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Local Tech Wire

CARY, N.C. – An ad appeared on the Xbox 360 network early Friday confirming rumors that Epic Games would launch a third next April.

First reported by gaming sites in the United Kingdom, the Xbox ad information affirmed the release date as reported last month by the Wed site Edge.

For a screen shot of the ad,

Cliff Bleszinski, Epic’s creative lead on the multi-million selling franchise, was set to announce an Epic product on Thursday night. But his appearance on the “Late Night” show with Jimmy Fallon was pushed back until Monday. In a series of tweet posts on Twitter, Cliffy B, as he is known, said Epic needed some more time. Speculation centered on last-minute additions or revisions to a video trailer that would tout Gears 3.

Then came the Xbox 360 ad Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the Web site CVG reported that Electronic Arts will soon announce a "shooter developed by Epic studio People Can Fly."

"EA needs to make sure enough days have passed between the Gears launch and its own announcement," a source told CVG.

On Thursday, Edge also reported some of the first details about what Gears 3 would contain:

• New Locusts – the enemies of mankind – with “tentacle-like appendages”

• The good guy Delta Squad members will have “explosives that can travel beneath the ground” where the Locusts are found

• Delta Squad will have “heavy duty mech suit” armor