Microsoft will release a sequel to blockbuster Gears of War video game in November the company said today, giving it another key title to battle against rivals Nintendo and Sony.

Gears of War 2 would be released for Microsoft's Xbox 360 in time for the year-end holiday shopping season, Cliff Bleszinski, lead game designer for Gears creator Epic Games, told the Game Developers Conference.

Gears 2 is going to be bigger, better and far more badass than the first one, he said.

The original Gears was released in November 2006 and went on to sell 3 million copies in its first 10 weeks, and boosted sales of Xbox 360 hardware.

The game runs on the critical acclaimed Unreal graphics and physics engine created by Epic. Tim Sweeney, lead developer for Epic said that the new game will boast better realism.

We've done significant work on the character pipeline, he said. There's much greater contrast in the shadows, much greater specular lighting...much more detail on the character overall.

The company said its new title will now support certain Ageia physics elements to make player interaction with the environment more belivable, and also holds the potential for destructible environments.

The Game Developers Conference is expected to attract over 16,000 game e developers will run up to Feb. 22.