Monday, June 14, 2010

Microsoft E3 Keynote digest

What the hell?

Did Microsoft seriously just show off a bunch of titles that are at best clones of Wii titles? Kinect Sports?! REALLY?!


Well anyway, let's run through some points here:

- Call of Duty DLC for 2010, 2011, and 2012 will be available first on the Xbox. I guess this is also a bit of a backdoor announcement for COD 8 and 9.

- Metal Gear Solid Rising was shown. More hack and slash, less stealth is the impression i got.

- Gears of War 3 was shown - 4player co-op mode!

- Fable 3 shown, along with a teaser for a title codenamed "Kingdoms".

- Halo: Reach is hitting retail September 14th

- ESPN for Xbox 360. I was shocked that this feature will be free for Gold member of Live.

- And of course, Project Natal is now named Kinect. Kinect was the main focus of this keynote (as i was expecting). The software shown in my opinion boiled down to a lot of clones of existing Wii titles and franchises. Again - Kinect Sports? REALLY?! Your Shape: Fitness Evolved? Kinect Joy Ride looked like a Mario Kart clone. What exactly is MS' strategy here besides the usual "embrace and extend" philosophy? Also worth noting was a lack of an announced price for Kinect, just a street date of November 4th 2010 in North America. If this add-on hits retail for less than $150, i will be shocked.

- Harmonix was showing off Dance Central for Kinect.

- A Kinect Star Wars title was shown in trailer form... but really the gaming world has been teased with motion based Star Wars games since 2005/2006. Can we get one for real someday?

- Also to note was Forza for Kinect. It was not made clear to me if this was a new Forza title, or an add-on for Forza 3.

- A new rev of the 360 hardware was also shown - the only lingering question i have based on the slides - "did MS remove the ethernet port in favor of built in 802.11n networking?". New hardware will be available this week - everyone at the keynote however was given a system.

I've got to be honest, this was pretty much exactly how i expected this keynote to play out. It will be interesting to see the hardcore xbox fanboy reaction as they were none too kind towards the Wii when it was announced and shown.

Anyway, Nintendo and Sony tomorrow. I will be sorely disappointed if there is anything resembling Move Sports for the PS3.

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