Middleware solutions are becoming increasingly common as developers look to mitigate the costs of next-gen game creation. Epic Games' Unreal engine (Gears of War, Turok) and Emergent's Gamebryo Element (The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion) are a pair of popular engines currently being licensed out for use on the Xbox 360, but it looks like they're in for some new competition on the platform.
Today Valve Software announced that the Xbox 360 version of its Source engine is being offered to developers. The Source engine debuted with Valve's own Half-Life 2 and has since been licensed for use in PC games like Dark Messiah of Might and Magic and SiN Episodes: Emergence.
Half-Life 2 is scheduled to be released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in the first quarter of 2007, in a package that also includes the series' first two episodic content installments, as well as a pair of new games, Portal and Team Fortress 2.
[UPDATE] When asked if Valve was preparing to make the Source engine available as PS3 middleware, a representative of the company told GameSpot, "We're not currently working with Sony on PS3 middleware." While Valve is developing the Xbox 360 version of Half-Life 2 internally, is co-developing the PS3 version with an Electronic Arts studio.