Liveblog: Microsoft E3 2010 Media Briefing

Liveblog: Microsoft E3 2010 Media Briefing

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Think Microsoft will mention Kinect at today's media briefing? Hang out for our liveblog and find out!

Some of the dancers from last night's Project Natal - I mean Kinect - event were out in the lobby of the Wiltern Theater, where the Media Briefing is taking place, and they're amazingly elegant. Can we say the same for Kinect? Possibly.

10:10 - So far, all we're doing is sitting and waiting, looking at couches. If you ever think you want to be a game journalist,just remember - you spend a lot of time waiting for things to happen. Sometimes there are couches. Sometimes not.

10:15 - That was sarcasm about whether or not Microsoft would be mentioning Kinect, by the way. But there were also signs warning us of Mature content in the briefing, so perhaps we'll find out just how good it is at capturing motion, wink wink.

10:20 - An announcement very politely asked us to avoid blocking the aisles, or there will be consequences. I may be making the consequences part up.

10:25 - Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats!The briefing will begin...in five minutes. Go get a sammich, I'll meet you back here.

10:30 - Ready, kids? Here we go!

Video is starting. "A lie is a lie," says a grizzled soldier. Men in combat fatigues, we switch to first person to rappel in through a window. "We live in a world where everything you know is wrong." Ah, the Treyarch logo. Call of Duty Black Ops, 11.9.10. Yeah, looks pretty badass. And here comes Mark Lamia, Treyarch's studio head, to tell us more about the game.

Game demo. We're crawling through a low tunnel, past body parts and tree roots. Ho, snap, enemy jumped out and knifed our pointman in the neck. Now "in the interest of time," we're jumping to a new location in the game. Out in the jungle, overlooking a helicopter. Let's cause some mayhem. Grenade launcher? Always a good choice.

We've successfully stolen the copter. (One might say we got to the choppa, in fact.) Time for a little death from above. Flying over the river, we blow the crap out of a bridge, then use some pyrotechnics to do a little home improvement on the enemy base. Aw, they're shooting at us from the shoreline. How cute. Kaboom.

A few more bridges go up in clouds of smoke as we fly low over the landscape. If you've ever had a jones for helicopters and things that go boom, you're probably going to want to keep your eye on this.

Don Matrick, senior vp for Microsoft comes on stage. He looks like he's 12. Seriously, is he old enough to drive?

He announces that game add ons and map packs for Call of Duty will launch first on box 360 for the next three years.

10:41 - Aaaaand here comes Hideo Kojima. He's premiering the very first footage of Rising. He's passing the torch, he says, to Shigenobu Matsuyama, his young producer. Rising is an action game unlike anything you've said before, says Matsuyama.

It's a philosophy called Zan-Datsu. Zan means to cut, Datsu means to take. We're going to find out how htat concept relates to Rising now.

The cutting? That's as in "your enemy in half." The taking? His spine. Holy crap - the tagline is "cut at will," and they mean it. Cars, people, watermelons, buildings - if you want to cut it, you can, and at whatever angle suits your mood. The crowd erupts into applause and hoots of glee. We're a sick bunch, aren't we?

10:47 - Phil Spencer comes out to introduce CliffyB, who's here to talk about..oh, come on, like you don't know? He's going to demo four player storybased gameplay. Ooo, we're going to see mutating enemies and the female Gears.

It's four player action, but the main screen shows Marcus' perspective, of course. Some big tentacle thing just hatched some other tentacletastic Locust. Marcus and team continue forward from chest high wall to chest high wall. Ah, here's a female gear, chainsawing a locust into pieces. She's totally Vasquez from Aliens. I love Vasquez.

Dear Epic - thank you for making the female gears look like soldiers and not whores.

A Lambent Berserker just threw a car at Marcus and friends. Its huge, has tentacles, and charges like a rhino. Just a taste today, I'm afraid, but they'll be unveiling a new game mode called Beast this week.

