EA plans Xbox 2 versions of Battlefield and Black
Microsoft console due for significant support from EA's European studios.
Early details of Electronic Arts' plans for the next generation of consoles have emerged today, with Digital Illusions' Battlefield: Modern Combat confirmed to be on its way to Xbox 2, as is Criterion's Black.
Digital Illusions revealed last week that it is working on two untitled games for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 2, due for release in late 2006 or 2007, but this is the first time that the firm has confirmed that it is planning to launch a Battlefield game on a next-generation platform.
Battlefield: Modern Combat was originally meant to launch in 2004, but has been pushed back to 2005 to incorporate a single-player element, which is currently being developed at EA Studio UK's Warrington offices.
The year's delay will mean that the developers have time to build an Xbox 2 version, and this is not expected to impact the launch of the titles on other platforms, with PS2 and Xbox versions still in the works.
On a related note, sources close to the company have indicated that Criterion's promising first person shooter Black is also to have an Xbox 2 version, along with versions for the current generation consoles.
These two projects are EA's first named forays into next-generation development, and suggest that the firm's European development division - bolstered by the recent acquisition of Criterion and the likely acquisition of Digital Illusions - is leading the way on the next-gen platforms.
However, as yet, only Xbox 2 versions of the titles in question are expected, with development on PlayStation 3 still up in the air, since Sony's console is not expected to launch until at least six months after Microsoft's.