Next-gen Halo, Fable, and Project Gotham confirmed

Microsoft's Shane Kim says gamers can "safely assume" three flagship franchises will arrive on the next-generation console; Jade Empire and Forza Motorsport hinted at.

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When it comes to talking about next-generation console plans, Microsoft officials parse words more carefully than a corrupt politician giving a deposition. Case in point: a recent interview with Shane Kim on the official Xbox site, Xbox.com.

Advertised as "Xbox.com gets next-gen dirt from MGS head Shane Kim" on the site's home page, the interview features Kim talking about his tenure as general manager of Microsoft Game Studios.

Approximately one-third of the way through the interview, Kim is asked: "What is going to give MGS the competitive advantage moving into the next generation of video games?" After heaping praise on the developer's suite of internal studios and external partners, Kim also talked up its properties. "We've also built some great franchises that customers love and look forward to playing for many generations of Xbox, like Halo, Fable, Project Gotham Racing, and the upcoming Jade Empire and Forza Motorsport."

But later on in the interview, Kim spoke more plainly--sort of. When asked directly about what current-generation franchises gamers could expect on the upcoming console, now most commonly referred to as the Xbox 360, he said, "Without giving away all the surprises we have in store, gamers that love franchises like Halo, Fable, and Project Gotham Racing can safely assume we will continue to invest in them as we move into the next generation."

Unfortunately, that tacit admission of development of the three franchises is all Microsoft is saying at the moment. When asked to clarify Kim's statements by GameSpot, reps for the company would only say, "We have nothing to confirm at this time."

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