In just a few moments the 2011 E3 Xbox Media Briefing will begin. We're coming to you live from the USC Galen Center, from high up in the balcony center stage. The mood is quietly excited, and that's just us. We can wait to find all all the news about upcoming titles and innovations out of the Microsoft camp.
9:30 AM The Microsoft E3 Xbox 360 Global Media Briefing begins!
The first footage is live gameplay of MW3, showing an underwater scene in the NewYork Harbor, navigating through water as a scuba soldier intercepting a Russian sub. Amazing sound design in this level, you can feel the concussion through the water. Ah, here’s the sub. Dang that thing is massive when you’re just a man in a rubber suit. The player is planting a mine on the sub now, and clearing out of blast range. I can’t imagine how difficult is to design underwater explosions. Very impressive. On the surface how, we see the ruins of New York and combat both on top of the surfaced sub and in the air above us.
Inside the sub the infiltration team is clearing their way through the decks, even as the sub is filling with water. I guess it’s a good thing they have scuba gear. We’re now skipping ahead a bit, to the objective – the control room of the sub. Bullet time effects are shown off as they slow down time to show the accuracy of the shots. And once they’re in, it’s time to launch the missiles – but what are they launching them at?
Ah, the battleships. Guess it’s maximum carnage day on the Hudson. I dunno about the rest of the people watching, but this combat is so realistic I might have post traumatic stress later. Ah the chopper is here, and we’re being extracted. From the air poor New York looks like it’s seen better days.
9:40 AM Robert Gold from Infinity Ward and Glen Scofield from Sledgehammer Games have begun to talk about MW3. It seems that both studios have been working together. The game comes out November 8th.
Now Don Mattrick takes the stage. He speaking about how the best storytellers are being supported by the latest in technology, and how everyone is flocking to interactive entertainment.
Dan Neuburger and Darrell Gallagher from Crystal Dynamics are now talking about Tomb Raider. They’re demoing the beginning of the game now. Man, this game is gritty. Lara Croft is hanging by a rope upsidedown, then swings toward the fire in order to escape. Falling she lands on a spike that stabs her, and she’s forced to pull it from her own side. Bleeding, she mades her way through a terrifying cave where her own crew are crucified around her. Oh yay, now she’s being dragged from behind. Lot’s of quicktime events it seems. Let’s hope this isn’t like Heavy Rain. You can really feel her desperation as she swims down a narrow channel, then uses her survival instincts to help her find a way out.
She seems like a real person, having difficulty jumping the way that any other buxom lady adventurer might. The fear is palpable, and she’s having to scramble for her life toward the light, even as a baddie grabs her angle. Once she’s outside, she sees exactly how many crashes and shipwrecks are around her. Expect the game fall 2012.
And now Peter Moore is here to talk about EA Sports titles. Tiger Woods, Madden, Fifa, and one other title will have Kinect support in 2012.
Other games will also have Kinect support: The Sims, Family Game Night 4.
9:50 AM Bioware’s Ray Musika is now talking Mass Effect 3. It’s a brand new adventure, now that Earth has been taken. Mass Effect 3 will also support Kinect! Voice recognition is now being demoed. You can navigate the dialog choices by saying them. There is also Kinect coordination in combat. Aw man this is awesome. An important note, this is Kinect support in a game that uses the controller. I think this new trend will mean amazing things for gaming immersion going forward.
Mass Effect 3 will be the best game in the series he says and believe it.
On to Ghost Recon Future Soldier. An amazing shot showing frozen time and the direction of a bullet travelling through a building. I can’t even describe how cool that was.
Ubisoft is now talking about full body mapping in Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Gunsmith is a system that uses the gesture system as well as the voice system to customize the weapons in the game. He is shooting the gun using body movements, and the accuracy is impressive. They are doing things with Ghost Recon that you cannot do with just a controller.
All future titles in the Tom Clancy franchise will leverage Kinect. That’s quite a promise.
10:05 AM Mark Whitman from Xbox Live takes the stage. They are showing off the new xbox experience where you can use Kinect to navigate your entertainment. You get access to 11 million songs, all tv, movies, and sports are available on demand. This year Microsoft will increase their partnerships so that their catalog will grow into them millions. Youtube is coming to XBLA. The issue therefore comes up of discovery.
They are announcing that Bing is coming to xbox. Bing on xbox searches Netflix, hulu plus, other video resources, to find the entertainment you want. You no longer have to navigate their menu to get to content. “Xbox” she says, “Xmen,” and up comes a list of games, movies and tv shows. This is the year that live television comes to xbox 360 – worldwide channel partnerships. The new Xbox experience launches this fall.
10:10 AM UFC president Dana White comes to the stage. Now live fights will be coming to Xbox, as well as the ability to compete with your friends. That’s huge for those who are fight fans.