10:54 - Peter Molyneux is next, to give us a look a Fable 3. "Albion needs nothing less than a revolution," says the announcer over the video. "The quest to save Albion begins." The tale of two brothers battling over a kingdom looks absolutely beautiful, and features what you've come to expect - magic, action, and a dog.

10:57 - Microsoft is announcing its newest partner. We're watching a trailer very reminiscent of 300, called
Codename Kingdoms. Um, ok.

Bungie's Marcus Letho is here to tell us more about Halo Reach. Let's look at some gameplay footage, shall we? Yes, let's!

It looks gorgeous. It looks like wicked fun. It looks...well, let's be honest, it looks like a modern Halo game, and you likely already know if that means you want to play it or not.

11:04 - Mark Whitten is here to talk about Xbox Live now. The Xbox Life community has 25 million members, only half of which are foul mouthed children. (Kiiiiddddinnnnng.) Kinect is a revolution for all of your content, not just games, he says. Imagine finding content on your tv is so simple "everyone can do it." To sign in, just wave, and Kinect recognizes you. Once you've signed in, just wave again, and Kinect takes you to a controller free menu, the Kinect hub, which has stuff like Netflix, Zune, facebok, and Last.fm.

If you don't want to use your hands, you can just say "Zune" to get to the section you want. To use Kinect to operate your movies, just move your hand left and right - or again, just use your voice. Say "Xbox pause" or "Xbox play" to work the movie. "Xbox, play music!" Oh, but not Justin Bieber, please. Shuffle through your playlist by waving your hand around.

Impressive, but what happens if you're having a conversation with someone and you gesture a lot? Will your music shuffle?

11:11 - Video Kinect allows you to chat with friends without a headset. You can talk with friends on Xbox Live or Messenger. We're watching a demo now of the Live Chat. By selecting one of the options at the bottom - news, sports, tv, movies, and music - and you can watch them together with whoever you're chatting with. The sound is a little tinny, but what's more interesting is that Kinect tracks you as you move around. So if you lean to the side, the camera follows you to keep you in the shot. Just say "Xbox, end chat" to shut the chat down. If the voice command actually does work that well, then yes, it seems like anyone could use it.

ESPN has signed an exclusive agreement with Xbox Live to bring more than 3,500 live sporting events to the service. (Also, Trey Wingo is really cute. Just sayin'.) College football, college basketball, soccer, major league baseball and the NBA. Watching a rplay of the USC/Ohio State game, and a menu at the bottom of the screen asks which team you're rooting for: "Xbox - join USC!" If you want to catch part of it again, just "Xbox -replay!" Trivia questions and other interactive elements will pop up. You'll also be able to check live stats and info from a bar at the bottom without leaving the game you're watching.

"ESPN is being redefined on Xbox." Oh, also? It's free to Xbox Live Gold members.

11:26- Kinectimals is the real name of Project Natal Discovery, that tiger baby game I mentioned earlier. Take Nintendogs and replace the stylus with your hands, and you get the basic idea. You can collect more than 40 animals and engage in 30 or so activities like...jumprope.

Kinect Sports is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. Do you feel like running in place and hopping to do the hurdles? Kinect Adventures and Kinect Joy Ride are minigame collections that have some inventive ideas, but mostly just feel like Wii leftovers.

Battery is running low, guys, just fyi.

11:43 - We saw a demo of Your Shape Fitness Evolved, which tracks your skeleton to help you maintain proper form. Now we're checking out Dance Central, which will turn you into a backup dancer in no time flat. Also, watching geeky developers bustin' moves is just plain adorable.

Kinect will launch in North America on November 4th, with 15 launch titles. Remember that Star Wars game I mentioned? It's coming in 2011. Do. Want.

Keep track of our E3 2010 coverage here.

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I always giggle with the mission statements from MS. Although I am sure Kinect will feature heavilly in any of there profitability studies!

