Long-delayed Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta to remain 360 exclusive when it finally arrives

By Xav de Matos, Jun 21, 2011 4:30pm PDT

Jumping off from yesterday's announcement that the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta has been pushed to January 2012, Shacknews contacted Ubisoft to confirm what we knew of the beta's existence to be true.

Ubisoft confirmed to Shacknews that the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta will remain an Xbox 360 exclusive and "early access" will still be given to users that own copies of Splinter Cell: Conviction.

In 2010, Ubisoft split exclusive beta access for two of its franchises between the Xbox 360 and PS3. Xbox 360 users were granted exclusive rights to a Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta, while PlayStation 3 gamers were handed an exclusive Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood beta.

Though Ghost Recon's beta access with Conviction was announced first, Brotherhood's beta launch has long since come and gone--in fact, a new game in the Assassin's Creed franchise has already been detailed, demoed, and discussed since.

When the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier beta was first announced, the game was expected to ship on the Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii by the 2010 holiday season. Splinter Cell: Conviction arrived in stores on August 12, 2010. By the time Ghost Recon launches, Splinter Cell: Conviction (along with its early access to the Ghost Recon beta) will have been on store shelves for two years.

Ghost Recon's return has since been delayed twice since being announced: first into the "March quarter of 2011" and then, more recently, into 2012.

Comparing the game from E3 2010 to E3 2011, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier appears to have undergone substantial changes. The visuals alone point to a game that has seen a shift in development since first being announced (Initial Screens vs. E3 2011 Screens). Though it should be mentioned that some core elements from the E3 2010 hands-off demo I saw were present in the E3 2011 demo I played.

In August 2010, Ubisoft confirmed it had laid off 38 employees at Red Storm. Development of Future Soldier is split between Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Red Storm, with the latter tackling the game's multiplayer component.

Though it was originally planned to launch this summer, Ubisoft now states the Ghost Recon beta will arrive at some point in January 2012.

Ubisoft tells Shacknews that they will announce "other ways to access the [multiplayer] beta" soon. With a new time frame, it sounds like January's beta launch for Ghost Recon is set in stone; however, after so many delays we might wait for Ubisoft to literally do that again.

For more on Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, make sure to read out E3 2011 hands-on preview of the game.

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