Phil Spencer from Microsoft Studios is here to talk about the interactivity of the UFC experience coming this holiday. He claims xbox is changing the definition of entertainment..but that remains to be seen.
10:15 AM From this point on in the briefing, all games are exclusive.
Gears of War 3
Ice T joins the Epic Games developer to show live gameplay since he’s a member of the game’s cast. Lots of bugs, a huge sea monster has come to eat their ship. It looks hungry. “I think we’re gonna need a bigger cattle prod.” Ah, their answer: mechs of course. Eeww, the sea monster has bugs coming out of its eyes. That’s just nasty. It’s big, and it’s eating the deck of the ship. If they don’t kill it quickly they’re going to run out of places to stand real quick. How do you defeat something that big? Pour bombs down its gullet naturally.
Ice T is reuniting his band Body Count to do a song about Gears horde mode.
Crytek now: A video showing the slaughter of people in Rome from the perspective of a dog roaming the streets. Are Romans the new Pirates?
Combat is completely Kinect enabled. The game is called Ryse, and its brutal and very epic.
10:25 AM It’s been ten years since Halo, and it looks like they have remastered the games and are rereleasing them. Awesome! Coop over XBLA.
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is the name of the title. I’m pretty happy now.
Forza Motorsport 4: Turn Ten studios president is now on stage. The game will be out this holiday. We’ve gotten to the point where we can’t tell a game car isn’t real. That is one pretty Ferrari. The game will feature Kinect support including voice and head tracking, and will be available Oct 11th
10:35 AM Ah yay! Fable the Journey! Peter Molyneux takes the stage to announce the next leap forward in the franchise. This trailer’s mascot is a firefly. Teresa is running …get her! Get her! Show her what happens to people who manipulate heroes!
Gameplay is being shown now: A dude is driving a coach using kinect. Now he’s casting against goblins, using some new spells. A lot of his moves look like dance moves..oh he made a magic lance. That’s cool. I cannot wait to play this game, but I will have to until 2012.
Ooh it looks like Minecraft is coming to xbox!!! Oh wow, it will use Kinect and will come out this winter. Goodbye life.
Xbox is collaborating with Disney for :Kinect Disneyland Adventures. A virtual Disneyland has been recreated. Looks like they left out the hour long line to ride Peter Pan’s Flight. I guess it’s not a completely faithful recreation then. My niece and nephews will love this. The kids playing Alice in Wonderland are adorable as they navigate their virtual hamster balls. The game will available this holiday. I wonder if they include the “back side of water” joke in Jungle Cruise.
Kinect Star Wars is now being featured. Dang that looks cool. Not sure if this is new adventures or playing through old stories, but it looks fun. Now a gameplay demo. The guy is swinging his lightsaber, hacking down robots, and using the force to lift a crashed ship, and even flipping through the air – all using gesture and posture. Not sure what race his friend is though. He looks like a bug with Twylek hair.
Yay! Tim Schafer is on stage now. Double Fine has made a Sesame Street game. Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. Cookie Monster and Elmo are the main characters, and they help you use Kinect to help monsters with their problems. Oh Double Fine, you are just so magical.
11:15 AM Kudo Tsunoda is how here to talk about Kinect. He is announcing Kinect Fun Labs, you can try out new contect created by indie developers. This will be a permanent edition to the Xbox dashboard.
Some Fun Labs projects:
Kinect Me: Scan yourself into Xbox using Kinect to create a realistic avatar.
Kinect Finger Tracking: You can draw in the air in 3D. Very interesting. I will be excited how this will be used in the coming year.
Kinect Object Transfer: You can scan in your own objects into Kinect Googly Eyes and create a digital version of them. You can create your own content.
Kinect Fun Labs goes live today.
11:20 AM Kinect Sports Season Two will add six new sports including skiing and tennis. The game has added full body gestures and ingame voice. The golf looks pretty fun actually.
Harmonix director here to talk about Dance Central 2, which will include a campaign mode, voice, and simultaneous multiplayer dancing. The gameplay demo of the multiplayer dancing looks killer fun. I do love me some Dance Central. I will definitely have to check this out on the floor.
Don Mattrick is back on stage. Call of Duty DLC will be available first on XBLA.
First Look: New Trilogy for Xbox. Master Chief in Halo 4. Coming holiday 2012.
And that’s it. The Microsoft E3 2011 Press Briefing is over. I was definitely wrong about the handheld thing. Seems Microsoft is going controller-less for the foreseeable future. But with all the novel ways Kinect can be used, it seems that Microsoft is winning the motion gaming war. Next up: EA’s press conference. Let’s see what Electronic Arts has to offer the gaming industry this year.