Tuesday, June 15, 2010

E3 2010: Microsoft Keynote Press Conference

At last, this year's installment of the Electronic Entertainment Expo has begun, and I couldn't be more excited about it. I'm fresh off listening and watching the first chapter of the 3 day major event via game sites like Kotaku covering the event, and I think a lot of people would agree on me that if you truly adore all things gaming, you need to pay attention to this in every detail. No excuses.

Starting things off was none other than Microsoft, developer of Windows and the Xbox 360 gaming console. In their Keynote presentation, they introduced the audience to a slew of beautiful game trailers, beginning with Activision's latest entry to their highly successful COD series, Call Of Duty: Black Ops. If any of you enjoyed playing the Modern Warfare games, this one is definitely up your ally, and will feature more covert operations and missions that are strictly off the record and have plausible deniability written all over it. After the gameplay demonstration, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima went into the stage and showcased his new trailer for Metal Gear Rising - a game he's producing and which features MGS2's lead Raiden as the main character, garbed in his Cyborg Ninja suit in MGS4 and cutting his opponents up like watermelons (There's a big emphasis on "Cut" and Watermelons, so when the trailer's officially out online, go and see it). More shooter madness came about with the trailers for Gears Of War III and Halo:Reach, and they're much anticipated titles by the 360 crowd, especially Reach, whom fans literally went apeshit over after seeing the gameplay trailer with their own eyes. Couple those with the debut trailer for Fable III, and you've got one heck of a line up coming for Xboc 360. Looking forward to it.

Next up, Microsoft showcased their long awaited motion control device - the Kinect. Originally known as "Project Natal", it was given a new name just a day ago, and everyone was anticipating its appearance in E3. MS lived up to their promise and demonstrated the new peripheral and its capabilities, which included full motion sensor range and activity through a plethora of games and titles like racing and sports. Speaking about sports, MS and ESPN made a deal together to deliver exclusive programming and content to Xbox Live, further expanding the online service's content and activities for its audience. Focus was still on the Kinect however, and plenty of Wii-like games were being promoted, from sports to exercises, where the player fully interacted with the game itself. The Kinect wasn't limited to that alone though, as there was another program introduced where a little girl came up on stage and used the peripheral to play and interact with a baby tiger... yes, a "baby tiger". It was cute and fun, but I could see how this product was aimed at attracting the kids and casual audiences. However, that's not to say that there's no fun to be found here... quite the opposite. There's a new dance game by Harmonix, the makers of Rock Band, coming out called Dance Central, and it's absolutely fascinating to think of the songs you could move to with this game. Not only that, Your Shape takes physical fitness exercises to a whole new level, and Lucas Arts has just started developing a new Star Wars game with the Kinect in mind, showing a Clone Wars like gameplay trailer that's just full of possibilities to explore. With Voice and Motion Control also possible through it, I don't think the Kinect is a bad thing at all, and it may just make the 360 experience even more interesting when it gets released on November 4 with 15 launch titles.

Finally, after all the trailers and demonstrations, we came to the final and key moment in this press conference - the unveiling of a new Xbox 360 model. The redesign is slimmer and clad in black, and features built in wifi and a 250 gb Hard Disk Drive. Pretty neat unit, and it goes on sale immediately, priced at the same $299 price tag as its predecessors. Not a bad presentation and end to Microsoft's Keynote. Now, I'm looking forward to Nintendo and Sony. Be sure to watch out for more feedback soon. In the meantime, check out the gamesites like Kotaku and 1up for more fantastic E3 coverage!

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