Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference Summary
Microsoft seems to have a theme of trimming down this year. Their E3 2010 Press Conference was fairly short, lasting only 90 minutes. The entire event was fairly sweet and simple. There were less talk and more walk, as Microsoft did not do as much bragging and did more to demonstrate and show what they have been working on for the past year.
Even though there was a big event just for the Kinect over the weekend, Microsoft's press conference still focused mostly on their new hardware. The official launch date was announced to be November 4th, which 15 games available for Kinect right off the bat. There was still no price mentioned, however.
Many games were demoed for Kinect. Most likely, most of these will be among the games available at launch in November this year. Kinect Sport is very similar to Wii Sports and includes Bowling, Track and Field, Soccer, Javelin, Long Jump, Table Tennis, Boxing, and Beach Volleyball. Multiplayer is pretty neat, as split screen will automatically pop up when another person stands next to you in front of the screen.
Kinectimal, as mentioned yesterday, is a game where you can interact with all sorts of cats, including the really big ones like Lions and Tigers. In Kinectimals, you can pet, play and train the cats and they will respond to you personally, as Kinect's cameras can recognize different people based on their face.
Dance Central, also mentioned yesterday, is similar to Dance Dance Revolution and it was said that the game will teach you to dance. A few new games were brought up, including Your Shape, a fitness game, and a Forza racing game where you use your hands to steer the wheel and can turn your head to look around. Joyride and a Star Wars lightsaber game was also mentioned, but last year's Milo was no where to be seen.
Kinect also has a lot of cool non-gaming features, such as Video Kinect, which will let you do video chat with people on Windows Live Messenger. You can also control video and music (fast forward, pause, play) using hand movements or voice commands.
The XBox 360 home console has evolved and taken on a shiny and smaller appearance. Microsoft announced that they will start selling the XBox slim almost immediately (this month!) and the price will be $299. The new XBox is just a new version of the XBox 360 and plays all 360 games. It has a 250 GB hard drive and a wireless adapter. However, Microsoft also announced that they will no longer make any other kind of XBox console. That means that when all the larger XBox 360 consoles are sold out from stores, they will be gone forever.
XBox Live Suite
XBox Live gold members will get a nice bonus for their subscription this year. Microsoft announced during the press conference that an ESPN service will be added to the Xbox live suite and gold members will be able to watch more than 3500 live and on-demand sporting events, many broadcasted in HD. Included are NBA, MLB, college football, soccer, and college basketball. Combined with the Kinect, you can expect yourself to be saying "Xbox, replay" quite a bit! There was also a very brief mention of Xbox live coming to the Windows Phone 7, but almost no detail was provided.
There were no big surprises in terms of game announcements this year, as most of the games shown were already known. Call of Duty: Black Ops was shown and Microsoft announced a nice surprise for their players: all downloadable content for Call of Duty will always be released for XBox players first before appearing for PlayStation players.
Metal Gear Solid Rising was also detailed. The game will focus on Raiden and be mostly a sword fighting action game. Kinect can be used to play the game and players can move their hands like they are holding a sword and swing however they want when fighting enemies.
Another highly anticipated game, Halo: Reach, showed basically nothing new. However, a brief space fight promised the possibility of combat in outer space. Fable 3 got a release date, october 26. And Gears of War 3 showed off its Four player campaign co-op mode. From what can be seen in the demo, players might be able to use female characters in the upcoming sequel.
Tomorrow: Nintendo's E3 2010 Press Conference
Overall, Microsoft's press conference was fairly low-key. Be sure to check back tomorrow for our coverage on Nintendo's Press conference!