Jaredin:
I always giggle with the mission statements from MS. Although I am sure Kinect will feature heavilly in any of there profitability studies!

Glad I'm not the only one :P

I will not get excited about Fable 3...
I will not get excited about Fable 3...
I will not get excited about Fable 3...
ahhh...screw it! YAY!

Thanks for these updates. Just managed to tune in to the live stream and I remember why the only Keynote speech I watched last year was Nintendo's. Will just stay with the text this time.

Susan, Please let me know if they announce Last.fm on XBL for canada!

Edit: Oh, yay, a bunch of sports I couldn't care less about on a network I'm not even sure is licenced to broadcast in my country, via a service I'm sure will be region-locked to the US.

-m

Watching on http://www.gametrailers.com/e3/livefeed/microsoft

"Anyone can access"

"Connect with your friends"

"Sports..."

Err... Microsoft does realise they are selling to GAMERS here?

Ok, Kinect Adventures (the jumping on sliding platform one) does look like fun and if it is considered a workout then sign me up.

But what the hell with the low graphics quality? Barely much better than Wii.

Treblaine:
Err... Microsoft does realise they are selling to GAMERS here?

The thing is they arn't. The point of Natal (I will call it by its new name when they learn to spell) is to get the Wii players to come to Microsoft and so they are trying to convince those in the audience that arn't gamers that its worth it. Remember, it wouldn't just be the tech and gaming press there.

Wow if sony get "move" to work MS might be in trouble with the hardcore market.

Bahaha this was great, Susan <3

The fitness stuff is actually quite impressive to me... it's like Wii only doesn't look like complete bullshit. I mean it's so easy to cheat on Wii "workouts" but this watches everything.

Dance Central... actually looks like it works. I can't dance - at all - this could be the cure for may fatal "chubby geek syndrome"

Matt_LRR:

Edit: Oh, yay, a bunch of sports I couldn't care less about on a network I'm not even sure is licenced to broadcast in my country, via a service I'm sure will be region-locked to the US.

-m

Comrade, ESPN owns Canada's most well-known sports network.

And really? Wingo? He's the Pachter of ESPN.

(Negative hyper-sensationalist asscricket.)

Now Keith Olbermann. There was an anchor!

Wow you all get a free new 360 just for being in the audience!!

DANG! Susan and Russ just got a new 360! Stinkin' Press perks!!
Congrats!

If this Dance Central stuff is real...

DO
FUCKING
WANT.

Hell, I'd buy the damn thing JUST for that game.

New Xbox? Hella good, especially since I currently don't have one. Grats on the new Box, Susan!

Everything else was sort of underwhelming, save Gears 3 and Halo Reach.

Fable 3...I await you.

As for the Natal menus. That just sounds awesome.

Ha! Susan just scored a new Xbox 360 slim. Nice!

That's crazy that they came out with the new 360 "slim" and it's actually being shipped today.

sweet good thing I sold my xbox a month ago, means I got an excuse to buy this new one.

ww2jacob:
That's crazy that they came out with the new 360 "slim" and it's actually being shipped today.

No joke.
Not only that, but that they kept the lid on it so long. It's available THIS week, so it must have been worked on for some time! And it's the same price! Great for people who are looking to make the jump to 360! I'd buy one for sure if mine ever broke! Hmm...maybe mine should have an...accident.

On Kinect: I'm probably getting it.
At first, I liked it. Then, I was skeptical. Now, I love it. The Star Wars game look neat, but FORZA (Which I freaking love)!! Looking around corners while you turn? Sign me up. The dance game looks like a blast, even the fitness game would be great! My wife is into that fitness stuff, so she'd be interested in that. I'm very interested in it now.

I'll just repost what I said earlier;

Well, just finished watching Microsoft's conference, and I gotta say, to risk sounding like a complete fanboy, it sucked.

Personally, I don't care much for Microsoft, but I at least respect them in the industry. They have a good amount of heavy hitting titles that are appropriately epic.

