E3 2010: Microsoft Press Conference

by PocketGoddess on June 14, 2010

Thanks to the live feed over at GameTrailers, I was able to watch the Microsoft press conference. There’s a lot to cover, with several sequels and trailers for hardcore gamers plus a much closer look at the Kinect motion control system. One of the first announcements was that every game,┬ádemo, and experience shown at the conference today is available exclusively on XBox 360.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Gritty and realistic, with heart-pounding drama. Going on bombing runs in a Hind helicopter looks incredibly fun.

Metal Gear Solid Rising: Zen-Datsu looks amazing. Stylish action

Gears of War 3: Life demo of four player story mode co-op is brutal and intense. CliffyB also mentioned that a new Beast mode is going to be unveiled at the show.

Fable 3: Trailer looks interesting, full of adventure and magic.

Halo Reach: The trailer looks great, but I’m not a real Halo fan so I’m probably not as excited as I should be.

Kinect: “It listens to your voice and responds to your gestures.” “Watch a movie without a remote, play a game without a controller.” Kinect Hub showcases all of your favorite things: Facebook, Netflix, etc. “If you can see it, just say it.” The movie/music playing demo makes me want an XBox! Just as the iPod transformed the way I listen to mymusic, Kinect can do the same for everything else in my living room.

Video Kinect: Video calling, and you can watch movies together too. No headsets, no need to adjust the camera when you move, it follows you automatically. “Technology is invisible.”

ESPN: Exclusive partnership with XBox 360. College football, basketball, football, NBA, Major League Baseball. 3500 live and on-demand events in year one, most in HD. Also includes real time polls and trivia, plus score updates from ESPN.com. And I love the voice command that allows you to replay the last play!

Kinect Launch Games:

  • Kinectimals- The on stage demo with the little girl was just adorable! It includes 40 animals and 30 activities.
  • Kinect Sports- Wish I had an audience like that! Includes Soccer, bowling, track and field, ping pong, boxing, volleyball.
  • Kinect Joy Ride- Kart racing reinvented, includes stunt mode. Looks like a lot of fun!
  • Kinect Adventures- Not sure how to describe it, except as an amusement park that you control. Looks like a good party game; it takes pictures while you’re playing, and there are many different adventures to play through with family and friends.
  • Your Shape Fitness Evolved- What Wii Sports should have been. ┬áScans your body, takes measurements, and has everything from personal training to gym games.
  • Harmonix Dance Central- Fabulous for parties. 600 moves, 90 routines, and the lead developer promises that even folks with two left feet (like me!) will be able to learn the moves and have fun.

Also coming in 2011 a Star Wars game from LucasArts, and a new Forza. I wasn’t able to read all the titles on the presentation, but it looks like there will be a new Sonic game plus a Biggest Loser fitness title and an Active game from EA.

The new XBox 360 hardware was announced at $299, it includes an internal 250GB hard drive and is Kinect ready, meaning that you will not have to have a separate power supply for the Kinect sensor. Kinect will also work with every XBox 360 already in service, but will require a power supply when used with older consoles. Kinect pricing has not yet been announced, but Microsoft did say that it will be available separately and as part of a bundle with the new XBox hardware this holiday season.

Conclusion

I wasn’t really all that excited by the Natal demo during Microsoft’s press conference at last year’s E3, but Kinect looks like a fully evolved product that is ready for the marketplace. It has something for everyone, and honestly has me considering an XBox for the first time. I think Microsoft did a great job this year, and am looking forward to learning more about Kinect and the controller- and remote control-free living room they envision for the future.

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