At the time of this writing, there is a pretty fun Easter Egg on Newsweek.com.
Typically the site appears as it does above, however, enter the trusty Konami Code on your keyboard (Up Arrow, Up Arrow, Down Arrow, Down Arrow, Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Left Arrow, Right Arrow, B, A and Enter), and you get…
Starting at 10:30am Local Time, Microsoft took the stage in Los Angeles to unveil their overall package for gaming in the rest of 2010, 2011 and beyond to kick off the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Here’s what went down.
Call of Duty: Black Ops gameplay shown, including pilotable helicopters.
Call of Duty DLC exclusivity announced, with XBox 360 owners getting map packs and game add-ons before PlayStation 3 owners between 2010-2012. No indication of the delay between 360 and PS3 releases.
Konami’s Hideo Kojma showcased Metal Gear Solid Rising, a Ninja Gaiden-esq action title starring MGS2 hero Raiden.
Cliffy B of Epic Games showed gameplay footage from Gears of War 3, including 4-player co-op story mode, introducing new enemy types and for the first time, playable female characters.
Fable 3 was presented by Peter Molyneux. The narrative this time is the tale of two brothers, and it should hit shelves October 26th.
Crytek (developers of Far Cry and Crysis) announced a surprise 360 exclusive, titled Codename: Kingdoms. No real details, but the footage shown showcased a 300-esq spartan soldier.
The campaign mode of Halo Reach was showcased…you know, the thing most of you will ignore to get to the multiplayer.
The much hyped controller-free controller system known as the Kinect was up next. They demoed it by showing the unique ways you can control your system, now driven by voice and gestures. More to come, I’m sure…
XBox Live was announced for ALL countries in the world, and Windows Phone 7, letting you take your avatar, gamer score and the rest on the go.
New XBox Live Feature: Video Kinect – letting you video chat with the Kinect. You can connect to users on Windows Live Messenger, and even watch videos together. The camera can even track your movement, should you want to…pace the room, I suppose.
ESPN was announced as an exclusive XBox Live content partner, allowing XBL users to watch 3,500 live and on-demand sporting events, most in HD. You can even have your avatars “root” for your favorite teams, see a live comparison of XBox watchers supporting different teams. This will be free for XBL Gold members. Wow.
The first batch of Kinect launch titles were shown, including: Kinectimals (think Nintendogs), Kinect Sports (think Wii Sports), Kinect Joy Ride (think Mario Kart), Kinect Adventures (an interesting sounding platformer game), UbiSoft’s YourShape: Fitness Evolved (WiiFit clone, but looks and sounds more advanced, with different types of training), and a dancing game from Harmonix (Rock Band) called Dance Central which comes complete with downloadable tracks.
Kinect release date announced as November 4th in North America, with 15 launch titles, including a Sonic the Hedgehog title.
Trailer shown for the Star Wars Kinect title shown at last night’s “secret” press conference. It’s an “on-rails” lightsaber game due in 2011.
Turn 10 Studios announced that Forza 3 would be Kinect-compatable in 2011, allowing you to steer by holding out your hands like a steering wheel. Additionally, you can interact with any of the games cars in-game to learn further details (look at the engine, etc.)
XBox 360 Slim announced, a streamlined version of the years-old system (a’la PS3’s revamp this past year.) Much smaller than the older version of the console, $300 gets you a 250GB hard drive and built in 802.11n Wi-Fi. SHIPS TODAY, with it hitting store shelves this week. They gave one to EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE. How Oprah of Microsoft.Here’s what it looks like (click for bigger):
So, how do I think they did? Mostly average.
The Kinect looks OK, the number of titles which feel like Wii-rehashes aren’t boding too well for the future of the controller-less controller, and not having a price tag sure does hurt it. The new 360 slim looks REALLY nice, and the surprise announcement of it hitting this week sure surprised me. That ESPN deal was a surprise, but considering Hulu was rumored, was somewhat underwhelming.
However, at the end of the day, it comes down to the games, and there really weren’t any surprises. Established franchises, mostly known titles…no real E3 shockers. Microsoft may be making a play for the living room, but they didn’t really bring out anything to please the audience which has filled their pockets thus far.