LOS ANGELES--A day ahead of the official start to E3 2009, Microsoft’s press conference brought some surprising, and not so surprising, announcements to light. People in the US have been enjoying the Xbox Live Video Marketplace since late 2006, but Aussie 360 owners' dreams of ever seeing the service down under have all but been written off by local gamers. For more than a year, Microsoft Australia has stated that it is working on bringing it to Australia, but up until now we’ve seen no results.
Via a press release put out by Microsoft’s local arm in the early hours of the morning, the company has confirmed that Aussie Xbox 360 owners will finally be seeing the Video Marketplace. While Microsoft was short on details about how the company was going to roll out the service, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to GameSpot AU that Australians would be seeing the Video Marketplace go live “by Christmas.” At this time it, remains uncertain which studios have signed up to support the service locally. In the US, Video Marketplace launched with support from seven major production studios, with Walt Disney Pictures and Lionsgate Films joining in a year later in 2007.
Another exciting piece of news to come out of Microsoft’s press conference this morning was the announcement that we’d be seeing Forza 3 hit Aussie store shelves in October. While there’s no firm release day set for the Xbox 360 racer, Forza 3 is set to feature more than 400 cars, run at 60 frames per second, and allow users to upload HD video of the game to a YouTube-esque video service in the game.
Finally, Epic Games was out in force at Microsoft’s event, announcing that Gears of War 2: Darkest Corners would be available from July 28. The new DLC pack includes seven new multiplayer maps and a new single-player campaign chapter called Road to Ruin. At this stage we’re uncertain how much the Darkest Corners pack will cost, but stay tuned to GameSpot AU.
For more from the show, check out GameSpot's complete coverage of E3 2009.