E3 '07: Unreal Tournament III due in '07, PS3/PC exclusive 'til '08

Sony locks down console exclusivity until next year; PS3 version will ship with map editor months before 360 version.

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CULVER CITY, Calif.--Epic Games literally has the best of both worlds. The North Carolina-based developer made headlines at last night's Microsoft press event by announcing that Gears of War, its blockbuster Xbox 360 shooter, is coming to the PC with five new single-player campaign levels and a map editor.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

Today, the company revealed that it has also struck a deal with Sony that will certainly boost sales of its PlayStation 3 console. Today at Sony's press event, Mark Rein took the stage to announce that Unreal Tournament III will be exclusive to the PS3 and PC when it is released later this year, and it will allow the importations of mods made for the PC version to the PS3. That exclusivity will remain until "early 2008," when an Xbox 360 version will be released.

Speaking to GameSpot, the irrepressible Rein laughed off any suggestion that Sony might have offered Epic financial incentives to keep UTIII a PS3 exclusive. "There's nothing sinister about it," he said, laughing. "It's just the PS3 and PC version of the games are compatible, because Sony has an open-source platform." Rein didn't clarify if he meant simply that the development process was compatible, or whether the game would allow for cross-platform play.

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