Wednesday, July 11, 2007

E3: Microsoft Event

At 8:30PST (11:30EST), Microsoft kicked off the E3 coverage with unbelievable style. With Peter Moore calling this years holiday line up the BEST one ever. With these new game announcements, Microsoft is sure to win over some new people in the crowd, let's see how Sony and Nintendo will hold up against the behemoth known as Microsoft and their Xbox 360. From touting their own horn to a surprise Capcom game, let's get this show on the road! Read on gamers.

So, the Microsoft conference started off with a band opening with the Halo 2 theme, these people were found on YouTube and were asked to come in. From their Peter Moore took the stage and started mentioned how well the Xbox 360 is holding up against the Wii and Playstation 3 combined, and let me tell you, the 360 is definetly in the clear.

The first game on the stage was Rock Band, they played a quick song, showing off some of the new toys Harmonix has in mind for this game. Peter Moore had to be cut off from doing so bad, then was later put back on, doing alright, at least he's a good sport. The game looked like Guitar Hero, but introduced the drums and vocals to the mix. It looks real fun and visually appealing, but we'll soon see how well the two new peripherals (more so the microphone) will hold up.

Second game on the spot light was Viva Pinata: Party Animals which is being developed by Krome Studios according to the trailer.

Next we have Mass Effect, as the trailer rolls I can already tell you guys that this game looks better then the previous trailers, the game looks way more polished then before. Mass Effect has been announced to debut in November! (mark your calenders kiddies).

Now for the business side of this presentation, and the numbers are phenomenal. Moore is boasting on the fact that people will spend more money on games then music this year. 5.6 million 360's sold, higher then any other console. Since the Wii and PS3 launched consumers have spent $2.4 billion on Xbox accessories, game and hardware. Moore went on to say that holiday 2004 had the highest selling point thanks to 3 major franchises; Bungie, Rockstar and EA. The games being Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Madden 2005 and that these same franchises will will rack up 1/3 of sales this year with Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto 4 and EA's complete sports line up.

Next up was a video of all the games that are coming out this year, I forgot to mention that at the beginning of the event Moore said that every game seen tonight (with the exception of 1) will be available this year, apparently. Here's the list:

  • Call of Duty 4
  • Stranglehold
  • Guitar Hero III
  • Beautiful Katamari
  • Lost Odyssey
  • NBA: Live 08
  • Mass Effect
  • Fatal Inertia
  • Medal of Honor: Airborne
  • Tiger Woods 08
  • Ace Combat 6
  • NHL 08
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
  • Simpsons
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • NASCAR 08
  • Eternal Sonata
  • BioShock
  • Madden NFL 08
  • Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
  • Crash of the Titans
  • Harry Potter
  • Half-Life 2: Orange Box
  • Bee Movie Game
  • Rock Band
  • Naruto
Jeff Bell, Microsoft corporate VP takes the stage now announcing a new family game, some may recognize it, it's called "Scene It?" (yes, the board game) was announced along. The game will come with video clips in HD and new controllers.

Bell then went on to talk about EA's sports line up saying that this years game will run "twice as fast" and then calls in Reggie Bush from the New Orlean's Saints. Bush and Bell go head-to-head in Madden 08. Bell gets destroyed.

Bell goes on to talk about Xbox Live saying that last year they wanted to reach 6 million users, well they did that and then some! With now more then 7 million Xbox Live members, Microsoft is well on it's way. They're now predicting 10 million come next year.

Through Live Bell goes on to say that there has been 45 million Xbox Live Arcade games downloaded, which then a video montage of XBLA games shows. List here:

  • Hexic 2
  • Sonic
  • War World
  • Sensible World of Soccer
  • Every Extend Extra Extreme
  • Wing Commander Arena
  • Track & Field
  • Spyglass Board Games
  • Golden Axe
  • Space Giraffe
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II
  • Marathon 2: Durandal
  • Switchball
  • Tetris
  • Puzzle Quest
  • Buko Sudoku
  • Geon
  • Among others...
Breaking announcement of the original Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe, both part of Sega's vintage collection will hit the Marketplace that night! (they're both out now, they seemed to be available as soon as the conference was over)

