Unreality’s E3 Liveblog – Microsoft’s Keynote

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I was in a panic today when I figured out that E3 was THIS week and not next. Due to massive increase in writing responsibilities over the last year, I didn’t think I was going to be able to fit in a liveblog of the Big 3 conferences (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo) this year like I’ve done the previous two times, but I’ve spent all morning busting my ass, and I’m all set to go.

Today is Microsoft, while Sony and Nintendo are tomorrow. I expect an ass-ton of the keynote today to be devoted to Project Natal tech, which debuted at last year’s show to oooh’s and ahhh’s. We’ll see if they can impress just as much this year with some actual worthwhile games for it.

Yes, I am a 360 owner, and I do not have a Wii or PS3, so I may make some backhanded jabs during my coverage, but whatever. If I wanted to be be an objective journalist I’d be working for Fox News.

Liveblog starts below when the show starts at 1PM 1:30PM Eastern. We’re old school here, so you’ll have to refresh the page if you want to read my updates.

Keep refreshing!

1:30 – So many goddamn buffering issues across all these streaming sites. Finally found one that works on GameTrailers.

1:32 – Call of Duty: Black Ops trailer. I’ve seen this already.  Why would you open a show with non-new material, however awesome it might be?

1:35 – Gameplay footage looks like Modern Warfare, as expect. Not quite as sharp, but hey, it’s Treyarch.

1:36 – It’s like a Modern Warfare mission pack or something. Also, the guy playing kind of sucks. The only new thing so far is the ability to pilot a chopper. I figured vehicle driving would be next after BC2. This is all on-the-rails though, will vehicles be in multiplayer?

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1:39 – Whoa, that was it? No more details at all? Bizarre.

1:40 – Oh this guy again. I remember him. Microsoft President Mr. I-Use-My-Hands-Too-Much. He says COD add ons with be out first for Xbox for the next few years. Isn’t that happening already?

1:41 – Project Natal is now called Kinect. Ugh. Hate it. Though I hated Natal too and got used to that.

1:42 – Hideo Kojima is here to talk about Metal Gear Rising. He was last year’s ace in the hole. Let’s see how the game looks.

1:46 – Short but cool video showing that the game is based around Raiden’s use of the sword. The most dynamic cutting system in a game ever! Uh, hooray!

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1:47 – Some new vice-pres coming out, says everything shown today will be Xbox exclusive. Cliffy B is coming out. Has a crazy shirt on with Bigfoot fighting a Unicorn.

1:51 – Gears of War 3 demo is going as expected. Enemies now mutate on the fly, but everything else seems pretty much the same. There’s a new type of bayonet that’s just a blade, not a chainsaw. Progress?

1:53 – Peter Molyneux! Yesss, let’s see some Fable III. Please be open world.

1:56 – Goddamnit! Was that really it? Why is no one elaborating on anything? It looked like Fable, but with slightly different clothing and moves. No details about anything at all. Something about dueling brothers or something.

1:57 – Cinematic trailer for a game named Kingdoms. People with armor and swords. Naturally, nothing else to say about it at all. Moving on to Halo: Reach…

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2:00 – I haven’t played the beta at all. This is campaign and it looks pretty cool. Is there lifebar again now? don’t know how I feel about that. The different classes thing could work, but I don’t think Halo should be conceding defeat to Call of Duty. Balance is good, despite what many will say.

2:03 – Long demo, I dig it. At least they’re not doing click to run. This starfighting section is the Star Fox console game we’ve all been waiting for. Awesome.

2:07 – Kinect demo on the Xbox dashboard. Using your hands to flip through the menus is awesome. It has voice recognition now too. Pretty wicked.

2:08 – Can you do all this laying down on your couch in addition to standing up directly in front of your TV? That’s the demo I need to see.

2:09 – This voice control is pretty slick. It really does feel like the future in a lot of ways, saying “Xbox Play” and “Pause” and such.

2:11 – The thing’s got video chat now too. Damn iPhone 4 beating them to the punch! This sounds cool, but I can’t forsee using this until it’s like super mainstream.

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2:13  – Hot twin girls demoing this was the way to go. The scripted witty banter is painful though.

2:14 – ESPN for 360. Man, we’re way past video games at this point, this is just like, life tech now. Consoles really are becoming a hub for everything.

