Mass Effect 3 getting simultaneous PC, PS3, Xbox 360 launch

Just-announced sci-fi RPG will hit three major platforms at once during the 2011 holiday season.

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Last Friday, Electronic Arts' online store prematurely revealed the existence of Mass Effect 3, the third installment in BioWare's sci-fi role-playing game trilogy. Though the listing was quickly pulled, it was up long enough to reveal that the game was in development for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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Though development on the three platforms appeared to be concurrent, it was unclear if all versions of the game would be released at the same time. Today, though, publisher Electronic Arts announced that the game will launch in late 2011 on all three platforms simultaneously, a first for the series. Mass Effect 2 was initially released only for the PC and Xbox 360 in 2010, with a PS3 port due out on January 18, 2011.

Though today's announcement had no details on Mass Effect 3's story or gameplay, the official Mass Effect website is listing a brief synopsis of the game similar to that on the now-reposted EA Store product page. It reads: "Earth is burning. Striking from beyond known space, a race of terrifying machines have begun their destruction of the human race. As Commander Shepard, an Alliance Marine, your only hope for saving mankind is to rally the civilizations of the galaxy and launch one final mission to take back the Earth."

Neither Saturday's VGA reveal of Mass Effect 3 nor today's official announcement indicated whether the game would have multiplayer, as had been rumored. An accompanying trailer (see below) did show the race of machines to be the Reapers, the sentient spaceships that were central to the plot of the first Mass Effect.

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