PGR4 delayed, 360 wheel 'retrofitted'

Bizarre Creations' high-speed racer bumped to October 2 on Xbox 360; Microsoft peripheral overheats.

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Between Blue Dragon, Halo 3, Project Gotham Racing 4, and Mass Effect, Microsoft has a number of big-name exclusives headed to its console in the next few months. At its press conference during this year's E3 Media and Business Summit, the publisher was quick to highlight all of these games, as well as reveal launch windows for several, including Mass Effect in November and Project Gotham Racing 4 in September.

However, apparently unwilling to share the limelight with Bungie's megaton-hit-in-waiting Halo 3, Bizarre Creations announced today that PGR4 would not be coming out in September as initially planned. Instead, the supercharged racer will hit the gas on Microsoft's console come October 2.

PGR4 marks a new direction in Bizarre's long-running series. While the game features its standard array of classic, slick, and meaty cars, PGR4 will complement that list by introducing motorcycles to the mix. The second major addition to the series is dynamic weather effects, which will impact courses by introducing unpredictable road conditions. PGR4 is rated E for Everyone and will retail for $59.99. Check out GameSpot's previous coverage for more on PGR4.

In related news, Microsoft today announced today that the smoke being emitted by some Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheels is, in fact, a mechanical malfunction, and not the result of some revolutionary new immersive technology that simulates burning rubber. Accordingly, the hardware maker will be "retrofitting" all wireless wheels free of charge. All owners of the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel should contact Microsoft tech support through its Web site, or by calling 1-800-469-9269, to receive their free fix.

Microsoft acknowledged a problem has been reported with a component within the peripheral that overheats if it is used while plugged in using the AC/DC power supply in "a very small number" of 360s. Wheels being operated through battery power are not affected by this issue.

Today's announcement comes with Microsoft's recent Xbox 360 warranty extension still fresh in most gamers' minds. In July, Microsoft announced it would be extending the warranty on all Xbox 360 SKUs by three years due to an inordinate amount of hardware failures, and that it would be retroactively refunding customers who paid for repairs that would have been covered by the new policy.

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