Forza Motorsport shifts into reverse

Microsoft's "ultrarealistic" driving simulator gets delayed...again; new street date is May 3.

Yesterday, North American PlayStation 2 racing fans got some of the best news they've heard in a long time. After delays of more than a year, the highly anticipated driving game Gran Turismo 4 finally got an official release date of February 22. Just a day later, Xbox racing fans heard some all-too-familiar news from the other side of the spectrum: Forza Motorsport is being delayed...again.

The official game page for Forza Motorsport on the Xbox Web site lists the new release date as May 3, a month later than the temporary launch window of April. Originally scheduled as a 2004 holiday release, gamers' dreams of racing the title's 230-plus cars on Christmas Day have turned to tearing up Laguna Seca on Cinco de Mayo.

For Xbox owners looking for an answer to the PS2-exclusive Gran Turismo series, Forza Motorsport may be worth the wait. Unlike its PS2-exclusive rival, the Xbox-exclusive Forza Motorsport will feature an online mode and damage modeling, the latter being something typically unheard of in realistic driving simulators.

Forza Motorsport is rated "E" for Everyone and has a price tag of $49.99. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage, including yesterday's hands-on preview.

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