2:18  – The two dudes from SportsCenter are here. I don’t know who they are of course. I guess this is for the internet savvy Xbox owner who doesn’t have cable? Give me like five or six more channels I need, and I’ll cancel my subscription entirely.

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2:23 – Alright, enough sports, time to demo some actual Kinect games. Guy with long hair and indoor sunglasses is back.  I’m afraid these titles are going to be Wii-ish.

2:24 – Wii-ish with WAY better graphics. Little asian girl is playing with a virtual tiger. For the kid who would probably kill a real pet!  I have to admit this is pretty adorable, but I bet kids are going to get sad the tiger isn’t real.

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2:27 – British asian guy demoing Wii Sports for Xbox 360. Well its not called that, but that’s what it is.

2:28 – You have to sprint in place to play the sprint game. Why don’t I just go outside and actually sprint against my friend? Oh because I really don’t want to and I want to be playing video games instead.

2:30 – Now it’s Mario Kart for the Wii. Errr, you get the idea. Using your hands to air steer is cool, but I have to imagine the controls are verrry generous.

2:31 – I feel bad for these people who have to awkwardly say things to pretend to be into the game when they’re demoing it.

2:32 – “Designed to get your and your friends up and off the couch and use your whole body to play.” No! I like being on the couch!

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2:34 – Oh and they take pictures of you looking goofy while you contort your body all around.  Who wouldn’t want that? Oh, and naturally you can immediately post them on Facebook. My eyes just rolled so hard I think I pulled something.

2:37 – Cool cinematic from Ubisoft showing their version of a sports game. Conveniently the video stops right as they’re about to play it on the actual console.  Let’s see it live.

2:38 – Wow, the one to one movement is pretty sweet. It even read that she had a sweater on, and then took it off.

2:41 – This is all cool, but I don’t see why it’s that much better than buying an exercise DVD. You can punch a few virtual boxes sure, but why? Is that really that motivating?

2:44 – Dancing game from MTV and Harmonix, unlike DDR, you can now actually be taught how to dance. This could be somewhat useful, if not extremely difficult.

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2:47 – This is a very good use of the tech I have to admit. I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance. Secret shame.

2:48 – Goofy white guy being taught how to dance looks exactly as you’d expect:

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2:50 – Kinect launches November 4th. I don’t believe it’s worth buying for myself after this presentation. Maybe if I had kids and I refused to buy them a Wii because its shitty.

2:51 – Oooh, Star Wars with Kinect. Actually pretend to wield a lightsaber! I dig that. Still, on-the-rails is a big hurdle to overcome for this whole Kinect genre.

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2:53 – Forza demo, a REAL game using Kinect. I keep almost typing Natal.  Looks pretty rad. I want to see an FPS though.

2:55 – You can explore the Ferrari you’re driving by looking at it in various places. This would be cooler if it were a 3D rendering of like Megan Fox or something.

2:56 – Big finale announcement? Eh? Eh?

2:57 – A new 360 design. Huge hard drive, built in Wi-Fi. Looks sharp, but uh, yeah, this console generation is going to last forever isn’t it?

2:59 – Whoa, it comes out today. That’s kind of insane. Can you transfer stuff from your old hard drive to this one? That’s kind of important.

3:00 – They just pulled an Oprah, everyone in the audience gets new 360s right now. That’s totally cheating Microsoft.

Final Thoughts: Underwhelmed. The “game” part of the presentation was a mere third of proceedings, and really just showed slightly updated sequels from franchises we already now (Gears, Halo, COD). The middle third debuted some cool voice control tech for Kinect, but I don’t really care about video chat or ESPN. The Kinect games section was meh as Forza was really the only non-Wii-ish game that was demoed. I see how this is the future in a lot of ways, but it’s not cool enough for me to care yet. The redesign? How does that help me? When my next 360 red rings are they going to send me a slick new one? I kind of doubt it, and really, I shouldn’t ever have a need to pick this new one up.

10 Comments

  1. Crazysruzz June 14, 2010
  2. Brian June 14, 2010
  3. Defmincex13 June 14, 2010
  4. Crazysruzz June 14, 2010
  5. lalo June 14, 2010
  6. Sam June 15, 2010
  7. pal June 15, 2010
  8. Aaron Movie man June 15, 2010
  9. Henrik June 15, 2010
  10. Nights Owl January 31, 2011

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