Next up was talk about the Video Marketplace, not big news for us here in Canada, or well, anywhere, but the US really. 2,000 hours of content and $125 million spent. There's been deals with Disney and Touchstone to bring some new movies to the marketplace tonight, all in HD. These movies include:

  • Tarzan
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Hercules
  • Emperor's New Groove
  • Waterboy
  • Unbreakable
  • Armageddon
  • Brothers Grimm
  • Bringing Down the House
  • Coyote Ugly
  • Primeval
  • The Queen
  • Venus
Now for the big announcement if you don't live in the USA. The Video Marketplace will launch in Canada and Europe!

On stage next is Shane Kim, Microsoft Games Studio head and corporate VP. Confirms PGR4 release date in September as they show off Project Gotham Racing 4 with a demo. This demo also confirms motorcycles in the game. PGR's trailer looks extremely well done.

Kim goes on and touts about Alan Wake, Halo Wars, Fable 2 and Too Human. Also, Kim has gone on to say that yes, Peter Jackson is still working on the Halo movie. Kim goes on to talk about their new line of "Games for Windows" games, announcing that Viva Pinata as well as Gears of War will make there way to PC. Gears will also come with new levels, achievements and the monster we all saw in Gears' Mad World commercial can now be fought in the PC version.

Cliffy B, from Epic enters the stage and shows off a demo of Gears on PC while fighting brumak (monster from trailer). He then paused as the behemoth was falling, saying "I don't want to spoil the surprise".

moore takes the stage again to talk about some new partners that have added achievements for Live for Windows; Eidos, THQ and Sega. Moore also goes on to say that Windows Live will soon be built right into the Unreal 3 Engine.

Games for Windows video montage!

  • Bee Movie Game
  • Flight Simulator
  • Hellgate: London
  • Age of Empires III: Asian Dynasties
  • BioShock
  • Crysis
  • Universe at War
  • BlackSite: Area 51
  • World in Conflict
  • Age of Conan
  • Lost Planet
  • Kane & Lynch
  • Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
  • Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals
  • Juiced 2
  • Viva Pinata
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe
  • Again, among others...
From there, Moore talks up Call of Duty 4 showing a trailer then having the developers at Infinity Ward to show a demo of it. Developers say, they've been working on COD4 since COD2 finished up.

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT

Infinity Ward has announced that there will be a multiplayer beta soon, exclusively for Xbox 360. Check out http://www.charlieoscardelta.com for more information.

Now, we have the GTA4 trailer, nothing new, it's the second trailer released. Moore boasts that both trailers are running real time on the Xbox 360 and that 2 new episodes will be available for download in Spring 2008.

Moore back in the spotlight announces that for the Japanese market they're introducing a new series to the Xbox 360, trailer rolls...

RESIDENT EVIL 5!!!!!!! Yes, Capcom will be releasing RE5 on the Xbox 360, unfortunately this is the only game that wouldn't be released this year. The trailer will be available to download on Live on July 26th.

Next up is Assassin's Creed, Moore hands the spotlight to Jade Raymond, who demos the game in real time. The combat in this gmae looks smooth and the graphics and style of gameplay that Assassin's Creed introduces is fresh and unbelievably cool!

Moore then goes on to compare the Halo trilogy to the Star Wars trilogy when... a live action trailer directed by Neil Blomkamp, the would be director of the Halo movie. Short shows the interior of a USNC weapons factory. Assembly lines make warthogs as space marines suit up in armor. Pelican drop ships load up on troops, getting ready for a big battle. Then out of nowhere the trailer ends. Once the trailer finished up Moore took no time in bringing out the Halo Xbox 360, also announcing a plethora of Halo accessories coming September 25th.

Coming to the end of the conference Moore wraps things up, "But before we go, let's make sure we finish the fight."

New Halo 3 trailer!!!! Earth is in flames. Terence Stamp voice-over shows action aplenty. New enemies--brutes in armor and what looks like flying grunts. Master Chief is hip-shooting a Gatling gun. Cortana looks like she's in trouble.

That's it! The event is done. You're up next Nintendo.






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