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Test Drive Unlimited - surprise price point revealed


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Atari's Test Drive Unlimited Breaks New Pricing Grounds

Company Announces US$39.95 Pricepoint For Next-Generation Triple-A Racing Title

Gaming Experience Extends Via Monthly Car and Music Downloads

NEW YORK, July 20: Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR), one of the world's most recognized brands and a leading third-party video game publisher, today announced official pricing for its upcoming, highly- anticipated next-generation racing game, Test Drive Unlimited. Atari will offer Test Drive Unlimited for Xbox 360TM video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for US$39.95. To further extend consumers' gaming experiences, Test Drive Unlimited car packs featuring six or more cars, complete with genre-specific radio stations, will be available for download monthly, beginning six weeks after launch on Xbox Live Marketplace.

"Innovation should be available to everyone, not a privilege for those can afford high price tags," said Bruno Bonnell, Chairman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Atari. "Our GamersFirst program demonstrated the positive impact of flexibility in pricing. We believe it is our mission to deliver triple-A games that are accessible to the masses. As such, we are offering Test Drive Unlimited - a game that is being positively touted and recognized by the media - for $39.95, and furthermore, will continue users' experiences past launch by featuring new cars and free music for download."

Test Drive Unlimited's monthly car packs will feature a mixture of manufacturers and models of the world's finest vehicles. Each downloaded car pack will also include a free radio station. Radio stations will be set according to genres, such as Rock, Blues, Electronic, R&B, Jazz, Latin, etc., and feature between 10-20 songs.

Test Drive Unlimited has been receiving accolades from industry media as one of the top racing games this decade. GameDaily declared, "This is the kind of racing game I live for," while IGN.com stated, "There's no denying Test Drive Unlimited is looking like one of recent memory's most unique racers." TeamXbox described Test Drive Unlimited as a "revolutionary online driver." At this year's E3, the annual video game trade show, Test Drive Unlimited received a slew of E3 nominations and awards, including both PLAY Magazine and GameTrailers.com "Best Racing Game."

Packed with 90 vehicles, one thousand plus miles of open roads and a host of online options, Test Drive Unlimited is M.O.O.R.: Massively Open Online Racing - the ultimate online automotive gaming experience for Xbox 360 gamers. Both online and offline gamers will experience the world's most exotic and fastest vehicles on Test Drive Unlimited's diverse Hawaiian roads. Gamers win races, challenges, missions and tournaments to earn credits and purchase new cars, bikes, apparel, homes and garages. Boasting huge online content, racers around the world can challenge others to join them in the virtual paradise of the game's persistent online racing world. Players will engage in online challenges, and build communities by creating or joining exclusive members clubs to talk, trade cars, and race with other like-minded and similarly-skilled drivers in Test Drive Unlimited, one of the most comprehensive online racing experiences to date.

So then, $39.95. That's £21.59. But that doesn't include sales tax (on the US front) or VAT (on the UK front). Add VAT to the price (£3.78) and you get £25.37.

So, could we be seeing TDU released here for... say... £29.99? :unsure:

Is this part of a strategy that involves eventually getting people to fork out more than the normal RRP by buying all the expansions? Or has somebody had a look at Rockstar Table Tennis and decided that a price reduction is just the ticket for selling more games?

Are we finally going to see the start of more aggressive videogame pricing, or is this just a one-off test case?

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Nah, £40 is optiistic to me. It'll prolly still be £49.99.

*edit* Unless it's a shrewd maneuver to counter the launch of PS3....you know, to start the ball rolling, so to speak....hm........when's it due? And do we know if it'll be region free?

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That's unexpected and rather splendid.

It's gone from a maybe on my list (after the demo) to a definite.

The cynic in me says this price point has been chosen purely to soften us up for those regular premium download packs. But the optimist is saying, shut up, you're saving twenty dollars, worry about that later.

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and furthermore, will continue users' experiences past launch by featuring new cars and free music for download."

Are they suggesting that cars will cost but music will be free? Or am I just reading too much in to the wording of it? Mildly confusing.

Lower prices on the shelves are all good though.

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I think £29.99 is fairly likely. I cant see this as anything but great news personally. those who love the game can buy all the packs, probably end up spending more that RRP of a normal game and rinse it.

Those that like it but dont love it get a cheap but complete driving experience.

Its better than GRAW, which is £29.99 RRP and then another tenner for some extra missions.

More like this please. Lets hope it does well.

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.::: Hmm, for that price it is far more tempting though. The demo didn't float my boat that much (read: at all), but the online bit might make this a laugh as I still need a proper racing game (I don't have PGR3 as I play via VGA, and R6... well, I'd rather play the PSP-one then).

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.::: Hmm, for that price it is far more tempting though. The demo didn't float my boat that much (read: at all), but the online bit might make this a laugh as I still need a proper racing game (I don't have PGR3 as I play via VGA, and R6... well, I'd rather play the PSP-one then).

Eh I run PGR3 through a VGA sometimes and it's fine, what's the reason for not having it?

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That's great news, I'm willing to take a chance on this if it's going to be £25ish from places like Play.

Even if it's shit you could sell it/trade it and not be much more than a fiver down, as if you'd rented it.

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PGR3 runs fine on VGA if you set your 360 to 1024x768 instead of 1280x1024. No stretching, you will get letterbox-borders though.

.::: I'll try that again with the demo then. Although there's still the odd lined-textures thing...

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I went to pre-order this today and saw this:-

PLAY.COM EXCLUSIVE! Pre-order Test Drive Unlimited on XBOX360 today and receive a code to download the stunning Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe in-game car - This car will only be available to PLAY.COM pre-order customers!! Codes will be dispatched to coincide with release date and will enable players to download car from XBOX Live Marketplace.

Isn't the Lamborghini one of the main cars. It seems strange to limit this to play customers only.

http://www.play.com/Games/Xbox360/STCS2/3-...ed/Product.html

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I went to pre-order this today and saw this:-

PLAY.COM EXCLUSIVE! Pre-order Test Drive Unlimited on XBOX360 today and receive a code to download the stunning Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe in-game car - This car will only be available to PLAY.COM pre-order customers!! Codes will be dispatched to coincide with release date and will enable players to download car from XBOX Live Marketplace.

Isn't the Lamborghini one of the main cars. It seems strange to limit this to play customers only.

http://www.play.com/Games/Xbox360/STCS2/3-...ed/Product.html

Hmmm. I wonder if they are stripping down the 360 version to the bare essentials and subsidising the lower cost with Marketplace. It certainly doesn't mention that the PS2 and PC versions are being sold at a lower price.

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Acording xbox.com Gears of War has a RRP of £39.99

I've noticed MS have a few more MS published games listed at £39.99. My reckoning is that they are making their pricing more agressive to combat the PS3.

EDIT:I could have sworn I did find more, now I can only find Crackdown at £39.99 as well :s

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