E3 - Microsoft

Not real excited about E3 this year. It just seems like everything's already been announced, you know? The big titles have been out of the box for a while now, and there are trailers and screen shots and interviews. Over the weekend, a lot of stuff was leaked out - oops. What's left to surprise?

Microsoft has the first big conference this morning. Going to do my best to live blog it here. Though there seem to be some time discrepancies between Kotaku (whose live blog I watch to help me keep track of people's names and other things I don't immediately know or recognize; I learn a little more every year) and G4 (which will be airing the conferences). So we'll see. Borrowing my boy's computer for this, as it's a laptop, and instead of looking back and forth between the TV waaaaay over there and my computer waaaaay over here, I can just plop comfortably on the couch and save some neck movements or something. Anyway it just makes it simpler. Except that his computer seems to have an aversion to Firefox,which is annoying, because I hate Internet Explorer.

I do have a review for Paradise Kiss about halfway written, but I'll put off posting it until after the E3 mess, or I'm afraid it would get lost in the midst of everything else.

Alright, got the time stuff figured out. Everything is good to go. Just going to have to get used to typing on a different keyboard here. Shouldn’t take too long. Watching G4 crap. Morgan, Adam and Kevin. I can’t stand any of them, to be honest. Especially Kevin. I respect Adam as a person, because he’s got good opinions, and is likely the only thing keeping G4 afloat with any dignity (though there’s not much left), but I don’t care to watch him. He’s so freakin’ WIRED; if you watch their coverage you’ll see what I mean. As the week plays out and he gets more exhausted, he pumps more caffeine, and it’s just insane.

Holy crap that’s a LOT of green. I wish I could punch Kevin in the face. GET OFF MY TV. Maybe one of these years I’ll actually get to go TO E3, instead of having to listen to these ‘tards. If there’s still an E3. As usual, there are already cries of “This is their last year to prove themselves,” “this will be strike 3 if it doesn’t work,” etc. Gonna read some Fruits Basket while G4 peeps go on and on about Gears and Halo (don’t care, hated Gears).

Oh, they mentioned something that bugs me, and that I share the same opinion on. Paying for wallpapers. I refuse to do so, especially since there are no previews, so you can’t see what the hell you’re buying. Oh and PS – avatars still suck. Saw something recently where they showed the previous designs Rare had come up with, and every single one of them was LOADS better than what we ended up with.

Here we go. Kotaku’s live blog isn’t working properly for me I don’t think. Herm…
Opening crap – Beatles Rockband (really pretty looking video actually, it’s the opening cinematic). Now they’re gonna talk about it. Game will be simultaneously released with the re-release of 14 remastered Beatles albums. Now there’s a big group onstage playing the game (3 singers, 2 guitars, drums, but I don’t think they vocals are being used in the game). And they got people who actually know how to play the damn game; that’s good.

OH SHI glasses place just called and they’re ready! Gonna have to wait…um…a while to pick them up. MS conf is 2 hours, lol. They weren’t supposed to be in until Wed; they’re early.

Well that was exciting! Good way to launch the conference. Ok, I have no idea who these people are that keep talking. But they’re still going on about the Beatles. Ah, some of my fave songs being showcased here (they could fill a single CD, so there aren’t many). Game looks good. Full album downloads (starting with Abbey Road, wow). My boy is a big Beatles fan; maybe we’ll snag this at some point. Proceeds for All You Need is Love DLC will go to a charity (360 exclusive). Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison? ….they just came out, waved, and went away, lol. What was the point of that? Paul and Ringo! Seriously??? Wow. Oh and THEY got mics, lol, they get to talk. Praising the game Ringo: “the game is good, the graphics are good, and we were great.” And they’re gone. :(

VP John Schappert. Oh it was Doctors Without Borders (not sure what that is, charity). Yes, I want to have fun and enjoy tv, movies and music. Showing not telling (yay no charts and graphs!). 10 world premiere games, never before seen (haha I bet, we’ll see). LET’S GO. Tony Hawk here. Uh, this is far from new. Showing off the new skateboard controller for his game, Tony Hawk Ride. Boy I hope that thing works right or it will be a financial disaster. Video of real people skateboarding, and then playing the game.

