NEWS - Wednesday, February 13, 2008

GTA IV Multiplayer Support Unique to 360

Microsoft’s senior VP of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, has told the Major Nelson podcast that Rockstar’s forthcoming super-title, Grand Theft Auto IV, will have multiplayer elements which will be exclusive to the Xbox 360.

"It’s an amazing piece of software, and I’m really excited with its downloadable content and online multiplayer support - again, that’s something that’s unique to 360," he said.

"We think consumers are going to love that, and it’s going to create what I would describe, again, as the premium experience on our platform."

While there has been some confusion on the matter, and in the absence of further clarification from Microsoft or Rockstar Games, the news would seem to be a blow for PlayStation 3 owners who will already miss out on the previously announced Xbox 360 episodic downloadable content, which Mattrick also refers to here.

In addition the former EA man, who joined Microsoft six months ago, promised that the company was working to address the Xbox 360 hardware shortage issues in North America.

"We’d hoped to have a strong showing in North America this holiday season, and we had a stronger showing than anticipated," he said in the podcast. "So we had some shortages, we weren’t able to deliver enough hardware against demand that was in the market.

"That’s a great problem to have, we’re addressing that in the coming year - it’s going to take us a little bit of time to amp up our manufacturing, but we’re really encouraged that people purchased as many games and as many boxes as they did on our platform - we think that bodes well for the future."

Microsoft Studios’ corporate senior VP, Shane Kim, recently told the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas that the company was bullish about the prospects for the Xbox 360 this year, despite assertions by the likes of EA that it would be outsold by the PS3 - and hinted that there was a lot to come from the software pipeline that hadn’t yet been announced.



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