down south for a meeting with the Left 4 Dead 2 cast, while delivering new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay, exclusively for Xbox 360 and PC. Targeting an early spring release, Left 4 Dead 2: The Passing will include new co-operative campaign and associated narrative and new arenas for Survival, Versus and Scavenge modes, and introduce a new co-operative challenge mode.2
· Toy Soldiers (Signal Studios). An intense action game kicking off the Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party on March 3, Toy Soldiers casts players into a fantastic, miniature world where antique toy soldiers fight in vintage World War I dioramas. To celebrate the release of Toy Soldiers on Xbox LIVE Arcade, Microsoft is launching a companion Facebook experience on Feb. 12, Toy Soldiers: Match Defense, which will have you and your friends matching items to collectively win countries and conquer Europe.
· Game Room (Krome Studios Pty Ltd.). Launching this March as a part of the Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party, Game Room lets gamers relive the glory days of classic arcade and console games in their original forms, as the player’s avatar takes part in the original sights, sounds and gameplay only on Xbox 360 and Windows-based PC.
· Perfect Dark (4J Studios). Fire up your Farsight and prepare for assignment — the Dark returns this March as part of the Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party. Agent Joanna Dark brings her epic tale of galactic conspiracies in future America to Xbox 360 with remastered visuals, LIVE-enabled multiplayer modes, leader boards, achievements and avatar awards.
· Scrap Metal (Slick Entertainment Inc.). Launching in March as a part of the Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party, Scrap Metal lets gamers drift around corners with guns blazing and take out competitors in this fast-paced, top-down racer. Gamers fight their way through explosive, action-packed missions, defeat cunning bosses, or jump on Xbox LIVE to race against their friends, exclusively on Xbox 360.