We saw a lot of impressive things this year at Microsoft's Keynote. Some of the most impressive news came from the widely anticipated and aptly named
Kinect for the Xbox 360. Everyone can pick their favorite parts but even I am surprised at how impressive Forza looks given my hardcore Gran Turismo fan status. Bill Geist and Dan Greenawalt from the Forza team introduced us to a whole new Forza experience but more importantly a whole new racing game experience which the genre has needed for a little while now.
Hit the break for the full game rundown!
EA has really gone out with their participation in first person shooters lately.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has been a huge hit. Such a hit, in fact, that it has inspired EA to create a new group, which they call The Gun Club. The Gun Club is a group for players who love EA shooters (not the drinks at their after-hours parties) and want to be kept in the loop about upcoming projects, events, etc. One of the things members get is access to Beta programs early.
One of the early Betas you can get access to as a Gun Club member is the new
Metal of Honor: Tier 1 (which is just being called Metal of Honor, but since we have already had one of those, we will use a full title), scheduled to hit shelves this October 12. The multiplayer Beta is scheduled for release on June 21, but Gun Club members can get it this week!
For more info on the new
Metal of Honor game, hit the break!
We have known for months now that Microsoft had been working on a new version of the Xbox 360 hardware. We have seen photos, we have seen screen captures of POS systems at retailers with the new SKUs, we have even seen future ads for the product. What we didn't know were the details, and today at Microsoft's Press Briefing at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Microsoft waited until the very end to show us the goods.
Although the console had been sitting on stage all day and we had been looking at it the whole time, we had no idea it was there. Clever Microsoft hiding it in the shell of Classic White right in the middle of the stage. Right before he closed the briefing he lifted the shell and revealed the new shiny black case.
Hit the break for all the details on the next generation of our faithful friend.
The big deal at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) early on is about the future and the usability of Project Natal, now known as Kinect for Xbox 360. Going into the show a lot of people had concerns about the idea of Microsoft's controller-less interface for the Xbox 360, after leaving the Microsoft Press Briefing, I don't think there are nearly as many skeptics, myself included. Let's talk about some of what they have done to make me a believer.
First, they have bought into their own idea. Sometimes Microsoft doesn't seem to believe in themselves as much as they should to make something successful and their products fail. That is not the case here. Microsoft has committed to launching Xbox Live and Kinect in every country where the Xbox 360 is sold this year. That is a big change for them because previously there were big holes in the Xbox Live network and we expected the same holes with Kinect.
For the rest of what they have done right, hit the break!
There has been a lot of talk about
Hulu as of late and the biggest topic of discussion had to do with this morning's Microsoft Press Briefing here at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The expectation was that we would hear about Hulu's integration into the Xbox 360 interface.
This rumor was fueled by a series of screenshots of an Xbox 360 Dashboard with a tile for Hulu, which I have included for reference. While the red color does seem a bit out of the ordinary for Microsoft, they do not control the tiles of their content providers, so it was a possibility. Plus, they did add purple to their E3 booth design this year, which is also a Microsoft departure.
Hit the break for the rest of the Hulu on 360 story.
Quickhit Football is a small, easy to play, Flash based Internet game that has scored big-time with its official license from the National Football League, allowing the game to incorporate 32 professional teams. EA has a deal with the NFL that allows it exclusive access for consoles only and it does not cover completely Internet based games. That doesn't mean that Quickhit Football acquired the license for free. They raised $13 million in venture capital to pay for it, which is quite a price for a free game to pay. Brandon Justice, the head developer, has stressed that Quickhit Football will not directly compete with games like Madden because it reaches a different football fan demographic.