Oblivion ships to stores

Bethesda's latest Elder Scrolls game heads to retail for PC, Xbox 360; GameSpot's Greg Kasavin Webcasts 12-hour Oblivion game-a-thon today.

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For Xbox 360 owners who moonlight as role-playing game fans, the last four months must have seemed like an eternity. Their day has finally arrived, however, as Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has shipped to stores. The game is being published by 2K Games, a division of Take-Two Interactive, and will be available for the PC and the Xbox 360.

Oblivion was originally slated as an Xbox 360 launch title but was delayed after developer Bethesda required additional time to "ensure the title meets gamers' high expectations," according to Take-Two Interactive CEO Paul Eibeler. Oblivion is the first RPG to appear on a next-generation console.

This is the second time that an Elder Scrolls game has kicked off the RPG genre for Microsoft's consoles. The third game in the franchise, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, was the Xbox's first RPG and was lauded for its massive environments, open-ended gameplay, depth, and considerable length.

The franchise has been known to suck in players for marathon gaming sessions, and GameSpot editors are no exception. Beginning at 6 p.m. PST today, GameSpot's own Greg Kasavin will embark on a 12-hour Oblivion session, which, in a GameSpot first, will be broadcast on the Internet. GameSpot subscribers are invited to watch him create his character, trudge through dungeons, and explore towns in the Xbox 360 version.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is rated T for Teen and retails for $59.99 on the Xbox 360 and $49.99 on the PC. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage or come back later this week for a full review.

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