- You'd expect Microsoft to be leading the way on Xbox 360 online features with its first-party titles, but a new feature on Forza Motorsport 2's official website has really impressed me with its explanation of the online auction house they're putting into the obviously Gran Turismo-competing car racing title for Xbox 360.

It involves competitive bidding and countdowns to auction ends, much like eBay, and looks like you will be able to monitor auctions online from the Forza auctions page, too - they explain: "The cool thing is that browsing these auctions once the game goes live is like going to a virtual car show -- each one of these cars will likely have been modified, tuned, painted, and otherwise customized in some fashion. No two cars will be alike -- unless the seller was just totally lazy, but even then, you can check out a car's extensive history, just like you would when you buy a used car with Carfax."

Also interesting: "We also allow players to lock their livery designs and paintjobs to their cars. This prevents someone from buying a car with a hot paint job only to turn around and copy/paste it to mass produce an army of cars with that same paint job. We believe that your paint designs are your intellectual property and you should have the option of protecting that creation." So there's very much going to be a market for the hottest designers to break out, like clothing in Second Life. This sounds genuinely exciting to me. [Via QT3.]