So, remember how EA and Bioware are launching six copies of Mass Effect 3 into (near) space? Well, they're still doing that, and now there's a trailer about it that you can watch.
The trailer itself is not particularly informative, but the press release delivered with said trailer actually contained some cool information about the event. Specifically, students from the High Altitude Balloon Club at Texas A&M University will be assisting with each of the six launch sites around the world.
Once the event is complete, EA will be donating all of the equipment used during the publicity stunt to A&M's Aerospace Engineering department, which will then take the gear to Alaska and use it study the aurora borealis. We're glad to hear this advertising campaign will benefit a group of bright youngsters, and that EA isn't shelling out a presumably massive load of cash just to launch some games into space.
Starting on February 23, EA and BioWare will be making history by launching the first copies of Mass Effect™ 3 into outer space! Blastoff will take place in San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and cities in Europe, giving gamers all over the world the opportunity to track and collect these limited early copies as they touch back down on Earth. The lucky fans who win this intergalactic scavenger hunt will be the first to own Mass Effect 3 before the game hits store shelves on March 6 in North America and March 9 in Europe. See www.masseffect.com/space for more information.
To successfully dispatch the Mass Effect 3 Space Edition into orbit, BioWare is partnering with Ben Longmier, Ph.D., of Project Aether, a program at the University of Houston designed to promote accessible space exploration for high school and college students. The Aerospace Engineering students of the High Altitude Balloon Club at Texas A&M University will be assisting with the launches in order to gain valuable first-hand experience before setting out on their own trip to Fairbanks, Alaska. EA will be donating the brand new equipment and hardware used in the Mass Effect 3 Space Edition launches to aid the gifted students at Texas A&M in their attempt to discover more about the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis. The valuable data generated from this groundbreaking research project will be used to help better predict weather patterns and protect communication satellites from harmful solar flares.
By using high altitude weather balloons and specially designed payloads composed of HD cameras and GPS tracking devices, the dedicated team will handle the launch, recovery and delivery of the Mass Effect 3 Space Edition copies. Starting tomorrow, with the first launch in San Francisco, fans can get a birds-eye view of Earth and track each Space Edition's journey by logging into www.masseffect.com/space. Official Rules and registration for the Mass Effect 3 Space Edition Contest for the US locations will be available at www.masseffect.com/space prior to the targeted 7:00AM San Francisco launch.
Also, BioWare announced yesterday that PlayStation® 3 owners will be able to pre-order Mass Effect 3 as a digital release through the PlayStation Network. This digital copy will be available for download on March 6 and will feature an exclusive PlayStation theme and the M-55 Argus Rifle.
Another way to get your hands-on Mass Effect 3 before the game launches is to check out the extensive Mass Effect 3 Demo, available for download now on Xbox® LIVE, PlayStation® Network and through Origin™ on PC. For more information on Mass Effect 3, please visit http://masseffect.com, follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/masseffect or "Like" the game on Facebook at http://facebook.com/biowaremasseffect.