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Microsoft confirms Gears of War 3 leak

The latest entry in the Gears of War franchise for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console has made a surprise appearance on BitTorrent trackers ahead of its official launch in September.

The Epic-developed and Unreal Engine-powered third-person shooter has proven popular in its previous two incarnations, and the hype is high for Gears of War 3. Featuring a revamped graphics engine, the footage available from official sources shows a particularly impressive console title. Considering that the first title was considered a showcase for the power of the Xbox 360, that's no mean feat.

Fans who can't wait to get their hands on the title are being tempted by pre-release code which has been leaked by an unknown source and uploaded to BitTorrent trackers for free download.

Microsoft, which publishes the Xbox exclusive series, is understandably miffed. Speaking to thinq_ a spokesperson confirmed the leak as genuine but warned that it represented unfinished code and is "not representative" of the finished product.

"We have seen the reports," the spokesperson added, "and are working closely with our security teams and law enforcement to address the situation."