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Virtual Velocity

Even if you were an international billionaire playboy car collector (and, this being AutoWeek, some of you are), you probably would not own more than 100 or 200 cars. If you could own a racetrack, you probably could not afford more than one. You could not jet around the world on a whim - especially with all those cars - to drive whatever track you were in the mood for at the moment. They tend to book Le Mans far ahead, after all. But as of Oct. 27, anybody with $59.95 can buy Forza Motorsport 3 (FM3) for Xbox 360 and do better than the best international billionaire playboy. Electronically speaking, that is.

FM3 has its strengths and some weaknesses. But it comes out many months before chief rival Gran Turismo 5 hits stores and has the largest collection of highly detailed cars and the most accurately detailed tracks now available on a home gaming console. FM3's developers invited us to Microsoft headquarters outside Seattle to have a look at the finished product, giving us a prism through which to glimpse this huge slice of the entertainment pie.

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