Microsoft Press event - Live (updated with actual content)

by: Chuck -
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Since the EVDO phone crapped out on me and I couldn’t get a decent WiFi signal here are my edited notes from today.  Keep in mind that I’m the site’s designated Microsoft apologist/semi fan boy so I was a little excited to go to this one.  Click on the more link for what I saw at the show

Since the EVDO phone crapped out on me and I couldn’t get a decent WiFi signal here are my edited notes from today.  Keep in mind that I’m the site’s designated Microsoft apologist/semi fan boy so I was a little excited to go to this one.


Before we start, Grauman’s Chinese as an E3 venue is awesome.

Starting out with Gears of War trailer


Hey everybody it’s Cliffy B

  • Cliffy is playing through the first level of the game. 
  • Tons of blood, chunky, very visceral
  • Nice use of cover, lots of it….almost too much, is this a one trick pony?
  • Decent weapon system, def going to be a M rated game
  • Hops over terrain pretty well
  • kind of a nice movie feel to some of the chase camera angles when running…drops a little behind…damn cool
  • AI uses cover as well
  • Hand to hand kills with chainsaw, literally cuts the guy in half…sweet
  • Good weapon selection


Peter Moore up next


  • Second generation of next generation of games…our first cheap shot @ Nintendo and Sony of the day
  • All Microsoft gaming resources are now under single division
  • By end of next month they will have SOLD 5 million consoles…they are still ramping production
  • First to the 5 million consoles point in console history as well as with the iPod
  • Attach rate: 4.5 games /3.0 accessories sold per console
  • 3/10 top games in march were on 360 (GRAW, Oblivion, Fight Night round 3)


Six million Xbox Live users by the end of the year


Xbox Live arcade – new titles although some have been announced before

·        Pac man

·        Contra - Contra code will work on XBL

·        Frogger – looks a little different not the arcade classic

·        Galaga

·        Sonic the Hedgehog

·        Defender

·        SFII Hyper Fighting

·        Time Pilot

·        Ultra Mortal Kombat 3

·        Scramble

·        Ms PacMan

·        Rally X

·        Root Beer tapper

·        Paperboy


Scored deal with Konami to publish their titles


Petere Moore – These are not just games they are shared heritage (shot at Nintendo)?

The shared heritage is the best line I’ve heard between the two press conferences


All new Xbox Live arcade games will be in HD

Online multiplayer – usual XBL goodies like achievements, leaderboards, etc.


Xbox Live is a big boon for Independent Developers

Microsoft has a program to help develop games for Xbox Live Arcade

·        100 + develoepers in the portfolio

·        Up and coming talent


XBL getting Lumines Live -

Microsoft has bagged deal with Warner Bros to put their content (music and video) in Lumines Live via Marketplace


No dates on when these titles will hit the system


Next Generation of Xbox 360 games

·        Lost Planet – solid looking, more on this later

·        Table Tennis – The first of two exclusive Rockstar titles for the Xbox 360

·        Brothers in Arms: Highway to Hell – nothing new here, still looks good

·        Mass Effect – short clip, looks solid

·        NHL 2K7 – Looks a lot like NHL 2K6

·        F.E.A.R. – Not bad but doesn’t look as good as the PC version

·        Too Human – looks good

·        Viva Pinata – first time I’ve seen this animated, looks interesting

·        MotoGP 06 – not bad

·        LOTR Battle for Middle Earth 2 - meh

·        Sonic – looking good, looks a lot like the footage from Sony that we saw yesterday

·        Madden 07 – Madden 06 plus all the stuff they left out.

