Sid Meier's Pirates! to plunder Xbox

Console gamers will be given no quarter by Atari and Firaxis' sprawling buccaneer adventure.

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When Atari and Firaxis announced Sid Meier's Pirates! for the PC, console gamers let out a collective "Arrrrr!" of jealously. Then, in April, their hopes were raised by rumors that the game might be ported to the Xbox. At the time, Atari was mum about a port of the buccaneer adventure. "We haven't announced plans to develop the game on any other platform," was the official word from Atari.

Today, Atari made it official: Sid Meier's Pirates! will pillage the Xbox. The game will pull into retail ports in the spring of 2005, which is several months after the PC version sets sail in November 2004. The Xbox Pirates! will be fully Xbox Live-enabled and will feature a versus mode, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround, and HDTV support.

A remake of the classic 1987 game from the Civilization creator, Sid Meier's Pirates! puts players in the boots of a 17th century pirate captain who cruises the Caribbean. Besides the self-evident search for booty, players will hunt for sailors to crew their ships, which can be upgraded to take on naval frigates. There will also be stops at tropical ports of call, where players can engage in onshore skulduggery. The graphics in Pirates! will be fully 3D, and they'll be powered by NDL's Gamebryo engine, which also powers Morrowind and Freedom Force.

For more on the PC version of Pirates!, check out the latest Designer Diary from Firaxis.

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