We here at The Gaming Vault thought we’d give a quick run-down of our first impressions and opinions on the conference. The press conference was dominated by Microsoft’s upcoming motion peripheral Kinect, and most of the press conference was delegated to showing off upcoming Kinect games and various Kinect features.
Of the hardcore variety, Microsoft showed off a handful of titles we were all expecting: Call of Duty: Black Ops, Metal Gear Solid Rising, Halo: Reach, Fable 3 and Gears of War 3. All the games looks pretty good, but Halo: Reach in particular caught my attention. The transition from CGI cut-scene to actual gameplay looked seamless, and the inclusion of space battles has really got my attention.
Gears of War 3 looked bloody as ever, and Fable 3 was shown merely in cut-scene form, but it appears to be shaping up nicely. Some details about a revolution and British humour was revealed, as well as some hints towards ship to ship battles, as well as the ability to combine magic spells.
Yet out of all the hardcore games shown off, nothing really stood out. Rising seems fun, and all the games looked pretty amazing. There was a certain lack of hardcore flair, if you will, considering the real focus of the press conference.
Like I said before, Kinect (which I keep calling “Kinectic”, for some reason). Microsoft spent too much time on casual games. While a lot of games analysts keep track of E3, most of the people watching the conferences at home are hardcore gamers:
“Kii-nect Sports, the Adventure thingy, Ubisofts odd training game, etc. all did pretty much nothing for me. Even the more involved stuff like Forza, I don’t really want to run in place, jump and walk around in my living room when I’m gaming,” Herman mentioned once the press conference was over, “Fable, Halo, Gears of War, and motion controlled mini game collections. Welcome to 2005″.
We were all in agreement that while Kinect probably will be fun for the uninitiated, casual gamer, it really isn’t something for the more hardcore crowd. This is where Microsoft has really disappointed us. ”
Joe also noticed some lag during the Kinect playthroughs happening on-stage: “The lag in the Kinect seems awful. Looks like it fluctuates between instant reaction to about 3/4 of a second delay. Will be pretty awful for a “real” racing game. I think the idea of rendering your character as a heatmap or whatever that was is nothing short of lazy. I hope that was unfinished.” Bastiaan noticed it as well: “Saw lag, embarassing. Yoga game even seemed to predict movements before they happened”.
Much like the Nintendo press conference two years ago, Microsoft’s conference this year was all about the casual gamer, and a company’s quest to expand themselves into other markets. The addition of ESPN is probably a welcome feature for some, but probably not something a lot of people who follow E3 care about. I for one couldn’t care less that I could watch sports on my Xbox if I lived in the US.
Overall, our impressions of the Microsoft press conference comes to a resounding “Eh…” They had a few hardcore titles that looked interesting, but really nothing to write home about. The only new thing shown off was Crytek’s new exclusive Xbox 360 title, the only new exclusive Xbox title we were shown that we didn’t already know of. And the XBox 360 Slim looks like someone used a pair of vice grips on an Alienware PC. Yes, it’s shiny, but it looks absolutely horrible.