Monday, June 1, 2009

E3 09: Microsoft Conference

Last year's big focus of Microsoft's E3 Press Conference was the New Xbox Experience. With that mostly out of the way, let's see what we can look forward to in the coming year!

The show opened with an animated trailer for The Beatles: Rock Band, which to me was a better animated representation of The Beatles than Yellow Submarine will ever be. I'm not a big Beatles fan, but that was just awesome in terms of animation.

The Beatles: Rock Band
- Gameplay footage shown
- Instruments used on stage, 3 mics, 2 guitars, and one drummer
- Trailer shown, each song has a different stage, character models, etc.
- Full albums available as DLC
- "All You Need Is Love" Xbox exclusive, proceeds go to charity
- Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the conference

Tony Hawk Ride
- Mr. Hawk showed off final board design (360 version)
- New trailer shown

Modern Warfare 2
- Gameplay shown right away
- Takes place in the snow, at least in the tons of footage shown
- 2 MW2 map packs will come to 360 first

Final Fantasy XIII
- 360 gameplay footage shown
- moves from cut-scene to gameplay seamlessly
- target Spring 2010 release

Shadow Complex
- Epic Games' first XBLA game
- 2.5D shooter, running on Unreal Engine 3
- Campaign over 10 hours long

Joy Ride
- Racing, adventure title that uses Avatars
- Buy cars, tracks, etc.
- Play on friends tracks that they've bought without buying it yourself

Trailers shown:
- Crackdown 2
- Left 4 Dead 2 (360 and PC)

Splinter Cell: Conviction
- Design of game has changed from initial concept
- Gameplay shown
- Objectives shown in realtime as part of the environment
- Releasing in fall, 360 exclusive

Forza Motorsport 3
- October release
- Didn't say "definitive racing game of this generation" enough times
- Impressive in-game car painter

Halo 3: ODST
- Gameplay footage shown
- Starts off weeks before the events of Halo 3
- Play as "The Rookie", separated from your team
- Visor changes (Metroid?)
- Playable flashbacks from the point of views of other ODST members
- Releasing Sept. 22nd

Halo Reach
- Teaser trailer shown
- 2010 release
- Multiplayer Beta invite included with Halo 3: ODST

Alan Wake
- Gameplay finally shown
- No explanation given though, mechanics look weird
- Spring 2010

Xbox Live Features
- coming to Xbox Live (even Gold members!)
- Add to your Netflix queue right from 360
- Sky TV for UK and Ireland, includes live TV
- Video service relaunch as Zune Video, with 1080p available
- Live Party, watch downloaded videos over Xbox Live with friends
- Facebook on Xbox 360, includes Friend Linker for Facebook/Live friends
- Twitter also coming to Xbox Live (Yes, it's everywhere)
- All features coming this Fall

Hideo Kojima showed up... (this can't be good for me)

Metal Gear Solid Rising
- Developement underway for 360 (no mention of exclusivity)
- Teaser trailer shown
- "Lightning Bolt Action" in title instead of "Tactical Espionage Action"
- "Raiden is back"

"Project Natal"
- Camera based motion controls
- Body, face, voice recogonition, no handheld controllers
- Steven Spielberg shares his thoughts
- Some sleezy looking guy comes on stage and demoes the device
- Ball game and painting application shown off
- Peter Molyneux shows off "Milo" an interactive character (it's really awesome)

Conference ends, and for once, I'm overlly impressed with Microsoft. I wonder how Nintendo and Sony will do tomorrow.

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