Monday, June 14, 2010

E3 2010 - Day 1: Microsoft Press Conference

While I don't own an Xbox 360, I can recognize good games when I see them. There should be no bias in this short list of the announcements in the Microsoft Media Briefing that took place today. Read on...

The Good:
  • The Microsoft Media Briefing begins with a trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops. I'm immediately impressed by how impressive this series always looks. I'm more interested in this game than I've been in any in the franchise since Call of Duty 4. The game is set to be released on November 9, 2010. The game is about a series of secret missions that never made it into history books, and Treyarch seems to be giving this game the treatment it deserves.
  • Hideo Kojima and Shigenobu Matsuyama show off some footage from Metal Gear Solid: Rising. The sword-based combat in this game looks incredibly entertaining.
  • Fable III is a game that makes me wish I had an Xbox 360. The games in this franchise seem to be getting better and better, and the third game just looks soooo epic.
  • Another seemingly epic Xbox 360 exclusive is something called Codename Kingdoms. The sizzle clip gave no clue as to what this might be. Let's hope it isn't a God of War knock-off.
  • Halo: Reach is another exciting installment in the Halo universe. This game is supposedly Bungie's last game in the series, and Halo: Reach is supposed to be their pièce de résistance. The in-game footage featured in the press conference is the first that I've seen of the game, but I can say that this game represents yet another really great reason to get an Xbox 360.

The Underwhelming:
  • Natal now has a name: Kinect. Kinect promises to transform the way you navigate through the Xbox interface with either your hands or your voice.

    Cool, right?

    Video Kinect allows people to keep in touch through video chat. Hopefully, the conversations that people engage in won't be as unnatural as the one between the girls in the media briefing.

    What about the games?

    The launch titles for the Kinect include: Kinectimals (including 40 of your favorite animals!), Kinect Sports, Kinect Joy Ride, Kinect Adventures, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and Dance Central. The only one of these games that looks remotely compelling is Dance Central. I love to dance, and this game supposedly goes one critical step further than DDR ever did by tracking real full-body dance moves. I'd have a great time with that!

    Kinect launches on November 4th, and 9 more titles will be available for the device by launch.
  • I've never been terribly interested in the Gears of War series, and Gears of War 3 is unlikely to change that. It looks great, but I don't care for the machismo that is epitomized by this game.

The Surprising:
  • A new model Xbox 360 will be available later this week for $299. It's smaller. It's quieter. It's black and shiny. I want one!

That's what I saw. Any thoughts?

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