Trailer for Infinity Ward game Modern Warfare 2. Good looking game, not a lot of gameplay shown. Comes out in November. Jason West and Vince Zampella for MW2; demoing the game. Oh sweet, guy is climbing an icy cliff with uh...whatever those things are called…ice pick climbing gear things. Some shooting now. Good environments; snow is blowing around making visibility difficult, but the gun has a radar screen on it, useful. Scene jump again – big shootout at an airbase. Pretty realistic as far as physics, etc, go.

Takasi and Toriyama from Square for FFXIII. Stage went from green to blue with lights lol. Some FF history. 20 years since the first FF was released and saved Square’s ass. Did he just call it xbox-san? Cute. Trailer in English – looks good. Some gameplay footage. Ooo that’s pretty. Moves along pretty quickly. Talking about attack menu, multiple ATB bars. SUMMON, bad ass, Odin. Spring 2010 (geezes).

John again. Introducing…360 exclusives. Epic Games, Donald and Cliff. Newly resurrected E3 he says (Cliff) – one can hope. Donald’s mic is cutting out (so he’s just gonna yell now). Shadow Complex. Don is demoing the game. 10 hour long campaign (this is an Arcade title I think). “Gotta love live demos” someone shouts out as the character glitches and walks on air. This summer.

John again. New way to play on Live. Joy Ride from Big Park (?). Avatar oriented game on the Arcade. Some kind of racing game. Free to DL, free to play (but you pay out the ass for cars, maps, etc, DLC haha). Winter.
New chapters of favorite franchises…Halo? Nope, Crackdown 2. Nice graphics. Good setup.

Another trailer, this one’s for something with nasty looking zombies. And head explosions. Lol “If we run out of bullets, they gonna wish we hadn’t.” Left 4 Dead 2. November.

Ubisoft: Fischer is…oh Sam Fischer. This is uh, Splinter Cell Conviction. Looks nice, great graphics. OOOOO haha he owned them.
Max and Alex (creator, producer)…they’re French so Ubisoft. Here to talk about SCC and play the demo. “Sam has changed, and this time he’s on a personal mission.” Sam is beating up, I mean gently questioning, some guy in a bathroom. Gameplay, environments, looking good. Sam shoots out a light, then a guy’s head. Now he’s hanging outside on a window ledge and shooting guys inside a room. Good targeting system. “Now that we’ve seen how powerful Sam is in stealth, let’s see what happens when he charges through the door.” He kicks some ass is what happens. Big fire fight, lots of explosions, he maneuvers around the ledge on the outside of the building. Fight cuts right into a cut scene, seamlessly. Fall exclusive on 360.

John’s back. “The platform for the hottest games.” Racing games apparently. Zzzzzzz…. Forza Motorsport 3, from Turn Ten, in October. SHORT trailer, and now Dan from Turn Ten to talk and demo and show off a real car. Where’s my Furuba book…. They’re showing off the car paint system in the game. People talking about their love for cars. It looks good…I guess? I don’t pay attention to racing games.

Joe (Koe?) Staten from Bungie. Halo ODST. Beautiful. They’re dropping, a Covenent ship warps, there’s a big explosion, and they crash. New Mombasa, weeks before the start of Halo 3 (so it takes place between 2 and 3). ODST members have access to equipment Spartans don’t? Haha, poor Master Chief. Anyway he’s demoing some gameplay. Looks like Halo (meaning like it’s supposed to). Lowlight vision visor. Very good looking game. Game flashes back to other ODST guys, where you fight as them, to piece together the clues of the story. Short of it is, if you like Halo, you’ll like some more Halo. September 22, 2009.

OH OH. Another team at Bungie has been up to something secret (Halo Reach?). “From the beginning, you know the end.” LOTS of explosions on a planet seen from space. Yep it’s a trailer for Halo Reach (secret already blown over the weekend). Fall 2010. When you buy Halo 3 ODST you get an invite to the Reach multiplayer beta. Not that there’s anything wrong with Halo, but will Bungie ever do something else? Ever again?

Sam Lake. All in game footage for…Alan Wake. Wow that’s a beautiful aerial shot. Alan is researching/writing a book, and I guess ends up right in the middle of a bunch of shit. Unfortunately I know little about this one, so I can’t really comment on what’s going on in the footage. It looks really creepy though. Good character movement (he reacts well to various effects). Alan lights a flare torch and the graphic rocks. He goes into a house and it collapses off a cliff. To be continued. WOW looks amazing. Spring 2010.

