Once again Microsoft has the first press conference at E3 and took the opportunity to reveal a huge amount of new ideas, games and revelations. This looks to be an amazing year for Microsoft, and they are obviously throwing a lot of resources into their Xbox brand. Sony and Nintendo have a hard act to follow after this press conference. Much here is very, very good; very little is bad.
Final Fantasy XIII running on Xbox 360 – This is great news as Square Enix had famously said that Xbox 360 development would not begin until localization is done. Either they are done with localization or they changed their mind. Either way it further guarantees that the game will release sooner then later.
Project Natal – A very cool concept and potentially VERY exciting for developers and gamers. It is a sensor that tracks 3D movement and recognizes visuals and voices. With icons like Peter Molyneux and Steven Spielberg talking it up it looks like it could be huge. The Minority Report-style dashboard manipulation was what really had me standing up and watching.
Alan Wake – Great to finally see this game again. It looks scary as hell and absolutely amazing. It looks to combine the best parts of Max Payne and Silent Hill. A release date of Spring 2010 is listed, but I doubt that will happen.
More Halo = a great thing. Halo: ODST and Halo Reach were shown. ODST looks like a step in the right direction for Bungie. Reach I am not sure about, but both are guaranteed blockbusters. ODST seems to take a System Shock/Bioshock approach to story instead of the vanilla thin one we are used to.
Forza 3 – Looks, plays and seems amazing. It's not my kind of game generally but when something looks and plays this good you have to notice.
Splinter Cell Conviction – This is the shot in the arm the series needs. Looks like the re-tooling has work, grittier game, has a Taken vibe and new gameplay hooks like tag/kill seem really cool.
Zune video – could be incredible if it works as promised, 1080p on demand video. I will be even more excited if it comes to Canada. Last.fm and the live streaming TV looks like it could be really cool. Sony – watch and learn; this is the stuff you NEED to explore.
MGS Rising – I don’t believe the word exclusive was said per se, but it is implied. Raiden seems to be the central character. I don’t care about the platform, more MGS is a great thing and a HUGE coup for Microsoft.
Tony Hawk Ride – I just can’t get excited about this game, if I wanted to really skateboard I would. TH Ride seems like an overdone gimmick and the opposite of the immersive and easy to get into Project Natal
Shadow Complex – Nothing about this looks terribly interesting to me, I know I will be in the minority, but I could not feel any excitement about this announcement.
Twitter and Facebook on the Xbox 360 – I know many people are excited about this but my love of Facebook died long ago, and twitter is only good in certain peoples hands…millions of obnoxious Xbox Live members are not those people.
Project Natal – I know it is in my good list, but I fear this will become an overpriced novelty with very little support outside of casual games. Paint Party, and a boy named Milo seem to confirm that thought.
The Beatles were on stage to promote the Beatles Rock Band – Walk on, walk off appearances just seem embarrassing. The game looks amazing, but the PR stunt fell flat as far as I could tell. I am never a fan of celebrities shallowly shilling a game, even if it is one based on themselves.