What we heard: Given the amount of hype that is going into the launch of the Xbox 360 game Gears of War, it would seem that pumping out a demo would be a priority for Microsoft Game Studios. The marketing team behind the game has already held public events for common folk to try the game out before its release in November, so it also make sense that a demo would be appearing on Xbox Live Marketplace soon.
Unfortunately for those eagerly anticipating a free trial of the game before it is released, it doesn't appear that a demo will be out before the game hits stores. In early August, Mark Rein, president of Gears developer Epic Games, said, "I don't see any way we could do a demo before the game comes out." He went on to explain that making a demo would take up valuable time that could be spent polishing up the retail version for its release.
But today, a few gamers think that Rein may have been putting up a smoke screen, with a surprise announcement of a demo coming soon. Some keen-eyed Web surfers tipped off Xboxic.com to a page on the UK branch of Xbox.com. In a page header promoting content downloads for Marketplace, a graphic clearly reads "Gears of War Demo" (pictured above--click to enlarge) alongside already released games Frogger, Pac-Man, and Joust. What's more, on the page for game demos on Marketplace, there is clearly a picture of Gears of War.
So that's it, right? A Gears of War demo is on the way, and likely soon given that it's up on Xbox.com now.
Once again, it looks as though gamers' parades are getting "Rein"ed on. On the Gears of War forums, Mark Rein addresses the issue with a resounding, "No"--and it wasn't just about a prerelease GOW demo, it was about a demo in general.
"There is no Gears demo and there won't be before launch. I suspect that is a generic header with the Gears image in it," said Rein. "There aren't any plans at the moment to make a demo of Gears. We have other things we're going to be working on as soon as Gears has gone gold but I can not elaborate on them at this point in time." Later in the thread, he said that he has asked Microsoft to take the page down. As of press time, the image remained on the site.
Rein leaves little hope for gamers with his comments, so it appears as though Gears of War will be out-of-the-box only.
The official story: Microsoft rep: "We have not made any announcements at this time."
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus. The Locust Horde is spared a few more days before they're riddled with bullets.