In Short: Microsoft Press Conference E3

For those of you who missed the Microsoft Press conference this morning, here’s a rundown of what they showed. E3 opens with  a bang!… or wait, no, bang isn’t the right word… suck. E3 opens with a suck.

 

Hey, how you doin? Get ready to see a lot of me.

- Modern Warfare 3 : Demo showed off some marine warfare. Player took a small motor boat, cruised through a raging battle, and planted explosive charges on a submarine. Looked slick.

- Tomb Raider: The new reboot gets a demo stage. Again, good looking level. In the opening, Laura Croft get slammed by some burning rocks and has to hobble her way through a collapsing cavern. Slick graphics but perhaps an overabundance of strangely-erotic pained moaning. In fact, she acts out the pain so much, moans, gets tied up and tortured… the perfect game for your misogynist!

-  EA says that 4 of their sports games will be enhanced with Kinect play. Madden, Fifa, Tiger Woods and… ? How will they be enhanced? Well, we can make pretty educated guesses, but how about some gameplay demos? Maybe on the show floor…

- Mass Effect 3: Not exclusive anymore, but the series does have some exclusive kinect features for the 360 edition. The game has voice recognition, so you can speak your responses to the NPC’s questions. This is a great idea for a feature, but the first time I get blown up because it failed to recognize what I said, I’m swappin’ out. Also a possible issue, failed response recognition turning my character gay.

Ghost Recon: Ghost Warrior...?

- Ghost Recon, Ghost Warrior: We got a crazy trailer that was all freeze frame headshots and brains blasting out of skulls. Kinect interactivity lets lets you use your voice and gestures to modify weapons.

- Kinect voice controls for the base 360 system. Lets you operate your browser with simple commands. “Xbox: Video”

- UFC partnership streams UFC matches so you can… bet on them? Not a game? Hmm….

- Gears of War 3: Its coming. Demo’d a boss fight against an aquatic boss. Still so ‘bro’ heavy its disgusting. But the gameplay looks slick.

- Microsoft partners up with Youtube and Bing to stream new media through your 360. Bing offers voice controlled search engines to look up movies, games, and what-have-you.

 

Hi. I put an "i" in front of my name and got a bunch of endorsements for being moderately cute. I have nothing worthwhile to say, and no reason for my celebrity. But now you can watch me mug at new products while I shop via your 360!!

- Ryse: Because ‘Rise’ wasn’t extreme enough. Sorry, I mean XTREEEEME enough!!1!  Roman era Kinect combat game. Swing your sword, your shield, kill people… um, that’s about all we know.

- Halo: Remastered: The 10th anniversary of the original Halo ushers in a 360 remastered version of the game. For completists.

- Forza 4: Cinematic trailer. Driiiiiive. I guess it has Kinect support including voice commands. Voice command? Like “fill ‘er up.”?

- Fable: Journey: Kinect game. Flip the reigns of your horse, spell-casting by a gesture. Its more or less a rail-shooter. The spell mixing by gestures seems interesting, but the game will essentially lack all role-playing elements. Fable in name only.

- Minecraft: Its on the 360 now. I know some people like this game, but Jesus, I have no interest.

- Disneyland Adventures: Kinect based exploration adventure game, where the kids run through the park, playing out scenes from Disney movies. The kids who played this game were probably the best presenters of the show.

- Star Wars: Kinect based. Rail shooter…? Shift your body to control X-Wings and Pod Racers. Lightsaber combat will be the selling point of the game, though. Its got a strange, sloppy control scheme, where you get moved in the direction of a target when you attack.

This soon-to-be-dead Jedi faces down Darth Vader and his feminine stroll.

- Sesame Street: This was actually a very good demo. Its not for ‘gamers’, but it showed a grown up and a little kid interacting with the game creatively and it looked like they were having a lot of fun. This will be a quality family title.

- More Kinect Sports: Wii Sports for the 360, with cutesy football.

- Dance Central 2: A sequel to, currently, the only worthwhile Kinect title. Still looks good.

- Halo 4: A new sequel to the top franchise will come in 2012, Christmas time. Very little in the way of detail. Trailer featured Master Chief standing on the bow of a star ship, heading towards some massive alien ship. Like, V-Ger big.

 

In the end, for me, a very underwhelming press conference. When you’re talking to the hardware developers, you want exclusive titles, and we just got a handful with Gears of War and Halo still the pillars of the library… and Halo 4 is over a year off.

"What, again? Okay, okay... just... just give me a minute."

That aside, we’ve got the Kinect dominating the presentation, and it does kind of make sense. I mean, they did sell 10 Million of the things last year. However, that’s really not my kind of game… at least not the ones shown. The games shown just aren’t ambitious enough or creative enough to garner my attention. The voice interactions with the Kinect are also interesting enough for the core system. But, compared to the ambitious ideas we had in our predictions blogs, all the reveals are very tame. And the technology is definitely there to support those.

Well, maybe next year. Slowly, Microsoft steps forward. Too slowly? Maybe they’re just holding out on these big tech developments for their next system…

As always, we want to hear your comments. Feel free to drop them here, or in our forums. We’ll have more pics, videos, and first hand impressions of the games as the show continues, so check back through the week to Padinga.com!