But they just glanced over the big ones. They showed Gears of War 3, rushed through Fable 3, glanced over Halo: Reach, and then all they did for the last part of the conference was Kinect showing "casual"-tastic games and those two ESPN guys would not shut up.

As much of a fanboy I am, I really did want to be impressed by Microsoft, give them some props for some good games n' all. But this was just painful.

I hope Nintendo and Sony can ramp it up tomorrow.

But, hey, maybe I'm just being a needless fanboy blinded by fanderisms. Still looking forward to Nintendo and Sony.

I can safely say that Nintendo is going to have to put in a lot of effort to be worse than Microsoft. Sure, the 360 is getting a few good games and a spiffy new console, but come on.

What do you think of your new X-box 360 slim?

MGS... Missed it. I'll assume it looked great.

Star Wars... Railshooter. Old, tired concept. We don't NEED to reboot all gameplay advancement throughout the years just because a new gimmick is out.

The pet game... SKITTLES! FELLATIO!

The adventure game thing... Yeah, my girlfriend would find that fun, I find it generic. Guess I'm not the target audience.

Fitness game... Oh fuck off.

Forza... It LOOKED ok, but as any seasoned racing fan will confirm, these games require surgical accuracy. I prefer a good old steering wheel or at least a controller to the Kinect model.

Fable 3... Too many cutscenes, too little gameplay on that trailer. Looks more of the same. Not thrilled.

Halo... It's Halo. Again. With a bit of space fighting. Frat boys all over the world will be thrilled.

Gears... It's Gears. Again. With..uh..girls. Frat boys all over the world will be thrilled.

Crytek game... I have no idea what this is, they showed nothing.

ESPN... I'm not American.

Video chat... I'm not American.

Zune... I don't even know what this is.

360 slim... Looks cool, will wait till Xmas to see what's the consensus on its hardware quality and failure rate.

Pretty much the only slightly interesting thing for me in that conference was the Dance game, which looked fun but not enough to buy Kinect for. Let's see what Sony has in store.

Plinglebob:

Treblaine:
Err... Microsoft does realise they are selling to GAMERS here?

The thing is they arn't. The point of Natal (I will call it by its new name when they learn to spell) is to get the Wii players to come to Microsoft and so they are trying to convince those in the audience that arn't gamers that its worth it. Remember, it wouldn't just be the tech and gaming press there.

Hmm, well their customers ARE the 40 million Xbox 360 owners (actually, that's units sold, considering RROD's out of warranty I wonder how many actual Xbox users there are) if they are selling "Kinect" as an upgrade bundle (they are).

Though if they are doing for a non-gamer market they are doing a good job of it.

This is going to introduce some interesting new game dynamics, such as how likely an Xbox is actually goign to get under a HDTV. HDTVs in the living-room is a community space, if the "non-gamers" see Xbox 360 as a positive thing rather than hogging the TV... that could jsut get more Xboxes into people home and more people playing Xbox, including "hardcore" games.

Rugged 13:
What do you think of your new X-box 360 slim?

It's not very slim. Then again it isn't even called the slim, it wasn't very well introduced, I don't even think it has a special name.

One thing I notice: a NEW line of proprietary hard drives (I think) only they seem to have upgraded to being based around the 3.5" hard drives - which by the way are FAR cheaper - and will likely be a controlled market. Come ON Microsoft, Sony has been using off the shelf hard drives since day one, you can even use any third party gamepad if you like.

But I think the biggest change is WiFi for no "extra" cost (though with the price cuts of the old elites effectively the price is included) I see this as a vital causal feature.

Think about it, "casuals" are not going to connect online if it means "go out and buy a specific component" or "fuck around with Ethernet cables - do you even know what an ethernet cable is?!?"

So to summarise:
-no major hardware revision or shrink
-cheaper manufacturing-cost hard-drives - proprietary - controlled
-WiFi for casual idiots.

