Microsoft is stepping up the ante with a plethora of exclusives over the next year, as it tries to lure games away from Sony's PS3 and Nintendo's Wii.

Claiming to appeal to the family, Microsoft has for its exclusives gone after the hardcore gamers with a range of titles aimed at driving fast and shooting quick.

The exclusive push will start on 28 July with Gears of War 2: Dark Corners by Epic Games. The Gears of War 2: Dark Corners game add-on includes seven brand new multiplayer maps and a new campaign chapter, Road to Ruin. Dark Corners launches on Xbox LIVE Marketplace on 28 July.

After that Xbox 360 gamers get Halo 3: ODST from Bungie. Launching 22 September the new title is a prequel to Halo 3 seen through the eyes of a special forces ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper).

Then drivers get serviced with Forza Motorsport 3 launching in October. Forza Motorsport 3 is, according to Microsoft, "the definitive racing game for everyone from hardcore tuners to anyone who’s ever dreamed of driving at full-throttle". Drivers will be able to get behind the wheel of more than 400 cars on over 100 renowned real-world tracks and exotic road courses from around the globe. Driving assists and adjustable skill levels plan to make the game suitable for all, while new customisation and sharing tools give it legs on Xbox LIVE.

Promised some time in autumn Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction from Ubisoft will see renegade agent Sam Fisher uncover a deadly terrorist plot. Supposedly completely reinvented and revolutionised, the game promises to usher "in a new breed of action gameplay leaving players fully immersed in the life of the world’s most dangerous spy".

Then there is Left 4 Dead 2 from Valve hitting in November that introduces melee weapons and new enemies to the original’s award-winning gameplay.

Looking into 2010, Shadow Complex from Epic Games, Alan Wake from Remedy/Microsoft Game Studios and “Crackdown 2” from Ruffian Games/Microsoft Game Studios all hope to lure gamers in for the foreseeable future.

Non exclusives confirmed include Final Fantasy XIII, Modern Warfare 2, Tony Hawk: RIDE and The Beatles: Rock Band.