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Round-Up: SWG Starter Kit, Cedega 5.0,Tourist Trophy

Today's round-up includes a new MMO bundle from Sony Online and LucasArts, the latest version of a Linux tool that allows easy Windows game playing, and the confirmation ...
Today's round-up includes a new MMO bundle from Sony Online and LucasArts, the latest version of a Linux tool that allows easy Windows game playing, and the confirmation of a North American release for the latest game from the Gran Turismo creators, as well as today's product news and Gamasutra job postings. - Sony Online Entertainment, which recently introduced sweeping changes to Star Wars Galaxies that reenvision the MMORPG as a more action-based game, is offering a new package designed to entice players back into the game. A $19.99 bundle of the original Empire Divided as well as expansion Jump to Lightspeed will be released as a Starter Kit, which includes 30 days of free play as well as a X-Wing or TIE Fighter vehicle available from the start of the game, without having to earn money to purchase one. The Starter Kit will be available beginning November 22. - TransGaming Technologies has announced the release of Cedega 5.0, its toolkit for porting Windows-based games to Linux. The software strives to instantly run Windows games in a native Linux environment out of the box, and has worked with games such as Battlefield 2, World of Warcraft, and Half-Life 2. The new version features better integration between the component tools and more control over processes and threads. “By integrating our graphics interface with Cedega, we have delivered a more user-friendly product," said TransGaming founder Gavriel State. "We’re empowering PC users around the world who want or need to use a computer running a Linux operating system by letting them play the games of their choice.” - Sony of America has announced Tourist Trophy, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo spin-off centered around motorcycle racing, for an American release. The game will feature over 80 licensed motorcycles and 35 courses, as well as officially licensed in-game gear such as helmets and outfits. "Since the inception of Gran Turismo, it has been a labor of love for us to offer players the most authentic racing experience possible, and we are excited to build upon this foundation with our new motorcycle entry titled Tourist Trophy for PlayStation 2," said Polyphony Digital president Kazunori Yamauchi. The game is scheduled for a U.S. release in spring 2006. - Also updated today: product news including Havok's announcement of its physics being used in Marvel and Harry Potter-related titles, as well as today's Gamasutra job postings, including positions from Blue Fang Games, Networking People, Obsidian Entertainment, Page 44 Studios, Point of View, Rockstar Leeds, and Smart Bomb Interactive.

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