Today at E3, Audi announced that the R8 5.2 V10 supercar is set to be the cover car for the new Forza Motorsport 3 for Xbox 360, due out in October 2009. Audi has sponsored the new game to some degree, as the Forza series is well known to be a leader in the racing game segment for the Xbox 360, and is one of the most realistic and highly rated simulation racers available today. Forza Motorsport 2, for example, is a best seller for the Xbox 360, and has become a Platinum Hit (which also means it’s only $20 now.)
Audi will be doing lots of promotional events for the game, including the AXF-24 Audi-Forza Challenge during Le Mans weekend at the Audi Forum New York City on June 13-14. Audi is also holding contests for the game and car. One contest (visit www.forzamotorsport.net/contest/) has entrants designing a skin for the R8 V10. Five finalists will win a free Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, and the Grand Prize winner, which will be chosen by voting at www.xbox.com/forza3contest, will have their design featured as the exclusive custom downloadable car available to those who pre-order the game.
Xbox and Audi also announced they will host an exciting and exceptionally unique AXF-24 Audi-Forza Challenge, which will take place June 13-14 at the Audi Forum New York City. Xbox has selected nine of its top North American Forza competitors as determined by rankings on Xbox Live to converge on New York to compete in a 24-hour endurance competition in “Forza Motorsport 3” running concurrent to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. The gamers will be split into three teams of three drivers, just like Le Mans racing teams on a yet to be announced track debuting in game upon release in October. The winning team at the end of the 24 hours on Sunday morning will win an all-expenses paid trip for them and a guest to the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans race where they will be hosted by Audi.
This is certainly a unique way to kick off the release of a game, and to promote the car, which I imagine is more of a brand image thing, since most video game players probably can’t afford the $165,000, even if it was available in US.
I, for one, can’t wait for Forza 3 to be released. While I was never a huge fan of Forza 2 (I got addicted to Project Gotham Racing 4 instead,) it’s a very good game, and Forza 3 is likely to be a big hit.
This is the type of game you want to play with a steering wheel. I personally use the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, but if you’re more hardcore about your racing games (or aren’t on a tight budget,) you could go with the Logitech G25 Racing Wheel, which I really, really hope to get some day.