For some, Scottish speedster Colin McRae has become synonymous with the automotive art of guiding a howling hunk of metal over bumpy roads, horrifying hairpins and, when things go wrong, oddly exposed cliffs. This is partially because he's an expert Rally driver, and partially because his name is plastered across Codemasters' excellent series of serious sims -- Colin McRae Rally. Though the games have always had a larger following in Europe (they got a PSP version, you know), the man's popularity in the US has never been called into more question than with a press release announcing his next-gen debut.
Though the document promises all the usual technological trickery, such as exquisitely detailed tracks and realistic physics, it's the minor note regarding the title that proves to be the most telling.
NOTES: Game titled "Colin McRae: DIRT™" in PAL territories. In the U.S.A, the game is titled "DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road™".
Naturally, this minor marketing maneuver ensures success in both territories. Europeans will spot Colin's name on a shelf and exclaim, "Hey, it's Colin McRae! I like him and / or the previous games in that series! I'll buy it!" whereas Americans will be greeted by familiarity. "Hey, it's dirt! I know what that is AND I know it's awesome! I'll buy it!" Being bested by dirt and its appealing gaming possibilities in your own franchise can't be a massive self-esteem boost, but it's certainly preferable to people mistaking you for some sort of pornography enthusiast.
DIRT: Colin McRae Off-Road hits the PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and mobile phones in 2007.
Colin McRae: DIRT
Read - Press Release
Read - Screenshots (possibly "target renders" since they're so purdy)