Innovation for Live (John again). Music coming to Live. With Last.fm. Whatever that is (don’t listen to the radio, or internet radio, or whatever). Live Gold (like Netflix) for free. Netflix – queue straight from your Xbox (nice). Sky TV partnering with Live for the UK and Ireland (since they can’t do Netflix). Zune video (to help quality (1080p), speed, and world wide availability). No discs, no downloads (video marketplace). 10 new countries are being added to the service. One more new feature – OH. So we can finally watch Netflix with friends over Live now? Uh…they didn’t really specify.
Felicia Day to talk about Facebook integration. She’s from The Guild and Dr. Horrible, fyi. Can combine facebook friends and Live friends together; uses Live avatars. Photo albums. Status updates (oh, joy). Facebook Connect. Post screens, texts in real time to Facebook. In addition to FB…Live and Twitter (oh geez). Don’t care about any of this personally, but it’s nice to see a girl up there. Fall.

Holy shit, I’ve got 4 pages, sorry guys. It’s not over yet either.

Senior VP Don Mattrick. What blockbuster are we missing? I don’t know Don, what? Oh, it’s Kojima (MGS). MGS coming to 360 (that’s what their agonizing, slow PR drip was about I guess). MGS Rising. OH it’s NOT Solid Snake Kojima says. “But Don, I didn’t say anything about Solid Snake.” 3 second trailer with a shot of Raiden’s face (not much of a reveal since it was on their site).

Don is talking about Live. Motion Control. Oh, with the camera? “Can we make YOU the controller?” A guy is playing a fighting game by moving around, and now a racing game with hands held like a wheel. Yeah, we knew about this already, but it looks interesting. Some guy scanned his real skateboard in and is now using its image in the game. Facial recognition (the game logged her in when she walked in front). Video chat. Voice recognition. Impressive. Scrolling through the movie list with their hands (wow). Woman says “goodnight” and the thing turns itself off. Project Natal. Will work with every 360 past and future (well I sure fucking hope so). It’s a kind of sensor bar that plugs into the console.

Steven Speilberg (wow this is some celeb line up they’ve got going on; hard to follow MS). Talking interactive entertainment. He is excited about Natal. “It’s not about reinventing the wheel, it’s about no wheel at all.” How much of this stuff is real? How much of this stuff is LEFT is what I want to know.

Kudo Tsunoda. He’s demoing Natal. Moving his avatar around with his body. A girl is leaping around the stage kicking a ball around to hit some bricks. Well beyond the movement required by a Wii game. You have to get up and MOVE. This is amazing stuff, really. Alright this is all more of the same. A guy is splatter painting by calling out the color he wants, then throwing the paint on with his body. Use your body to make a stencil shadow pose. This is very “stuff for kids” right now, but it has amazing potential.

Peter Molyneux (yay!). Says the controller is a huge barrier for creation and interaction. A boy named Milo within the system is interacting with a real person. Talking, emoting, moving. Freakin SWEET man. He’s totally reacting to what she’s saying and how she says it. He gives her some goggles and she moves to pick them up. This is really amazing. She draws a picture, hands it to him, and now it’s in his hand in the game. She’s leaving, and he tells her not to forget her mom’s birthday (suggests a level of inputs from the player).

And that’s it. Gonna go pick up my new glasses before EA and Ubi.

Check back again as I add in trailer links between conferences.


Stier said...

Too much info processing @_@


Ok, done

Really impressive E3 report =3, like always. This will be a good year to have a XBox 360

Kris said...

It really is! There's so many games I'm looking forward to. Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 2, Alpha Protocol, FFXIII, the Kingdom Hearts DS game, the Miles Edgeworth DS game, Dragon Age Origins, Star Wars the Old Republic MMO, Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon n(Wii), Resonance of Fate.... So exciting!

unit-1978 said...

Once again the Wii fails to impress...

I think the PS3 will finally start getting some good games.

As for the 360 as Stier said...so many games and not enough time to play them all. Microsoft is kicking ass

Jax said...

Natal might be the most exciting and most frighting thing I have ever seen...