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Ubisoft wages war on next-gen consoles

Despite ending over sixty years ago, World War II continues to rage in the games industry, the latest assault coming from French publisher Ubisoft, who have snubbed the Xbox 360 for their latest combat game in favour of Sony's PlayStation 3.

Despite ending over sixty years ago, World War II continues to rage in the games industry, the latest assault coming from French publisher Ubisoft, who have snubbed the Xbox 360 for their latest combat game in favour of Sony's PlayStation 3.

Announced today for PC and PS3 - although the official announcement does not explicitly rule out a launch on other platforms - Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway is the third title in Ubisoft's multi-million selling, critically acclaimed WWII series from independent developers Gearbox Software.

Offering the same level of authenticity and historical accuracy that enabled the first two games to stand out from the crowd, the latest game will focus on Operation Market Garden - the largest airborne assault of the war.

Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software, commented: "With Brothers in Arms Hell's Highway, Gearbox is investing everything to take next-generation gaming to an entirely new level. The Unreal Engine 3 powers real next-generation graphics and the most intense, action-oriented recreation of true history ever offered as interactive entertainment."

Whilst the promise of "amazing graphics and sound, new cutting-edge gameplay features, and a completely redesigned online component" is certain to please fans of the series, the announcement is arguable more interesting for what it doesn't say - namely that the title will be appearing on Microsoft's Xbox 360.

While Microsoft continues to enjoy an unrivalled market lead in next generation hardware, it's the software that ultimately defines success or failure. Although there's nothing in the announcement to say that the new game won't ever be appearing on the Xbox 360, the fact that the title will debut this holiday season as one of the early launch titles for Sony's new machine may come as a bit of a blow to the Redmond-based giant.

It could be argued that Ubisoft is attempting to mirror the success of Activision's Call of Duty 2, which quickly became the best selling Xbox 360 launch title around the same time last year, but placing platform loyalty for such a high profile title at this stage will surely not go unnoticed.