[E3 2010] What You Need to Know From Microsoft’s E3 Media Briefing

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Microsoft’s E3 presser just came to a close, and here is a quick list of what you need to know from the briefing.

  • Project Natal has been renamed Kinect and will launch worldwide this holiday (November 4th in North America) with 15 launch titles. No price announced yet.
  • New Xbox 360 “slim” revealed with 250GB HDD and built-in Wi-Fi N. It’s quieter, sleeker, shinier, and shorter (it was hidden inside a hallowed out Xbox 360 case the whole show). The new 360 ships today, and will be available in stores later this week for the same price as the current system ($300).
  • Six Kinect launch games announced and demoed: Kinectimals (EyePet/Nintendogs clone, just more advanced), Kinect Sports (Wii Sports clone with track and field, tennis, soccer, bowling, boxing, ping pong, etc.), Kinect JoyRide (Avatar racing game), Kinect Adventures! (mini-games like rafting and such), Your Shape: Fitness Evolved (Wii Fit clone from Ubisoft), Dance Central (dance game from MTV Games and Harmonix). Kinectimals actually looked the most impressive from a tech perspective. Overall, the games look lousy.
  • New Star Wars and Forza Kinect games were also announced. Both coming next year.
  • Kinect offers new Minority Report-style interface. Use hands to access menus and sign in. Also recognizes voice commands. Say “Xbox” followed by the command, like “Play,” “Stop,” and “Pause” while watching movies. Will work with Zune, Facebook and other features. The interface actually seems slower than a controller to me though.
  • Video Kinect allows video chat without a controller or headset. Watch movies and TV or listen to music together online. Kinect tracks your skeleton while you move, so you can move around and talk.
  • ESPN and Microsoft partnership brings 3,500 live and on-demand events exclusively to Xbox 360. Polls, trivia, stats and highlights. Free for Xbox Live Gold members.
  • Xbox Live is coming to Windows Phone 7.
  • Gears of War 3 was demoed and looked like typical action-packed Gears. The new lambent enemies are cool, and the environment shown seemed more lively and open. New mode called Beast to be unveiled during the show.
  • Fable III ships October 26th. Didn’t really look all that impressive to me, but I’ve never been big on Fable.
  • Crytek partners with Microsoft for new Xbox 360 exclusive gladiatorial action game codenamed Kingdoms. Only a live action trailer was shown, though, so no idea what the game actually looks or plays like.
  • World premiere look at Halo: Reach’s campaign. Has larger, more free-form environments and more cinematic set piece battles. New graphics engine is much improved over Halo 3. New spaceship combat sequence also teased!
  • Metal Gear Solid: Rising is a “sword action game” based on Zan-Datsu, which means to cut and to take. The game allows you to cut anything and everything, and control the angle of each slash in slow motion. The game looks amazing.
  • All Call of Duty map packs and expansions will be first released on Xbox Live exclusively through 2012, starting with Call of Duty: Black Ops this fall.
  • The whole Kinect presentation was so awkward and cheesy and overacted that I literally wanted to puke, and the briefing as a whole was very disappointing.
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    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!