Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Microsoft E3 Press Briefing

Wow would be a good word to describe the Xbox showing at the newly re-energized E3. There's been a lot of buzz about '09 being a big year for Sony and it's PS3/PSP, but they're going to have to have one hell of a lineup to top the stuff Microsoft has showed off here.

Here are the top five points that stuck out in my mind:

5) Third party games (multiplatformers too) being treated as Xbox exclusives.

This includes Final Fantasy (which looks awesome), Modern Warfare 2, Rock Band Beatles and one really big one that you'll read about further down the list.

4) Exclusive games

Crackdown 2 looks amazing, Alan Wake looks like it used that extra development time to become a real stunner, Splinter-frickin-Cell Conviction (YESSSSS!!!!), Left 4 Dead 2 -- see where I'm going with this?


3) HALO returns with a double whammy

Halo ODST was shown off and looks really good and really different than H3 thanks to a pseudo-squad mechanic that looks pretty neat. The big bomb though, was Halo: Reach.
Presumably this is based on the novel of the same name and is a prequel to the trilogy. It features the fall of the human military stronghold planet Reach to the Covenant. My best guess is that this is a true squad-based game like Rainbow 6 since the trailer seems to show a team of Spartans integrated into the logo.


Play to your core fans and you will never lose. ODST hits this year but you'll have to wait for Reach, it's not coming out until 2010.

2)Metal Gear Solid (!)

No, not a port of MGS4, a true multiplatform release of the next Gear -- Metal Gear Solid Rising. If you've played MGS4 on the PS3, then you know Hideo Kojima makes with the next-gen awesome.

It's really a gigantic coup for the Xbox team. MGS has always been Sony's darling. Even when the earlier games came to the first Xbox, is was well after they had already dropped on the PS2. Now that they've gone fully multiplatform, there really aren't any marqee titles exclusively on the PS3 other than Sony's own in-house stuff. Which is great stuff but, what are they thinking letting MGS go?


and finally...

1) Project Natal

The full body motion controller/camera/voice recognition system makes it's appearance. Now, I don't like motion controllers. I don't. I like Wii games in spite of the controls, not because of them. I just know that Natal is going to be blown off by a lot of players who consider themselves 'hardcore', but I wish they would give it a chance. Read on and keep an open mind.

That being said, Natal is amazing with a capital 'A'. The camera system picks up movement in three dimensions and is does it well. Watching the demos, I was more and more impressed by each until we met 'Milo'.

Milo is a creation of Fable designer Peter Molyneux. He's a 'real' person that you can interact with, talk to, play games with, etc... It's not so much Milo that impresses me so much (he does, but go with me here...) as it's the sheer amount of possibilities that the imagination conjures up for this incredible piece of tech. Watch the demo, use that imagination that's rattling around up there, you'll see what I mean.


I don't know what kind of controller Sony is going to be showing off, but Natal blows the Wiimote into atoms. Truly next-gen.

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