Coming from Gamefest 2007, it looks like Microsoft might be changing its tone on user created content. Longtime followers of the Xbox 360 will know that user created content has long been sought after by Microsoft, though it is somewhat hindered by the fact that all downloadable content has to be cleared by Microsoft before it can be distributed via Xbox Live Marketplace. At Gamefest, it was revealed that developers can circumvent this restriction by using what is called Xbox Live Server Platform (XLSP). Using XLSP, publishers can provide content directly from their own servers instead of Marketplace. Of course, such publishers would be solely responsible for all content delivered by these means. Also, use of XLSP by any publisher must be approved by Microsoft. During a panel at Gamefest, someone even asked if it would be possible to create a PC level editor that built levels playable on an Xbox 360. In response, Microsoft Software Design Engineer Zsolt Mathe said, "Even though nobody has done that, I would highly recommend that."
Given Epic's recent lamentations concerning user generated content for Unreal Tournament III on the Xbox 360, perhaps XLSP is the answer.
[Via BeyondUnreal. Thanks, Dave]
Update: 1UP incorrectly states that XLSP stands for Xbox Live Silver Platform. DXL540 informs us that it is in fact Xbox Live Server Platform, which makes a bit more sense. Furthermore, DXL540 sends us an SEC filing from Activision detailing what's possible with XLSP.
Also worth nothing, in the second part of the interview, which has yet to be published, Rein admits that the reason for the delay of the Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament III is that Epic has yet to sort out how user created mods will work on 360. Rein notes that in the "worst case scenario" Epic will submit user created mods to Microsoft for certification and offer them as downloadable content. Rein adds that, "hopefully between now and whenever it is we ship on Xbox 360, we figure out a user-managed way to do it." Our fingers are crossed.
Read -- Mark Rein interview, part 1
Read -- Epic struggles with UTIII mods on 360
See the awesomeness that is the game trailer above? It's Unreal Tournament 3 and fellow Xbox 360 fanboys we'll have to wait a little longer than our PS3 brothers to play. Sony and Epic Games just announced that UT3 will be a timed exclusive for the PS3 platform which will launch this November. But the wait will be short lived, because the game will be available on the Xbox 360 platform early 2008. Epic is obviously feeling love from everyone this generation and it looks like Sony played the right hand this time. Sorry fanboys, this is one game the PS3 will get before us ... consider it a fluke.
Today, we present to you one lonely screenshot from Epic's upcoming game Unreal Tournament
GameVideos has a nice video showcasing the weapons from Unreal Tournament 3. All of the guns in the game are being completely revamped from there previous incarnations. Featured arsenal in the video includes the flak cannon, rocket launcher, shock rifle, and link gun/plasma rifle. So have a look at some fragtastic firefights, complete with a couple Multikills and a killing spree. Graphics are looking tight and the pace is as fast as one would expect from an Unreal title. Are you up for some oldschool arcade shooter deathmatch?
Major Nelson has let us know that there is an Unreal Tournament III trailer available on Marketplace. Although it is not available in Mexico or Asia. Perhaps it's a bit of payback for releasing Crackdown early. Still, the game features the Unreal 3 Engine, and is going to easily be on par with Gears of War in terms of visual fidelity. The trailer comes in two flavors, 720p or 480p and weigh in at 66 MB and 33 MB, respectively. So hop on Live, download the trailer and tell us what you think.
Also mentioned in the interview is the inevitability of a PC version of Gears of War. Rein notes that Epic's biggest challenge will be to recreate a game that was designed exclusively for the Xbox 360 so that it will run on a wide range of PCs. Finally, Rein speaks about the upcoming Unreal Tournament 3, discussing his excitement about bringing user created mods to the console space. Hit the "read" link for the whole interview.
Now, any wild speculations about what the "fun little surprise" might be in the new GOW content? We'll have none of that reasonable speculation either. We're only interested in wild speculation, thank you very much.
Our friends at Xboxygen scored some new shots of Unreal Tournament 3, the fourth game in the Unreal Tournament series. The shots mostly showcase the game's gloriously rendered vehicles. Most notable of the new vehicles is the vicious tripod pictured above. The giant mechanical beasts appear to be terrorizing the Japanese countryside (something that almost never happens). Another interesting shot shows two players on hoverboards hooked onto a third vehicle, Back to the Future style. Put simply, the game looks great. Click the "read" link for more pretty pictures (perfect for wallpaper).
As noted by Joystiq, we're not really sure how such mods would be created. It's possible that mods could be made through a 360 specific level editor, though we have to question how detailed such a thing could be. Another solution would be for Epic to distribute the most popular PC content over Xbox Live. Could Live Anywhere have anything to do with this?
It was revealed last week that Unreal Tournament 2007, under the new moniker, Unreal Tournament III, is indeed headed to the Xbox 360. Most of us were expecting it, but it's still nice to hear. Many of you probably saw the trailer, but we thought it would be best to post it here now that it is available on GameTrailers. We know how our readers just hate to click links that direct them away from us, so we're proud to offer the trailer embedded neatly into this post. If, however, you are feeling adventurous, you can click this link to download the trailer in high definition. If you stream it to your Xbox 360, you can pretend like you're actually playing it! Not that we ever do that. Because we're much to cool to play pretend anymore, even with our Halo action figures.
If UTIII in high def goodness isn't enough for you, some new vehicle info has been revealed as well. IGN had a chance to play the game and try out some of the new Necrid vehicles. The Viper is a speed vehicle that has the ability to jump and self-destruct. The Nemesis is a tank with three different modes of operation, each offering different speeds and firing capabilities. Finally, the Dark Walker is a huge walking tripod that rains death and destruction upon enemy vehicles.
UTIII is expected in the second half of 2007.
Speculated but never officially confirmed, Midway has finally announced that Unreal Tournament 2007 is bound for the Xbox 360, albeit with a new name. Entitled Unreal Tournament III, the game is expected to hit the 360 in the second half of 2007. UT3 (obviously) runs on the Unreal Engine 3 and should delight deathmatch junkies world wide. The game will feature the traditional deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag. A third mode, entitled Warfare, will be available as well (perhaps it will function something like Warzone on GOW?). The game looks to feature an expansive campaign mode, too. IGN has the scoop, as well as the first official trailer.
Seriously, we like other consoles. We do. We just can't afford anything else with so many outstanding titles hitting the 360 this year.