The first press conference of this year's convention was the Xbox 360 media briefing, which kicked things off amazingly with a preview of the Beatles: Rock Band.
They (...the inevitable they...) showed the opening cinematic of the game, which is like some amazing psychedelic anime that changes as the music moves through the band's creative periods. I immediately found this to be an absolutely perfect accompaniment to the music.
I grew up on the Beatles, and am really excited about this game, which will be released on September 9th alongside re-mastered versions of their entire musical catalogue.
The game itself seems like it will be a ton of fun. The 60's era peripherals look awesomely vintage. It also introduces vocal harmonies, which I'm particularly interested in.
The game will ship with 45 songs, but entire albums will be available for download shortly after its release. 10 of songs include:
- I Saw Her Standing There
- I Want to Hold Your Hand
- I Feel Fine
- Day Tripper
- I Am the Walrus
- Back in the U.S.S.R.
- Octopus's Garden
- Here Comes the Sun
- Get Back
I couldn't help but to smile when they marched out Danny Harrison (George's son), Olivia Harrison, and Yoko Ono-Lennon. Then out come Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. They engaged in some humorous banter about technology about which they know little. Easily forgivable: they're the freaking Beatles!
I'm not pumped about the exclusive song, but apparently that's how the business works.
Next up, Tony Hawk came out to show off Tony Hawk: Ride and the new peripheral. I stopped playing Tony Hawk games years ago when Neversoft kept making the same game over and over again. However, if this new game and peripheral are good, I can see myself getting into this.
Then they showed the new Modern Warfare 2 trailer. This game looks great and is on track for a November 10th release! The graphics look awesome, and snow storm setting of the level they previewed looks hella-fun. I'd be willing to bet that Modern Warfare 2 is going to live up to legacy of Call of Duty 4.
Gosh dangit! I'm trying to quit this frustrating multiplayer shooter (see below), but I might have to play though the single player.
Then Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama from Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII team come out with a translator to talk about their upcoming game. Yep, its still coming to Xbox 360. They showed off some brand new game footage running on the 360 (including a summon... OMG!!!), and it looks pretty good. To top it off, Kitase-san drops a bit of information that piqued my interest: Final Fantasy XIII will be released in spring of 2010, well ahead of the assumed winter 2010. That means that by this time next year, FFXIII will be sitting comfortably in my untamed backlog.
After that Alex announces that the rest of the games that they feature will be Xbox 360 exclusives. And since I don't have one, I can't be excited about the games.
Shadow Complex reminds me a lot of the old Metroid games, which generally frustrated me. The art-style seems kind of boring. Look for it on Xbox Live sometime in the summer.
Joy Ride looks like a kart-racer type thing that uses your Xbox 360 avatar. The game will be free, but will feature stuff that you can buy (cars, upgrades, tracks, etc.). Look for it this winter on Xbox Live.
Crackdown 2 is coming. I heard the first was good, but I never got a chance to play it.
Left 4 Dead 2 is coming to Xbox 360 and PC on November 17. I enjoyed the first Left 4 Dead, so I'll probably check this out when Steam offers it for a great discount.
Ah... Splinter Cell: Conviction, the next game in a franchise I've always wanted to try. The exclusive footage looked really sharp and cinematic. I really liked how all of the objectives and information that you would usually be definitely looks to be worth checking out, but it's exclusive so I can't.
Forza Motorsports 3 is coming in October. It's exclusive to the Xbox 360, which sucks because they say it's the "definitive racing game of this console generation". Sadly, since I only own a PS3, I will be missing out on the best racing game ever!
Halo 3: ODST looks like a really competent shooter, but I've only ever played the first Halo. It looks good. Get it September 22.
Hot on the heels of that preview, Bungie announced Halo: Reach for 2010.
Alan Wake looks like an episodic mystery thriller game. The in-game footage looked pretty intense. It seemed a little like Resident Evil 4 (if they added backwards walking...hurray) with some cool mystical light weapons. Look for it this spring 2010.
Alex then announced a partnership with last.fm and some increased Netflix functionality. In the fall, the Xbox 360 will feature some cool high-definition video stuff, including some instant 1080p video and the ability to watch videos with friends in some kind of a virtual theater.
Then they brought out Felicia Day (don't feel bad, I don't know who she is either) to introduce the facebook integration that is coming to Xbox 360. This actually makes me a little jealous of you Xbox 360 owners. Now you guys can stalk your friends so much more conveniently.
Oh, wait... there's more... twitter is coming to Xbox 360.
Then they brought out Don Matric, a Microsoft big-wig, who is immediately surprised (complete with an exclamation point) by Hideo Kojima. He announced Metal Gear Solid: Rising. It's going to feature Raiden as a (pardon my language) total badass. As a huuuge MGS fan, I'm really pumped about this.
By the time I caught my breath, Don was hyping some futuristic camera-based motion control system that recognizes your face, voice, and body movements. It's codenamed Project Natal.
After that, Steven Spielberg came out to talk about how many people don't enjoy videogames because they didn't grow up with controllers. He related the evolution of the movie industry to Project Natal.
The creative director of Natal demoed some pretty interesting tech demo that was combined the physicality of dodge-ball with a breakout game as well as a painting program.
Then, out came Peter Molyneux deliver the final evangelical words about Project Natal and show a video of a girl interacting with a virtual boy named Milo.
And with that Don Matric concluded! That was long, wasn't it?