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E3 2011 News rundown – The Microsoft Xbox news conference

E3 2011 News rundown – The Microsoft Xbox news conference

The Xbox conference for E3 2011 starts with a fairly lengthy ingame gameplay footage for “Call of Duty: MW3” which looks awesome, check it out below. There’s the usual man chat to follow the trailer which ends with “we can’t wait for November 8”. The “reconnect the controller” bit…. yeah staged much. Still it’s a nice look at the game.



Don Mattrick takes to the stage to thank everyone for supporting Xbox, next up it’s Crystal Dynamics to talk the new “Tomb Raider” game. Lara is 20 in the game. A stunning level follows and a release window of Fall 2012. Can’t wait.



Peter Moore takes to the stage to talk EA Sports. Then it’s time for some Mass Effect 3 love. A “brand new adventure” where “earth has been taken”. “Mass Effect 3” will support Kinect voice recognition… oh dear. You choose what dialogue is used by saying it essentially and can also deliver strategic commands to your team, like “move up”.

Next up is Tom Clancys “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier” which as expected looks amazing. Yves Guillemot takes to the stage for a short introduction. The new “Gunsmith” system let’s you do weapon optimization, with gesture or voice using Kinect. Guillemot carries on talking about how “Gunsmith will pave the way on Kinect” and that all future Tom Clancy games will use Kinect. Whether this is good or bad news remains to be seen.




Marc Whitten from Xbox Live next. He talks about making the technology invisible. Introducing voice recognition for Xbox, this time on the new Xbox experience. The big news though is YouTube partnering with Xbox Live. Then there’s Bing on Xbox which searches netflix and other content providers to find what you’re looking for. Needless to say it works well in the demo, saying “Bing X-Men” brings up all X-Men content including the games and movies in one place.

As was rumored, Xbox Live TV is coming to Xbox. The new experience launches in the Fall. They’re REALLY pushing the voice recognition which is slightly concerning given how dodgy it can be for those of us sans US accent. I used mine for all of an hour before wanting to put my foot through the screen and my Aussie accent isn’t even that strong.

Ultimate Fighting Championship president takes to the stage to talk about UFC on Xbox. Phil Spencer from MS Studios takes the stage to further talk UFC on Xbox and how Xbox is also about games and everything covered is an exclusive.

A “Gears of War 3” trailer follows. Cliffy B takes to the stage to talk “Gears of War 3”, he intros Ice-T to the stage to play some. The most interesting thing here for the female gamer is of course the inclusion finally of a female COG. Booyah!



Next up Crytech and “Ryse” where “you are the controller” in ancient Rome, looks lovely, but “you are the controller”. For a second there I was very excited this was going to be a sort of Rome set “Assassin’s Creed”…. oh well.



Next Halo, which is essentially a rehash so they could include some additional “Halo” loving. This is a remastered campaign etc. “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary” will no doubt keep fans of “Halo” happy and keep the cash flowing into Microsoft. November 15 is the date for your diaries.



“Fable: The Journey” looks great as usual, even borrowing from “Lost” with regards to the smoke monster. The use of Kinect seemed to work well, though these things usually do when demoed. The release window given is 2012.




“Minecraft” is coming to Xbox Live this winter. Yeah, I said “Minecraft” is coming to Xbox.

Time for more Kinect spiel, they’re really pushing it again this year.
“Kinect: Disneyland Adventures” essentially sees you visiting the Disney theme park. This is one for the kids and it’s kids who demo it onstage. So cheesy it was painful. More cheesy kids saying more cheesy lines as they play and lots of fake laughing “this is soooo cool”, really? No. For those interested it’s available this holiday season.



“Kinect: Star Wars” and the crowd seem a bit more excited. The footage shown doesn’t instill the greatest of confidence, even in a die-hard “Star Wars” fan such as I. The live demo too kind of makes it look a little rubbish… shame.



Tim Schaffer from Double Fine takes to the stage and I love this guy, but sadly not this particular game. “Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster” is another Kinect title for kids. The demo shows “father and son” playing together, it’s a sweet idea, though again, full of cheese.



Kudo Tsunoda (Kinect creative director) talks Kinect, doesn’t mention the sheer lack of new Kinect games we’ve seen since it launched of course. He announces “Kinect Fun Labs” a permanent dash edition. There’s a demo of Kinect making an avatar of a person, I’m dubious, but it’s a nice idea. Kinect finger tracking is up next, yes “Kinect Fun Labs” will also do finger tracking and again the demo is cool, but whether it will work as well in reality is anyone’s guess (gees can you tell how cynical I am, sorry about that). Next ‘innovation’ is Kinect object capture, another demo, “scanning in ‘the things you love”, essentially makes a digital version of real life ‘stuff’. There’s barely applause for this section and that may be because it all seems a little shallow and ‘tech demo’ at its heart. “Kinect Fun Labs” is live NOW.



“Kinect Sports Season Two” featuring 6 new sports: skiing, golf, baseball, darts, tennis and football (NFL). A demo of golf ensues and it looks nice, but again it’s hard to tell how well it plays since this is essentially a set piece. “Kinect Sports Season Two” also features more voice recognition. The demo is yet another rehearsed mess and the football is painful to watch.



Harmonix Kasson Crooker takes to the stage (last year he danced remember) he’s to talk “Dance Central 2” and is no doubt thrilled he isn’t one of the dancers. There’s voice control and multiplayer dancing in “Dance Central 2”. A demo featuring dancers follows, more of the same really, but with two onscreen at once.



Don Mattrick enters looking as smug as ever (doesn’t he always though?), he’s talking more Kinect and Bing and how it will ‘change things forever’.

That’s it other than a first look at the “dawn of a new trilogy” …. it’s Halo… “Halo 4” holiday 2012 and what a way to end things.



That’s it folks your E3 2011 Xbox press conference live blog.
Hope you enjoyed it.

Special Thanks to ThumbBandits for this succinct rundown on the EA event at E3 2011.

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