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MS admits slippage, confirms Xmas releases

No DOA Volleyball. No Brute Force. No Christmas?

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Microsoft has issued a press release this morning reassuring those in the trade that it still has a raft of key titles due out before Christmas, despite Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, Brute Force and others now appearing in the first three months of 2003.

Microsoft's latest Xbox release data shows that Blinx: The Time Sweeper (review later today) will appear on November 8th as planned, with NBA Inside Drive 2003 the following week (15th), MechAssault on the 22nd and Whacked! on the 29th. NFL Fever 2003 is to be confirmed for either late November or early December, and of course the Xbox Live Test Drive period kicks off at the end of this month.

Probably the most exciting game on Xbox this Christmas though is Ubi Soft's Splinter Cell, which is thankfully still scheduled for release on November 29th. Early reviews have been chiefly positive, and a one-level demo on the nation's official Xbox magazine brought a lot of households to a dramatic stop on Saturday morning, as thousands imbibed Ubi's mesmerising MGS-beater.

However, a number of high profile releases have now slipped until 2003. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, arguably and worryingly the main Xbox killer application these days, and the four-man-Halo-alike Brute Force will appear in February and March respectively, whilst Kakuto Chojin seems to be suffering a crisis of conscience, appearing on the list hopefully marked January 2003, only to reappear further down marked spring 2003.

Other titles which slip until the ambiguous "spring 2003" date include Tao Feng, Kung Fu Chaos, Tork, Crimson Skies, Midtown Madness 3 and Psychonauts, while Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden won't now appear until the summer.

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