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E3 2010: Microsoft's Media Briefing Recap

Posted June 14th 2010 by Oliver Chen.

Another year, another E3. Last year, Microsoft wowed the world by out-Nintendoing Nintendo with Project Natal. This year, Microsoft had to put their money where their mouths were and prove that the technology behind the newly-christened Kinect was more than just smoke and mirrors. I mean, after yesterday's insane Cirque du Soleil performance, who can blame them?
Also, there were a few games shown for those philistines who have yet to upgrade to waggle controls.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Release Date: November 9, 2010
Video: Gameplay

First up was a gameplay demo of the seventh title in the Call of Duty series. Set during the events of the Cold War, the demo puts the player in control of an American soldier making his way through Vietnam. After crawling through a rat tunnel, you take control of a helicopter and proceed to fly through a canyon, taking out targets as they popped up. Explode your enemies before they explode you, yeah? Microsoft also announced a three-year deal with Activision for timed exclusives for Call of Duty DLC for the next three years.

Metal Gear Solid: Rising
Release Date: TBA
Video: Trailer

Everybody's favorite Raiden (the one in Mortal Kombat aside) gets to star in his own action game. The debut trailer for the game opened up with Raiden slicing up an armored robot, then pulling out what appears to be the poison vials from The Rock from its dismembered body. The theme of this game seems to be "cutting", as the majority of objects seem to exhibit hot butter physics. Watermelons, people, trucks, load-bearing pillars -- you name it, it's slicable. In multiple directions.

Gears of War 3
Release Date: April 2011
Video: Gameplay

CliffyB and company demoed a brief four-player co-op mission on stage. The demo showed off a new type of solider: a fabledsmaller-builtclass known to some as "females".

Fable III
Release Date: Q4 2010
Video: Trailer

A new hero rises to take down the latest ruler of Albion fifty years after the events of Fable II. The trailer featured less of the choices and consequences that Molyneux likes to promise and more of the killing and violence of combat. You can now rule the kingdom after desposing of the tyrant.

Codename: Kingdoms

Not much to say here. The trailer only elucidated that the game will be made by Crytek and will probably feature multiple medival soldiers.

Halo Reach
Release Date: Q4 2010
Video: Gameplay

A brief demo of a campaign mission, where you and your squad fight through Covenant forces to reach a space launchpad. Looks really slick.

360 Dashboard Functionality

Kinect has its own XBOX dashboard, suspiciously similar in layout to Wii channels. Extending your arm out brings up a moveable cursor, while hovering over an option for a brief period of time selects it. Alternatively, you can command the XBOX using an authoritative voice to select a menu item. XBOX, make me some dinner. You can videochat with other Kinect users, although the conversation demoed on stage seemed prerecorded. Additionally, ESPN has partnered with Microsoft to stream live and on-demand sports games to XBOX Live Gold members for free. A few SportsCenter anchors, Josh Elliot and Trey Wingo, were invited to show off some of the Kinect video seeking features. It's clear their prowess in public speaking was leagues above anybody else's on stage that day.

Kinect Games

Fifteen titles will debut alongside Kinect when it launches later this year. The majority of first-party offerings were unabashed clones of existing Wii titles, such as Kinectimals, which allows little girls to play with their pussies, and Kinect Sports, which is basically HD Wii Sports. Kinect Joyride is an absolutely terrible cart-racing game, while Kinect Adventure is a weird amusement park minigame collection. The demonstration for this game was the first that didn't feel prerecorded. Adventure also take photo ops of players at certain points, which you can then have automatically posted to Facebook to embarass yourself in front of your friends even more than before.

Third-party titles seemed far more interesting. Ubisoft's YourShape puts the Kinect camera to good use, detecting physical attributes and positioning of limbs for cardio exercises. It also features really neat abstract new-age graphics. Aside from the identity crises that will crop up when people find out the game visualizes them as formless blobs, this is probably my "best of presentation" game. Harmonix's Dance Central lets you bust out phat hip-hop moves, and actually isn't as bad as the description sounds. Mostly likely this is due to the fact that Harmonix is developing the game. LucasArts also showed a video of a Star Wars game which looked like an on-rails action game! Apparently, companies not named Treasure still make these kinds of games.

Meanwhile, the next Forza Motorsport looks to be the definitive experience for staring-at-your-car enthusiasts worldwide.

New XBOX360
Release Date: Today

The redesigned 360 came as no surprise thanks to the efforts of Italian advertisment companies. The new XBOX is smaller, glossier, and at $299 just as expensive as the old XBOX360, and features a 250GB hard drive and a 802.11n wireless adapter out of the box. It's also being shipped out to retailers right now. Cue brief flashbacks of the Sega Saturn's US release in 1995. They're also avoiding calling this model the "Slim" unlike every media outlet, probably due to the PlayStation 3 already occupying that mindspace.

Final Thoughts

Where are the core games? Microsoft is perhaps trying to be a little too casual with Kinect, which will completely blow up in their faces if the $149 price tag being thrown around ends up being true. No wonder Microsoft was reluctant to mention its cost during its presentation.

Highlight of the conference: Don Mattrick's shit-eating grin after giving away slim 360s to everybody in attendance at the Wiltern Theater. Unfortunately, the NerdMentality team was unable to enter the conference venue.

Tags: Kinect, Microsoft, E3 2010

Posted in: Gaming, Features

Comments (4) | Permalink | Digg | Reddit

User Comments



Besides the few big exclusives that everyone already knew about, Microsoft's showing was a huge bummer. It's like the showing was targeted at the casual gamer and completely abandonned the hardcore gamers.

Tuesday, June 15th 2010


@Batist: Sounds like what Nintendo has been doing in the past couple of years.

Tuesday, June 15th 2010


Yeah, it was a little disappointing. Aside from that Crytek game (which was barely there really) nothing was shown that we didn't already know about. The Kinect stuff looked good, but if the rumours from a while back are true in that you'll need a significant open space for it to work properly (which makes sense when you think about it) then I won't be getting it. Small houses ftl.

Tuesday, June 15th 2010



I don't agree Spawn. not this and the previous edition anyways

Saturday, June 19th 2010

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