The Most Anticipated TitlesIn addition to taking popular franchises in new directions, developers are finding new life through Xbox 360 with exciting new content, and are delivering many of the industrys most praised and anticipated titles. Arguably the most anticipated title of 2006, Gears of War® from Epic Games and Microsoft Game Studios is a third-person tactical action/horror game available exclusively on Xbox 360.Gears of War will be the only game to blend a deep and disturbing story of human survival against hordes of nightmarish creatures with a next-generation tactical combat system and unsurpassed visuals and special effects. Gears of War, which will be available Nov. 12, 2006, in the U.S. and Nov. 17, 2006, in Europe, has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades including the Game Critics Awards Best Console and Best Action Game of E3 2006, IGNs E3 2005 Best Xbox 360 Game, and GameSpots E3 2006 Peoples Choice Award. From leading U.K. based developer Rare and Microsoft Game Studios comes Viva Piñata™, an original game concept and the latest innovative gaming experience for gamers of all ages and types. Viva Piñata invites gamers to create an immersive world where living piñatas inhabit an ever-changing environment. Viva Pinata, which has won several industry awards including Best Graphics from Nick Jr. Magazine and IGNs Runner-Up for Best Strategy Game of E3 2006, is scheduled to be available this holiday. Underlining the Xbox 360 platform strength, Microsoft and Ubisoft today confirmed that Assassins Creed, the eagerly anticipated action title during the crusades, is also coming to Xbox 360 on the same day and date as the games release on other platforms. Assassins Creed is a next-generation action-adventure/stealth title from the highly talented and critically acclaimed team that brought gamers Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time . Assassins Creed will place gamers in the role of a ruthless and skilled assassin as he silently stalks his victims. Last week at the Tokyo Game Show in Japan, Lost Odyssey wowed audiences with its incredible graphic style and epic storyline. From famed Japanese developer Hironobu Sakaguchi, Lost Odyssey will be shipped in Japan in 2007, and in the U.S. and Europe at a later date. Few games have generated more interest than BioShock in the past year, and Microsoft confirmed today that the highly anticipated first-person shooter will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and Windows when it launches in spring 2007. Looking into the coming year, X06 showcased a montage video trailer demonstrating the dazzling power and versatility of the Xbox 360 platform, promising gamers a choice of titles and genres coming this spring season, including the Microsoft Game Studios titles Crackdown™, Too Human, Mass Effect™, and Forza Motorsport™ 2. In addition to these titles from Microsoft Game Studios, games from todays leading publishers round out what is already a robust library of offerings for the Xbox 360 platform, including John Woo Presents Stranglehold, Lost Planet, and Pro Evolution Soccer 6. Microsoft underscored the continued momentum behind Xbox 360 with more than 5 million consoles sold since launch, the fastest console launch ever. Microsoft remains on track to deliver 10 million consoles worldwide, with a library of 160 games, by the end of the year. The Xbox Live community continues to grow and is on track to double in size to 6 million gamers by June 2007. Those numbers are supported by the most impressive number of all: Xbox 360 is now available in more than 30 countries since the console launched last November. By the end of this year, Xbox 360 will launch in even more countries, including South Africa and in Europe where plans are set to distribute the console in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.