Monday, June 4, 2012

Microsoft Press Conference..Day 1 of E3

This afternoon or morning on the West coast, people descended upon what Microsoft had to offer and see what the next year of gaming that Microsoft has in store for Xbox 360 fans.
As the dark descended upon everyone in the theater. Microsoft started with a Live Action Trailer almost short film for Halo 4. It quickly jumped to a cut scene where we see Master Chief look at the UNSC Infinity come planet side, Something comes from underneath to follow the ship to it's crash destination. Chief starts his run to where the ship is headed along the way the clip jumps to game play and we see the BRM and pistol take out some of the new planet side enemies.  There was a "Promethian Knight" that got in Master Chief's "face" and exposed it's inner self ala Independence Day. It had a small flying machine that blocked Chief's shots and even tossed back a sticky grenade, he picked up two new weapons during the play through. One was a "Light Rifle" which seemed like a covenant rifle and the "Scattershot" which reminds me of the needler. After the game play footage was another cutscene that has some of campaign and shows the fragility of Cortana. The last thing you hear is the antagonist saying "I have long dreamt of this day. Reclaimer."

Started off with a big bang. and went right into Splinter Cell: Black List. This looked amazing and was nice to see Sam Fisher in his black ops duds. The game uses a lot of what was done with Ghost Recon: Future Solider. Which is not a bad thing. Some of the kills that Sam did was surely a Splinter Cell move. 3 head shots while bouncing over a crate. Also knife executions while dragging the body over the cover. One key thing that seemed great was calling in support through Kinect. Fisher called an air strike on a vehicle and took out most of the enemies in his way. Also look for it in Spring 2013

After two strong game titles Microsoft went to EA and their sports titles. EA went with two of their strongest sellers. Fifa 2013 and Madden 13, both games showed Kinect support by calling audibles in Madden and player formations in FIFA. Of course during the Madden demo they brought out Joe Montana to show the game play.

I think all 3 games using the Kinect as support and not just as a main focus of play was exciting to see and also shows that they want to integrate both controller and Kinect. Which in my mind was cool to see. They kept the focus on Kinect with Fable: The Journey with a new game play footage trailer. Microsoft then switched gears to what is coming to the Xbox 360 Dashboard 

Here are some of the Media coming to the Dashboard. 
Television and Movie Apps.                                           Sports Apps.
Nickelodeon                                                                 NBA Gametime
Paramount Movies                                                     NHL Gamecenter and Center Ice
Machinima                                                                  ESPN live coverages & channels
Univision-Spanish language content

Most of these sound good the only one that worries me is Nickelodeon considering the cable apps that are already on the Dash like Verizon and Infinity that have it in their channel lineup. In addition to those apps the Xbox 360 is getting Xbox Music a new music application that sort of looks like Itunes for the 360. Although I use Last FM on my 360 I just want to know the exact details to what this will entail. Hopefully I can stream my entire catalog from my PC that I own.

After that a Nike representative came out to show their collaboration with  Xbox with their game Nike Plus Kinect Training to be released this Holiday season. I think this is a fitness game that is the one to get. It has the functionality with it being able to tie your phone and other friends to remind you to "work out". Also with it just considering you an "Athlete". 
  Afterwards we were introduced to Xbox Smartglass: which is an application that is suppose to tie any tablet and smartphones to your console and Xbox Live. This seems good and if it helps integrate games as they have shown like Madden to do certain things in game without pausing or going to a menu, also to be able to continue a movie you start on your tv and watch it on your mobile device as well as have that device give you other input on the show or movie you watch.

Back to games they showed new game play footage for Tomb Raider:Crossroads that showed Lara Croft taking on some enemies with the bow then zip line across with a boomerang. The trailer showed some great details such as shooting barrels to let the flammable liquid then switch to Flaming arrows and when the enemy walks in you shoot to set them ablaze. Sharp thinking was shown and then to see Lara with the shotgun and do other tricks throughout the demo. They also announced that the 1st DLC will be timed exclusive for the Xbox.

Shortly after was the display of  some of the Summer of Arcade titles.  Some of the ones they showed were Ascend:New Gods , Loco Cycle, and Matter for the Kinect. They all looked interesting for how short a footage they showed. I guess they were in a rush to get to Resident Evil 6 which showed a new game play trailer with Leon Kennedy and Elena going through an infected city street and showed new fighting tech and sharp zombie kills.

More Arcade titles were announced such as Wreckateer a kinect only Tower Destruction game. Also with that was one that I look forward to South Park:The Stick of Truth. You get to play as the fifth character who is new to South Park and have to help the boys save the town from evil. Also the release date was announced for March 5th 2013. We had some Dance Central 3 footage and some guy "Usher" dance around. Not a very good part of the conference considering I would prefer the game footage.

With that Microsoft finished off their press conference with Call of Duty:Black Ops 2 another Call of Duty game coming out this holiday season with all DLC being timed exclusive for the Xbox 360. All I can say is ok we have another one. This franchise is the Madden of the shooter genre and kids will eat it up. It is pretty and yes it is set in the future but does it make me want to rush out and pre-order?? Here is a hint I just bought Black Ops because it was under 10 dollars on Origin for the 360. So no I do not see me getting this first day.

Also what Microsoft did this year was reverse the order of their games that opened and closed their show. Last year Call of Duty 3 started and Halo Anniversary finished. This year Halo starts Call of Duty finished.  I was hoping for so much with this conference but seems like next E3 you will definitely see a new System from the house of Xbox. Also I did not forget Gears of War:Judgment. I will tackle that after a few more things.

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