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'Gears of War 2' to headline Xbox showcase Tuesday

In an annual event in San Francisco, Microsoft Game Studios will pull back the curtain on many of its most-anticipated Xbox 360 games.

In a few minutes, I'll be heading over to Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco for what seems to be an annual showcase of new Xbox 360 games from Microsoft Game Studios (MGS).

I'll have more on this later on Tuesday, but for now, I'll give a brief peek of what I'm expecting to find when I get there.

The gorilla in the room, as it were, is surely going to be Gears of War 2, developed by Epic Games for MGS and the sequel to one of the biggest games in Xbox 360 history.

"Attendees of the MGS San Francisco showcase event will witness the first extended taste of Gears of War 2," wrote Gamerscoreblog Tuesday morning. "Epic Games design director, Cliff Bleszinski, will demonstrate dramatic new game play elements and stunning visual effects in a campaign sequence from early in the game--where Marcus Fenix and COG forces engage in pulse-pounding firefights between two Derrick transports, fend off vicious Reaver fly-by attacks and rabid Brumaks--all in the same rollercoaster ride of a level."

The other game being heavily touted by MGS for the Tuesday event is its Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, the second title in a series that launched in 2006.

"In an effort to help Pinata Central rebuild their computer database of pinatas, players will send pinatas at full candiosity to parties all around the world," Gamerscoreblog wrote, "while using their creativity and imagination to attract, capture, protect, train and manage more than 100 newly discovered and existing pinata species."

Gears of War 2 is set to be released for the 2008 holiday season, while Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise is expected to hit shelves in September.

There will be other games on display at the showcase, as well. Stay tuned for all the news.

On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.