Gameplay HD net adds 4 shows

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Voom HD Networks' Gameplay HD has added four new, original, high-definition video gaming series: "In Play," "Raw Play," "Game High" and "Gameplay Documentary Series."

In addition, the network will devote about 50 hours of programming to covering professional video game tournaments this year.

"We think we're plowing some new turf here and allowing the inherent entertainment value of the games to merge with the storytelling possibilities of linear television, all in glorious high definition," Voom HD Networks general manager Greg Moyer said.

"In Play" is a half-hour series that takes HD gameplay from such PC and Xbox 360 games as "Prince of Persia," "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter," "Amped 3" and "Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure" and turns that into a story-driven entertainment experience.

Mark DeAngelis, vp programming at Gameplay HD, said that today's next-generation games are multimillion-dollar works of art that sit in the box after a gamer has completed it. His team has taken a music video approach to the material.

"The new games are not only HD, but the gameplay is cinematic as well," DeAngelis said. "We feel with high-quality editing and a lot of production TV thought behind it, we can build great 15- to 30-minute pieces based around gameplay. It's almost like watching this work of art, but it's gameplay itself."

 "Raw Play," which will air at midnight in two-hour segments, offers gamers an uncut look at gameplay from popular games including "Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion" and "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" as they're played by a game developer or game journalist.

After years of international TV coverage, the U.S. is finally taking notice of the professional gaming phenomenon. "Game High" is a half-hour series that covers the best gaming competitions worldwide.

The "Gameplay Documentary Series" is an ongoing collection of one-hour documentaries that will take gamers behind the scenes of some of the biggest games on the market. DeAngelis has a crew that is filming the making of Microsoft's Xbox 360 "Forza 2" game.

Although driving viewers to Voom HD is the primary goal of this gaming programming, Moyer said some of this programming will take advantage of digital distribution. One of Gameplay HD's original series, "The Art of Play," already is available on iTunes.

With such next-generation consoles as PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 offering downloadable media, this type of programming could soon reach gamers through these consoles. Moyer said announcements would be made soon about how the network will take further advantage of digital distribution.

"We want to speak to the hardcore gamer but also appeal to the mass market audience," DeAngelis said. "We've been able to meld these two forms of entertainment into the next generation of television programming."
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