Tuesday May 9, 2006 1:49 pm
Live from Microsoft Xbox E3 Media Briefing
The Xbox Media Briefing started with an amazing 3D array of the Gamertags of everyone that is here in the audience. It was absolutely stunning the way that they did this.
At the beginning of the briefing, we got a Gear of War trailer, followed by a demonstration of one of the levels. We must say - this game is drop-dead gorgeous.
Peter Moore hits the stage.
Xbox 360 has sold 5 million units faster than any console in history, as well as the iPod. Xbox Live will hit 6 million members within 12 months. As of last week, there is a 57% attach rate to Xbox Live.
We are given a look at upcoming Xbox Live Arcade games, including:
Ms. Pac Man
Track and Field
Ultimate MK 3
Street Fighter II
This is gonna be good stuff. All games will be updated in high definition, online multiplayer, and obviously achievements. Arcade is also creating a space for indie developers to get their new ideas across to today’s gamers.
Just announced: Lumines is hitting the Xbox 360 as an Arcade title, “Lumines Live.” The game will have licensed music from the likes of Madonna and others. Totally awesome.
We are watching a trailer of upcoming Xbox 360 titles. I am telling you, there is no difference as of now between these graphics and those of the PS3. Believe that. Smackdown vs. RAW 2007, Ninety-Nine Nights, and Gears of War look fabulous.
By holiday 2006, there will be more than 160 games available for the Xbox 360. When football season starts, Xbox 360 will be the only place to hit up Madden 2007 in next-gen format.
There is still development dedicated to the original Xbox.
Newly Announced: We are watching a trailer for what looks to be a sequel to Fable. In fact, it is! Fable 2 has just been announced, and this game looks incredible. Of course, this is a CG trailer…but the storyline looks tight.
Forza Motorsport 2: Another racing game, but these cars are fully customizable…from the engine, to the wheels, to the paint. Over 300 cars, racing up to 11 people on Xbox Live, and it will have a wireless steering wheel controller.
Other accessories include a wireless headset, and the Xbox Live Vision Camera that we leaked a few weeks ago. All three accessories will be available in Fall 2006.
Focusing on Japan, games like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and DOA Xtreme Volleyball 2 are hopefully going to make the Japanese appreciate the Xbox 360. Um, no they won’t.
Now viewing a trailer for Splinter Cell: Double Agent. I like the new gameplay elements, and the graphics are (again) top-notch. Even the gameplay footage. Launching in September.
Moving on to Viva Pinata. This is like a mix between Cubivore, The Sims, and a few other “do it yourself” games. In order to mate, there is a mating dance. Pretty creative. Launching in Holiday 2006.
Now we are moving on to entertainment, starting with Xbox Live Marketplace. There are over 18 million downloads since the launch, and as of tonight, there are over 1000 pieces of content. Every Xbox 360 developer has a piece of content on the Marketplace.
Xbox Live Marketplace changes the way people buy games. When Fight Night was demoed, pre-orders increased by 5x. Marketplace also provies true episodic content and opens a world of true digital entertainment. Tonight, you can download high definition show content, Gears of War Race to E3. It starts on Xbox Live, and ends next week with an MTV special.
Xbox 360 HD DVD player will be available this holiday. No price yet? What’s the deal?
I think it’s time for Halo 3…Moore is teasing us, and I think he has another tatoo. “Some guys do rubber ducks. Some guys do tatoos.” I was wrong, it’s time for Grand Theft Auto IV, which hits Xbox 360 on October 16th, 2006. He said nothing about exclusivity, but it is available on the platform on day one. Rockstar will also be providing exclusive episodic content on Xbox Live.
Moving on to Vista. The most game-friendly OS in history. Games for Windows is the new unified brand. Now showing trailer for PC game Crysis. Gameplay looked great, and it was running on Windows XP. We now change it up and take a look at DirectX 10 gaming on Windows Vista…and everyone is absolutely floored. Flight Simulator X and Crysis look photorealistic. One word here, folks: Wow. Vista is built to run games, and will be the single biggest launch in Microsoft’s history.
On to Oblivion, it sold 1.7 million copies in 3 weeks. Joint release for Xbox 360 and PC. Today they are announcing two more joint release games that will be released on both platforms, offering gamers a choice. The first is Shadowrun, which looks to provide a high-level depth of gaming. Launches with Vista in January. The other game is called Alan Wake, and it looks like a high-level survival-horror/thriller. A psychological action thriller.
Bill Gates hits the stage, and talks about Xbox 360’s global presence. By the end of June, between 5-5.5 million consoles will have been shipped.
Before others enter the marketplace, Xbox 360 will have a 10 million unit head start.
Just announced: Live Anywhere. Built-in to Vista, but will also be on cell phones, Xbox 360, etc. Have your Live account on all your devices, giving you one Gamertag that you can use across multiple platforms. Sounds like you can play games on Windows Mobile, and use your Gamertag and possibly even earn achievements. “Start a game on Xbox, continue it on the phone. Maybe schedule your Xbox to download something from your phone while you are away.” Moving from Live, to Live Anywhere.
We are given a demo of how this all might work. This stuff is going to be a big deal - we will have a video up later this evening. For now, know that Xbox Live’s experience will be fully realized on mobile phones, Windows Vista, and the Xbox 360.
I think it’s now Halo time. The crowd is going nuts. Halo 3 looks insane. The storyline will rock…but everyone wants to see multiplayer. It’s coming in 2007.
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