·        WSOP: Tournament of Champions – Looks ok, not great

·        Saints Row  - meh, hopefully looks better on the floor

·        WWE Smackdown vs Raw – Not too bad looking

·        Stranglehold – not bad

·        Enchanted Arms  - OK looking

·        Test DriveUnlimited –little jaggy, nothing that really blew me away

·        NCAA Football 07 – Not too shabby

·        Dead Rising – Looking good, hopefully it plays well

·        DDR Univserse – looks like last generation graphics with a few twists

·        Prey- solid looking

·        Superman Returns – old footage that’s been beaten to death

·        NBA 2K7 – looks like what I saw yesterday at Sony

·        Crackdown – Potential

·        Ninety Nine Nights - didn’t show a lot, looking forward to playing this tomorrow

·        Gears of War – nuff said – used some of same footage as cliffy demo – guessing either his demo was scripted or they’ve just been using this footage before


160 Xbox 360 games by this holiday season

820 Xbox (first generation) titles by the end of the year


Fable 2- could be good

  • Kind of cool pre rendered footage
  • Can he deliver on his full vision now or not?
  • No gameplay show


Stop the teasing…SHOW US HALO


Forza 2

  • Remember when Gran Turismo was king? 
  • Forza 2 demonstrates where the first to market lead comes into play as this title looks much better than the footage we saw of Gran Turismo HD last night (granted it was just GT4 footage that had the resolution increased)
  • Detail on tires shown…actual game play or just pre-rendered
  • 300 cars in the game
  • 12 player online
  • Available this holiday season – this is the killer part of the announcement.  Sony will luck to have some kind of PS3 Gran Turismo game out this time next year.


New Xbox 360 Accessories

  • Steering wheel

        Has forcefeedback


  • New wireless headset –  very cool looking
  • Xbox live vision (Camera)

        customize gamertag, this could be abused quickly

  • All accessories available this fall


JAPAN – still committed – relevant content needed


Hironobu Sakaguchi – working on two new titles

  • Showing footage from Blue Dragon
  • I could not be less interested in this game
  • Available this holiday season
  • Lost Oddyssey on it’s way


Team Ninja – will be able to download trailer later this week for their next game


Xbox serious about bringing in Japanese developers to develop games for Japanese gamers


More Xbox 360 game trailers

Double Agent

  • deep undercover – repeated a few times, reminded me of the trailer for Domino
  • wow, kind of impressive looking models
  • HALO jump, underwater stuff in artict
  • Decent looking footage
  • Set for release in September


Viva Pinata

  • This game begs the question: Did the game start with the marketing or did marketing start with the game?
  • Try to attract piñatas to your land
  • Kind of a journey of life – what you plant impacts the type of piñatas you have
  • All animals have candy related names
  • Can buy accessories through marketplace for piñatas – hide the credit cards from the kids for this
  • Can trade them over Xbox Live as well
  • Real unique look and feel with the piñatas
  • Helpers to help out the n00bs
  • Romance Dance to grow population kind of interesting approach


Xbox Live Marketplace

-         18 million downloads currently

-         All publishers have some form of content online

-         3 ways XBL changes things

o       Changes the way people try and buy games

o       Episodic Content

o       Whole new world of digital entertainment – videos, movie trailers, exclusive content

§         Epic

§         20th centry fox

§         Paramount

§         Lion gate

-         New shows on XBL available

o       Gears of War

§         Stars on Xbox live wraps up on MTV

§         Didn’t say synergy but he was close

HD –DVD player

  • Looks a lot like the Xbox 360 – similar look and feel with inhale shape
  • Looks to be a little bigger than an external drive
  • Will hook up to the USB port and send data through the Xbox 360 to the component cables (the 360 will handle the decoding)
  • The player will have two USB ports on the back and notches for the wireless adapter.  So if you get it you will plug the HD DVD player into the USB port on your 360 and migrate your wireless network adapter to the HD DVD player and then plug your camera into the HD DVD player
  • Available this holiday


Please show HALO 3 now and stop teasing me



  • Some guys do rubber ducks, some do tattoos –  best Sony cheap shot of the night
  • GTA IV – exclusive will be releases for the PS3 and Xbox 360 on October 16, 2006  in the USA
  • Strategic partnership, episodic content on XBL
  • This has to be a nice kick in the nuts to Sony IMHO


Full on Vista launch – Games for Windows – “no longer land of misfit toys”

  • Dedicated marketing effort
  • latest in graphics technology
  • most game friendly OS
  • new Marketing strategy
  • deliver best gaming experience possible



