E3 2007: Microsoft Press Conference Recap

Yawn… OK, so I just finished watching Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference coverage and I must say it left me fairly underwhelmed. It was a fine showing of upcoming 2007 titles, but there were no surprise or significant announcements to really speak of — like the Xbox 360 price cut that was supposedly going to be announced or the MGS4 for Xbox 360 reveal everyone keeps speculating is going to happen — and thusly there wasn’t much excitement coming away from the show. A new Halo 3 trailer was used to close the show with a bang, but even that didn’t deliver any big “wows!”.

Microsoft’s overriding theme of the conference was on its proclaimed “greatest holiday lineup in videogame history,” and though the game demos that were presented were largely impressive, there wasn’t that much that hadn’t been seen before. PGR4, Rock Band, Madden, and Lost Odyssey all made appearances and looked great. Personally, the Call of Duty 4 footage was most impressive, although I wish Infinity Ward would’ve picked a more exciting level to show off, it was basically footage of two snipers sneaking around. The lighting and overall graphical detail was amazing though, and the level design appeared far more non-linear than past Call of Duty titles. It was cool to see a surprise Resident Evil 5 showing too, but the trailer was so short that there wasn’t much to take away from it.

Assassin’s Creed was demoed live as well, which was nice to see, and thankfully it delivered… at least parts of it did. The graphical detail, animation quality and dynamic crowd AI were impressive, but the sword combat left me disappointed. The enemy AI appeared pretty dumb, as the group would stand around doing nothing while one attacked at a time. The demo closed emphatically, however, with an amazing on-foot rooftop chase sequence that once again showed off the game’s incredible crowd dynamics and Altair’s acrobatic skills.

Beyond that, I can’t say much else stood out. Cliffy B demoed the newly announced PC version of Gears of War, a dull Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 was briefly revealed (just a 360 console coated in green from the looks of it), a deal with Disney was announced to bring a vast array of movies to Xbox Live (all of which are available starting tonight), two exclusive downloadable episodes were announced for the 360 GTA IV (both due by spring of next year), and that was about it. I was hoping to see Mass Effect get more of a spotlight, but a short new trailer and confirmation that the game will be released this November marked its only presence.

Overall, it was a good showcase of titles we’ll be playing this holiday season, but again, there wasn’t a whole lot that jumped out and grabbed my attention. After tonight’s briefing I think Microsoft may have left the door open for Nintendo and/or Sony to come away the big winners at this year’s E3, if either one can deliver strong press conference showings of course.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!