This is always my favorite press conference as the only console I own is an XBox 360. I never did feel that PS3 had enough titles to justify its cost. And XBox at E3 always blows me away. I’ll have to admit that everything Microsoft announced this year had been previously leaked or rumored, so there were no big announcements or surprises. That always disappoints me, but there is still some cool stuff coming down the road.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The conference opened up with an actual demo of gameplay for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I’m not a big Call of Duty fan, but it’s a nice looking game. Release date is November 8th of this year.
This is a title I’m truly excited about. The demo was introduced by Daniel Neuberger and Darrell Gallagher of Crystal Dynamics and boy, does the game look good. It’s an origin story about how Lara Croft became the tomb raider we know her to be. The demo showed Lara escaping from an underground temple/tomb and looked pretty amazing. I already love everything about this game. It also seems to have the same feel as the previous games, which is a good thing. There are contraptions, as well as running, jumping and climbing. This time, though, Lara is doing it all in much more sensible clothing. Because really – who climbs mountains in shorts that ride up their butt?
I can’t get excited about sports games, but some were demo’d, including some Kinect titles.
Mass Effect 3
Now we’re talking! Mass Effect 3 looks amazing. We saw some gameplay, but what’s most impressive is that it is now Kinect-enabled. Not only can you use voice to make your choices (by speaking one of the phrases you choose during dialogue), but you can also use voice to direct your fighting companions during tactical situations. If I’m going to buy a Kinect, I’m probably now convinced. It’s not just dance games anymore.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Another title I’m really not interested in, but the Kinect demo blew my mind. We were shown a way to customize weapons via voice and gestures by literally breaking down every component of the weapon to customize it. EVERY component. Right down to the smallest screw. And then we saw a demo of gameplay where the weapon is being fired, controller-free. Yep, Kinect is cool.
Xbox Live Experience
XBox Live will be changing later this year, to allow for more Kinect compatibility. There will also be more games, more movies, more music, more television, more apps and more sharing. You can surf through all of this content with your voice. But wait! There’s more! Bing is coming to XBox. So you can use Bing via voice (or controller) to search for the content you want when you want it.
XBox gets it. THIS is how people want their entertainment. At their fingertips. Bing will search through Netflix, Hulu Plus, Zune, music, games, etc. So no more using the bulky individual searches that each of those apps currently use.
Also, YouTube is coming to XBox Live. It was only a matter of time, but pretty awesome, nonetheless. My XBox has already become the entertainment center of my own little world and I think that others are going to jump on that bandwagon.
XBox Live TV
We’d heard the rumors this was coming and now it’s official. Live television on the XBox. Not a lot of details have been given yet, but I’m assuming Microsoft is working to develop partnerships with networks and/or cable providers. I really want to know more about this. Will it compete with cable? Or work with it? I’d love to see it compete against cable because I think with the right amount of content, it would be game over.
Gears of War 3
Not my sort of game. But the graphics were nice in the trailer and demo. Then, of course, it got awesome because Ice T was brought on stage to play. Seriously, ICE T!!!! This scores Microsoft’s press conference as the best for that alone.
Not a game title I’d heard of previously. But we see a trailer and in it, the player is using Kinect. He’s sword fighting in what seems to be ancient Rome and it looks amazing. Might have to check this one out. This one’s by Crytek.
Fable: The Journey
Wow. Just wow. I posted the rumor about this earlier today, but it was made official at the press conference. We are finally getting a Fable game for Kinect. This is EXACTLY what I had in mind when Kinect was first introduced to us and from the demo I saw, it’s exactly how I envisioned it. During the demo, gameplay is controller-free. And the guy was casting spells with his hands. Like a real freakin’ SORCERER! It was awesome. I will buy a Kinect for this game alone.
Kinect Disneyland Adventures
Another leak on this one this morning surfaced. It seems pretty cool. I have to admit that I want to check it out. DON’T JUDGE ME!
Kinect Star Wars
This one was leaked this morning, too. But it looks absolutely stunning. This is why Kinect will beat out Wii any old day. We saw a demo with both voice and gestures and the lightsabre battling made me squee. But hey, I get goosebumps everytime I hear music from Star Wars.
Sesame Street: Once Upon A Monster
This one’s from Double Fine. Which is odd, but okay. Looks cute. Definitely a kids game.
Kinect Fun Labs
New Kinect tools were demo’d that were created by people just like you and me (except smarter). I didn’t get a full idea of how the labs will work, except that you can use some of the technology, but I’m curious as to if anyone can create some new use for Kinect and get it listed on the labs. It’s available on XBox Live TODAY (note to self: check that out).
Dance Central 2
We get it. Kinect is cool. I don’t have one and I think I need to rectify that situation. However, #2 will have voice control, campaign mode and a redesigned “Break It Down.” All songs from the first game can also be imported into the second. Finally, they were pretty happy to announce simultaneous multi-player dancing.
Yep, knew it was coming. There was previous mention of Halo: Anniversary, but I had to pee at that time and wasn’t interested. But the press conference ended with a trailer for Halo 4. I’m not a Halo fan, but it’s no secret that Microsoft loves its Halo and obviously just can’t let it go. Apparently, this is the first in a new trilogy.
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