What's in Microsoft's conference?
14th Jun 2010 | 01:00
It's all about Natal at E3 for the Xbox 360. Or should we say Kinect.
Microsoft might, and we mean might, also announce the release of a Slim Xbox and easy in some details about 3D gaming on their platform.
Either way, Kinect will carry MS through. That and Gears of War 3, Halo: Reach and Fable III. Here's what we expect to see over the next couple of days...
It seems like an age ago when we first starting to hearing about a mystical perpherial codenamed Natal. And now, hours away from 'MS@E3', we know a lot more about it - but that doesn't mean we're not still excited to meet it face-to-face. With people calling it the 'year's most exciting product' and the somewhat surprise announcement that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be supporting it, it could well be the up there with hardware launch of the event.
On top of the Tom Clancy title, expect to see lots of sports games to destroy any nearby ornaments while playing.
We already know a little bit about Hulu but it's not going to hurt to learn a lot more while we're across the pond. Boasting TV shows and movies from NBC, Fox, ABC and other networks and studios, this subscription based TV streaming service, Hulu is looking to be one of Microsoft's bigger announcements during E3. As long as we get the complete Family Guy collection on tap we'll be happy.
We'd be kidding ourselves if we said we've never entertained the thought of Microsoft putting their home console on a diet after Sony did the same thing late last year. What beefed up hardware such a new console would include is up for even more speculation. We don't even want to go there. Our heads might explode.
Bungie broke hearts last year when they came out and said Reach would be their last game for the 360. People who are inclined to read between the lines are already dreaming about what Master Chief might look like on the third Xbox. With a release date penned in for September Halo: Reach will feature heavily over the next few days at E3. Xbox must be pretty pleased with collection titles they getting to show off in LA. Probably the strongest catalogue of all the platforms we reckon.
Gears of War 3:
With an avalanche of information came crashing down on us from the solid fact to the almost ridiculous the hype machine is definitely in overdrive for Gears of War 3. Already expected to be Microsoft's big game push of E3, the brutal shooter is going to push its Unreal Engine and the Xbox to the very limits of their capabilities. So we're hoping for lots of action, plenty of gore and a ton of general exclusiveness really.
Although being released on the PC as well as the Xbox, Fable III is definitely going to be one of Microsoft's babies at E3. Already previewed by OXM across a massive six-page feature that labelled the game "essential", the excitement surrounding the third Fable adventure couldn't be greater. The Fable series so far has already helped define the action RPG genre on the Xbox and the next instalment looks set to do more of the same, even if creator Peter Molyneux is inclined to drop the RPG and replace it with adventure. Either way it works for us.
At E3 2009 we were pleased to learn that Joyride, Microsoft's own arcade racer, was due to be released as a free-to-play title on XBLA. Since then however it was apparent that the game was taking a bit of a last minute hiatus. Now, this coming week, we're looking forward to seeing it in it's latest incarnation, as a Natal supporting speedster. Should be interesting to see how Natal's gesture recognition technology works with a driving game.
At the beginning of the year we reported on special relationship that seemed to be flourishing between Xbox and Rare as the developer was putting the finishing touches to the Xbox Live Arcade port of Perfect Dark. Following this hugely successful release we're looking forward to see what the Xbox stall at E3 has on display from their friends at Rare, although our hopes of a quick go on GoldenEye have already been dashed. Boo-woo!
Dead Rising 2: Case Zero:
Set before the sequel but after the first game (that's normally how these things work) Case Zero was first announced as an Xbox exclusive back in February. This mini-undead-adventure will introduce the new protagonist, Chuck Greene, and hopefully cast some light on what happened in the five years between the two games. This should have Xbox owners baying for blood, and PS3 fanboys counting down the days until they get to have a play on a new Dead Rising.
We're popped this at the end of our little round-up because while we expect Microsoft to say something about it's 3D plans, we think it'll just be a token bit of banter to appease the fans what with Sony and Nintendo's massive strides into the third dimension. What they've said so far on the subject has been pretty flimsy but we've been told to expect future announcements. So maybe, just maybe, we'll be surprised about what they have to say. After all, 3D Natal would be out of this world. Can we look forward to a 3D enabled, Slim Xbox packaged with Natal before Christmas? We'll find out first.