Banjo sequel plucked for April XBLA launch

Rare announces release window for downloadable HD rerelease of Nintendo 64 hit Banjo-Tooie.

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The last remaining entry of the Banjo-Kazooie trilogy is nearly ready to arrive on the Xbox 360. Rare today announced on the official Banjo Web site that the Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Tooie will be released on Xbox Live Arcade this April. Previously the game had only been given an early 2009 release window.

"Displays in 720p" and "designed for 720p" are very different things.

Taking advantage of its new system, Banjo-Tooie will be able to display in high-definition resolutions. In addition, developer 4J Studios is implementing a feature Rare actually cut from the original Banjo-Kazooie. Dubbed "Stop 'n' Swop," the feature will use items players have collected in the original Banjo-Kazooie game on Xbox Live Arcade to unlock content in Banjo-Tooie.

The original Banjo-Kazooie and the third proper game in the series, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, were both released on the Xbox 360 last November. Despite a $40 price point and solid reviews for Nuts & Bolts, the game was a disappointment at retail, selling only 140,000 copies in the US in 2008, according to NPD Group.

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