While Sony and Nintendo are preparing to wage war in retail with two brand-spanking new consoles, the PlayStation 3 and Wii, the two companies' other rival, Microsoft, is banking on the success of a game for its holiday push. That title is Gears of War, the latest shooter from Epic Games (Unreal Tournament 2004).
Microsoft Game Studios today announced that development on the game has been completed and the gold master has been sent off for duplication. Gears of War will be available beginning November 7 and nationwide on November 12--commonly referred to as Emergence Day by the game's creators.
To hype the game's release, Microsoft Game Studios is holding several Emergence Day festivities beginning at 12:01 a.m. on November 12 (no time zone was specified). Xbox Live Gold members will be able to participate in a 24-hour leaderboard tournament, with the winner getting a Gears of War-branded guitar and a place in a worldwide Gears of War tournament in 2007.
In addition, winners will also be drawn each hour to receive prizes such as Samsung surround-sound systems; a free Gears gamer pic and theme will be on Marketplace; metal band Megadeth and game's designer Cliff Bleszinski will play with fans online; and MTV will air a Gears of War: The Road to Launch featurette.
Those who can't wait for new Gears of War content can hop onto Xbox Live Marketplace and preview the new TV ad for the game. The video is available in 720p (59MB) and 480p (10MB) resolutions.
Gears of War is rated M for Mature and will retail for $59.99--the first first-party game for the Xbox 360 to retail above $49.99. For more information, read GameSpot's previous coverage.