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Xbox will "own" GTA IV launch, says MS

"Xbox 360 is still going to have the ultimate experience for GTAIV," says Microsoft's Shane Kim,

Microsoft will make sure that the Xbox 360 benefits most from the GTA IV launch, and from a content standpoint it "already owns it", says Microsoft Game Studios boss Shane Kim.

Speaking to US magazine Wired at the DICE summit, the Microsoft games boss said that making sure it owns the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV from a platform perspective "is really important."

"We already own it, I believe, from a content standpoint, because we have the exclusive episodes," he said. "And so Xbox 360 is still going to have the ultimate experience for GTA IV.

"But we have to make sure the customers know that." Especially, he adds, "if you look back, again, to the role of GTA III and what that played in terms of PS2's development - in Europe as well, because it was huge in Europe.

"That's a great opportunity for us. We need to take advantage of it."

The Rockstar sequel is released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29, which Kim says is going to make Microsoft's job harder at hogging the GTA spotlight.

"You absolutely have to work harder," he said. "You just can't lose sight of the fact that Sony obviously has a lot of experience and brand equity in this market. And we're still relatively young."

In Europe, says Kim, Microsoft is competing against an "established Competitor". "[Sony has] good equity in Europe. As I've said this morning, they've done a good job in ingraining Sony into the fabric of people's lives, in a broader sense. And so that means you just have to work harder.

"Even though we've managed to do a good job in terms of getting the game day and date, people still, if you just let things roll, will associate Grand Theft Auto as a PlayStation franchise. Which means that we have to work really hard to make people understand that no, it's not, and that you'll actually get a greater experience on Xbox 360."

So, let's have a row then. Which version are you buying? And will it take 22 minutes to install GTA on PS3?

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