This is not NOT the console for Xbox's Hardcore.

The best news is Xbox Arcade for $149... that is fucking AMAZING value if you don't get Xbox Live Gold and use the USB storage for downloadable games and so on.

Guys, MUCH appreciated. I had two important meetings today and this proved invaluable for me since I am a XBOX360 owner. So thank you once more, keep it up!

Either way, Fable 3. I have my spying eye on you.

Halo... IIINNN SPAAAAAACE!!

Aw man I'm hyped big-time. The streamed video on gametrailers is not working but I caught the Trailer off of Bungie.net and it looks awesome. Definite pre-order for sure but still not sure whether to get legendary or not... heroic at least is a must.

Ok, a few things:

First up, they are sending me my new Xbox,so I haven't seen it up close and personal yet. Will report back when I do.

Secondly, yes, everyone, I love Skittles. I took an ungodly number of pictures of that silly tiger.

As for people questioning the sports agreement...you folks are aware of just how many people buy Madden every year, right? There is a huge crossover between sports fans and gaming, especially on the 360. Oh, and Keith Olbermann is godlike. Just sayin'.

Moving on, I will do whatever I can to personally take Dance Central for a spin and see if it really works as advertised. Because if it does, I want to preorder that mofo, because it looks like so much fun.

Wow Treyarch, way to alienate the hundreds of thousands of PS3 gamers who will buy your game. 3 year exclusive add ons? Who the fuck will be still playing Black Ops in three years? Fuck you guys, I'm buying MoH.

Cpt Corallis:
I will not get excited about Fable 3...
I will not get excited about Fable 3...
I will not get excited about Fable 3...
ahhh...screw it! YAY!

Precisely how I'm feeling.

Gears 3 looks like it takes everything you love about Gears of War and multiplies it by a factor of 50.

And Susan (a.k.a The Nerd Queen) got it so right when she said Halo Reach is a modern Halo game. It's the Halo game fans have deserved since Combat Evolved.

Treblaine:
Err... Microsoft does realize they are selling to GAMERS here?

That's the funny thing. All this talk of ESPN and Natal... most people who watch E3 are gamers. I don't know of any casual gamer who would watch a six hour video game press conference. On the chat next to the live streaming video on G4, someone said "Natal killed E3" and I would agree.

ProfessorLayton:

Treblaine:
Err... Microsoft does realize they are selling to GAMERS here?

That's the funny thing. All this talk of ESPN and Natal... most people who watch E3 are gamers. I don't know of any casual gamer who would watch a six hour video game press conference. On the chat next to the live streaming video on G4, someone said "Natal killed E3" and I would agree.

it's like E3 2009 Nintendo all over again... only this time for Microsoft.

Ok, not THAT bad, I don't have any idea who would have bought (or in fact did buy) Wii Music, I mean that was a mess, why was Nintendo trying to compete with Rock-Band and Guitar hero with such fail?

Hold on a tick... how much is a complete Rock Band Beatles set? About $149. Now that isn't going for the Halo-hardcore, but to the 40-something hipster casual market, and that sold like gangbusters, for basically one game.

Though it DID have the Fab-Four attached to it, the same people are heading it - Harmonix - if they can sell that for $149, then maybe - just maybe - "Kinect" has a chance.

Susan Arendt:

If you don't want to use your hands, you can just say "Zune" to get to the section you want. To use Kinect to operate your movies, just move your hand left and right - or again, just use your voice. Say "Xbox pause" or "Xbox play" to work the movie. "Xbox, play music!" Oh, but not Justin Bieber, please. Shuffle through your playlist by waving your hand around

Anyone else see that he kept his hands by his side the entire time looks like random gestures may cause issues.

Also does anyone else think that it would be soooo much cooler if you could rename your Xbox? so instead of "Xbox pause" you'd say "Malcolm pause" or whatever? what would you guys name your Xbox (will start a seperate thread and link to avoid hijacking this thread!)

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