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Forza Motorsport 2 - On The Grid And Ready To Fuel Driving Fantasies

The sequel to the critically acclaimed "Forza Motorsport" hits Europe this May

UK, 15th February, 2007 - Microsoft Game Studios today announced that "Forza Motorsport 2" is set to hit European retail stores in May. With more than 300 car models from upwards of 50 of the world's leading manufacturers, "Forza Motorsport 2" allows automotive enthusiasts to collect the cars they want and customize them to reflect their racing passion. Own the cars that own the competition.

This is our first wave of car reveals. In this wave, we give you Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche and Lamborghini. No other simulator offers you so many cars from these amazing brands. And of course, all of these models can be fully customisable and are sure to leave tire tracks on your Xbox 360! Highlights include:

Ciao Bella! Ferrari brings gamers 15 of their most desirable models including the 2004 Ferrari F430, 2002 Enzo Ferrari and even the classic 1969 Dino 246 GT From the country that has preserved the thrill of driving in the fast lane with its world famous Autobahn, Porsche delivers 13 sports cars ranging from the newest members of the 911 family -- the 2007 911 GT3 (997) and 911 Turbo (997) -- to fan-favourites from yesteryear including the 1970 Porsche 914/6 and 1987 Porsche 959 Five heart-stopping models from Lamborghini include coveted makes such as the 2005 Murcielago, 2005 Gallardo as well as classic Diablo and Countach models Not to be outdone is Lamborghini's Italian counterpart, Maserati, who joins "Forza Motorsport 2" with two of its revered exotics - the 2004 MC12 and the 2006 Gransport As "Forza Motorsport 2" races toward its retail debut, we plan to reveal additional models from our roster of more than 300 cars worldwide, including top European manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Lotus, Peugeot and Jaguar in the coming weeks. Until then, please visit Forzamotorsport.net for a full list of car models from the auto manufacturers we've announced today as well as download new screenshots.

In addition, we wanted to share with you some details on an important new feature that's being added to the sequel of the critically acclaimed "Forza Motorsport" -- Force Feedback Wheel support. Microsoft Games Studios and their partners have been hard at work optimizing "Forza Motorsport 2" for the Wireless Racing Wheel with true force feedback, as well as maximizing rumble in the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller to help gamers literally feel the road beneath them as their fully-tuned racer shoots for the apex at triple-digit speeds.

In the article below, Turn 10 Game Director, Dan Greenawalt, takes fans through a detailed tour of "Forza Motorsport 2's" all-new Force Feedback system, shedding light on how the team is utilizing this technology to to deliver the most realistic racing experience to your living room. In today's next-gen racing simulation, Greenawalt states the case for why any game that doesn't go beyond traditional visual and audio cues for an immersive experience simply doesn't measure up.

Forza Motorsport 2: The Complete Racing Simulation

By Dan Greenawalt

When we set off to create Forza Motorsport 2 on the Xbox 360, we knew we had to up the ante on realism for console racing simulators. To that end, a big part of our next-gen racing experience lies in the use of controller rumble and wheel force feedback to completely immerse the player. Racing in the real world is a multi-sensory experience with drivers relying on a well-integrated stream of visual, auditory, vestibular, and haptic information -- everything from the sound of the wind and tires to the pressure of the brake pedal and engine vibration travelling up through the steering column - to let them know how their car is performing. For the last couple weeks here at Turn 10, we've been fine-tuning the force feedback implementation in Forza Motorsport 2 using the Microsoft Wireless Force Feedback Wheel. In the process, I've written a whitepaper on why force feedback is so important to the overall racing simulation package. Below are a few abstracts from the article

Visual and audio cues are simply not enough to convey reality. Forza Motorsport 2 uses haptic interfaces to reproduce a realistic sensation of driving. Whether you play our game with a rumble-enabled controller or a full racing cockpit with force feedback wheel setup, Forza Motorsport 2 gives you tactile cues to improve your game Force feedback is the primary language between car, road, and driver. Force feedback is an extremely useful haptic interface. It provides real-time info on several key aspects of Forza Motorsport 2's physics model. Obviously, force feedback simulates the steering wheel torque created by having the front tires on different terrain types, such as asphalt, rumble strips, or grass. It also simulates load balance between tires as well as slippage Without simulating "aligning torque," your force feedback is useless. When driving a car in real-life, aligning torque is what your hands "feel" in the steering wheel. Aligning torque wants to point the steering wheel in the direction of travel. Aligning torque auto-corrects the steering wheel when you are over-steering or drifting. Aligning torque helps you find peak friction when you are understeering. Basically, aligning torque is the primary language that your front tires use to talk to you Your hardware is only as good as your software. Most of what you feel, as you play a racing game with wheel-in-hand, comes down to game design and software. When force feedback is poorly implemented in a game, even the best force feedback wheel is often a less effective controller than a rubber-band wheel with a good deadzone Check out http://forzamotorsport.net for a more in-depth report from Dan on force feedback.

We'll continue to keep you posted as we roll out the full car list over the next few months but don't hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or requests!

About Microsoft Game Studios

Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows ( http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as "Age of Empires®," "Flight Simulator" and "Zoo Tycoon®;" Xbox and Xbox 360 ( http://www.xbox.com), including such games as "Gears of War" and franchises such as "Halo," "Fable®," "Project Gotham Racing®" and "Forza Motorsport"; and MSN® Games ( http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as "Bejeweled" and "Hexic®."

About Xbox 360

Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming network and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 is expected to have a catalog of 160 high-definition games by the end of 2006 and to be available in nearly 37 countries by the end of this year. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.

About Xbox Live

Xbox Live is the first and only unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox Live connects millions of members across nearly 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox Live Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, and movie trailers, as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live

For more information, please contact: Sinead Purcell on 020 7025 6505 or sinead.purcell@redconsultancy.com

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