Microsoft started off the biggest gaming event on the planet for this year. The event is sure to bring some nice surprises and Microsoft had a few of their own. While, their conference wasn't bad, it was much to Kinect (Natal) focused. In a way it was a bit disappointing and I thought more exclusive titles would be revealed, but there was nothing really new on offer.
The opening game shown was Call of Duty: Black Ops. The trailer which we've seen before E3 was shown. Followed by actual gameplay, with a cool looking helicopter scene. Hopefully the single player experience is more fun than Modern Warfare 2's lackluster campaign. Microsoft announced an exclusive deal with Activision which gaurantees all Call of Duty downloadble content to be available on Xbox Live first for the next three years.
Hideo Kojima took the stage to show off Metal Gear Rising. It looked excellent, I have to admit. Being able to choose the trajectory of your sword swing in slow-motion to cut up your enemies or even cars in any way you see fit seems like a fun concept indeed. All exclusive were shown after this.
Cliff Bleszinski showed off 4-player co-op in Gears of War 3. Apart from the addition of two extra players in co-op, two female soldiers, new melee moves and some mutating Locust, it looks like more of the same. Hopefully it won't become repetitive as quickly as the second game.
Peter Molyneux showed a trailer of Fable III. Looked good, no ingame footage though.
A live-action trailer with a bloody gladiator was shown. Not much info except the name, Codename: Kingdoms and the Crytek logo at the end. It's piqued my curiosity.
Halo: Reach was shown next. A trailer of the campaign ingame and also included space combat. Looks good, but nothing really new.
Kinect received a lot of conference time. The camera which allows you to control your Xbox with your voice or gestures is a fairly cool idea. The games look extremely casual though. You can watch a movie or video chat using just your voice and hand movements, no controller required.
ESPN is coming to Xbox Live and it's free for gold members. Sports fans will be happy as long as they have a decent connection.
A girl played with a Tiger on screen using Kinect in a game called Kinectimals. Microsoft is definitely trying to gain the children and family market. Kinect Sports, a direct ripoff of Wii Sports was presented, followed by Kinect Adventures which has a whole host of mini games.
The Microsft equivelent of Wii Fit was up next, with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved by Ubisoft. Fitness fanatics will love it, gamers will probably avoid it.
Harmonix showed off a dancing game called Dance Central. The demo was impressive and it looks like a viable way of learning how to dance without the embarrassment of onlookers.
A Star Wars Kinect game trailer which may finally allow you to swing that imaginary light saber and see it on screen. Let's hope it plays as good as it looks.
A Forza type game was shown, again using Kinect, and allows you to drive with an imaginary steering wheel and move the ingame camera view by tilting your head. Interesting, but no substitute for a real steering wheel I say.
Finally, something really cool. A new black slim Xbox 360! It looks to be about 33% smaller and is whisper quiet. It comes with five USB ports. Comes with a 250GB HDD and the latest Wi-Fi built in, all for the same price of the current console at $299. The new power supply will be tiny in comparison to the old. Will be available as soon as next week!
A competent, but slightly lacking display. Hopefully Nintendo and Sony will drop some serious bombshells!