Microsoft has signed a deal with Walt Disney Pictures that will let Xbox 360 download the trailer for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
And what's more, it's presented in glorious high definition, so if you've got a HD telly it'll be just like actually being in Narnia. Possibly.
The trailer, which will be available via the Xbox Live Marketplace, will feature highlights from the film that's set to top the box office charts this Christmas. For those who are unfamiliar with the story, it's about some kids, a lion, a witch and a wardrobe, and - spoiler alert - it all turns out all right in the end.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, or TCONTLTWATW as we'll call if for short [perhaps 'Narnia' might be snappier -Ed], is hotly tipped to top the gaming charts this Christmas. That isn't surprising, since it's a movie tie-in for a blockbuster film that promises to offer fun for all the family.
Billions of people are bound to go and see it, and billions of Mums and Dads are bound to buy a copy of the game for their kiddies this festive season, confident that it won't feature any guns, blood or mission objectives that involve murdering prostitutes.
All right, so it might be based on a rather dark biblical allegory that was penned by a man who has since been accused of being a racist and a misogynist, but we didn't notice all that stuff when we were eight. And besides, we have a theory he nicked the whole idea off George Lucas (Edmund is Judas, you say? Lando, more like).
With Disney's take on The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe due in cinemas this Christmas and games expected on a multitude of formats, Buena Vista Games has revealed that it's struck a deal to give PlayStation 2 European console exclusivity until 31st March 2006.
The deal will not impede the Chronicles of Narnia-based game's release on handhelds or PC, but while the PAL PS2 version will ship alongside them in November, it will not be joined by its GameCube and Xbox counterparts until a later date.
The pay-off for Buena Vista, it seems, is "significant TV and marketing support from SCEE, including online and PS2 bundles across all PAL territories".
As numbers go, 85 million is "big", especially when that figure is describing book sales. If you're talking about 85 million children's books, you're talking about Potter, right? Only half-right in this instance. [Classic misdirection! - Ed] Specifically, Potter is the only children's book series to ever sell more than this amount, the total sales of CS Lewis's Narnia series. That's an awful lot of books. And if your memory of Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy's harrowing adventures in the land of snow and ice has been dismissed to some childish corner of your rapidly deteriorating brain, along with Texan bars and hazy episodes of The Red Hand Gang, you'd best prepare for its inevitable return: Disney's about to release the first tale in the series, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", as a railroading media franchise this Christmas. The movie will be Disney's biggest to date, in terms of marketing spend at least. When it comes to numbers, Narnia's got it all sewn up.