  • Cool floaty thing monster
  • Lots of heat effects
  • On an aircraft carrier that’s been attacked by alliens
  • Good looking models
  • Little on the dark side, might just be the room
  • Wow, cool looking giant glowy monster – alien exosuit
  • Can change ammo and oother items for the weapon
  • Sounds good
  • Demo bug – not faked footage
  • Cool effects when hitting shell of alien
  • Nice worm hole effect when it died
  • Very good looking game but the footage release earlier was a little better (cool foliage effects)


Direct X 10 Games

  • Starter demo of stuff building and floating. Kind of cool looking, zooms in to reveal specific titles
  • Age of Conan
  • Flight sim X – looks damn good
  • Crysis
  • Umm…that’s it? 
  • Kind of ok – only a couple of games – hard to take seriously right now with so few titles being featured.  This may change though


More game friendly features

  • family settings
  • available on the start menu
  • more joint release titles
  • Oblivion sell 1.7M copies in 3 weeks for both platforms


Two more joint release titles (xbox 360 and PC release)


  • new FASA game – wow – impressive looking , might actually be kind of cool and different plot
  • looks really good and decent game play
  • launches in January with Vista (umm, isn’t Vista coming out in February?)

Alan Wake

  • Some new footage
  • A Wake – nice
  • Fanboy hit…dammit
  • Psychological action thriller


Holy s**t, it’s BillGates here to introduce the big initiatives


Bill gates like PGR3, kids and family like Xbox Live arcade games

Where do we go from here – all platforms

  • better tools and better environments
  • user centric
  • Xbox a learning experience
  • Adding 8 new countries – South Africa, India, Chile, Brazail, Poland, Hungary, Czech, slovakia
  • Before competition in the market, the goal is to have 10M units headstart
  • 6M on XBL by E3 07
  • Taking XBL to the PC
  • Gates does talking points, Moore does the full speech
  • 1 billion game ready cellphones


Live Anywhere

  • will be baked into Vista
  • One user interface
  • One identity
  • One friends list
  • One message center
  • One marketplace
  • Games that will work between phone, PC, and Xbox 360
  • Each device has it’s own role


Scott Henson – Platform  headhoncho

  • Start up Shadowrun with Xbox 360 and now connected to network
  • Wow- update to Xbox 360 profile blade – can see others online and how: Phone, PC, etc
  • Cross platform gamer invite – pops right up on Vista desktop
  • Note: these are just mocked up screens right now
  • Vista – integrates gamertag into widget bar – can boost score on XBL by playing PC games
  • XBL Guide now built into Vista – Hella sweet,  –no more constantly refreshing content on Xbox Live
  • This is the background services stuff that vista is built on
  • Can play cross platform…damn impressive…wonder if Huxley is using this system- probably not
  • Phones will probably have to support Windows Media 5…just a hunch
  • Cell phone interface for Xbox Live Marketplace
    • Buy a game once and play it anywhere – cell phone and Xbox 360…
    • Kick off HD dl to PC or 360
    • One Marketplace
    • Gamercard available
  • Limited to just certain phones or abstracted up?
  • Looks like just built into WM 5 phones due to UI – should work on the god phone
  • Can tweak parameters in phone or PC and then use in Xbox 360…new day to screw around at work
  • All services based, if you know Vista you know services
  • Play on 360, tweak on Vista, tune on Cell phone
  • Very close to realization?  No time table announced


Finally Halo 3 footage

  • Quick description as trailer is now on Xbox Live
  • Master Chief walks towards camera
  • Shots of Cortana are with voice over the shots
  • Final series is Master chief looking over a large crater as Covenant battleships move in, in the crater a large portal opens up and the clip ends


Few post show notes from the post press conference get together

·        Played a bunch of Lost Planet and the game just rocks, great graphics and gameplay

·        Madden 07 looks a lot like Madden 06

·        Gears of War will have singleplayer, two player co-op (built from the ground up to support this) and 16 player multiplayer

·        Gears will have a kind of mini game when you reload where if you hit the reload button at the right time you can get a quick reload, if you miss it your gun will jam and slow you down.


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