Microsoft E3 2009 Press Conference Summary


The Microsoft Press Conference can be viewed here. See also: My 2008 Microsoft E3 coverage.

Big Announcements:

  • halo reach logoHalo Reach: Bungie teased this new Halo game, set for a fall 2010 release. Whoo hoo! If its a Bungie shooter, and it has the name Halo on it, I’m in! Is ‘Noble 1’, Will Master Chief?
  • metal gear rising logoMetal Gear Rising: The next Kojima / Konami Metal Gear game is coming to the Xbox!!! Holy Cow! The final coup de gras against Sony.  Kojima seemed genuinely happy to appear on stage for the announcement.
  • lyons gate mylo demoProject Natal: A ‘controller free’ , full body motion capture, item scanning, facial and voice recognition. Will work on every 360. See demo here. I’ll believe it when I see it! I don’t believe the Lion’s Gate Milo demo pictured on right. It had to be heavily scripted (click for larger view).

New Console Features (coming this fall)

  • coming to xbox live coming to Xbox Live free (globally available)
  • Netflix Queue on 360 will be manageable from Xbox Dashboard (no need to do it on PC anymore)
  • HD download library being upgraded to full 1080p
  • facebook coming to xbox liveInstant 1080p HD Movies/TV – Worldwide: Faster movie downloads. Higher high def. Doubling number of countries where HD TV/video content will be available from 8 to 18
  • Facebook on Xbox 360 (very much an Xbox 360 look)
  • twitter coming to xbox live Titter coming to Xbox Live


Microsoft Exclusives Coming

  • Shadow Complex – An Epic Games Xbox 360 exclusive arcade – reminds me of Little Big Planet. A side scroller. Bizarre!
  • Joy Ride – a free Xbox Live bumper car-type game that uses your Xbox 360 avatar (next winter)
  • Crackdown 2 (can’t wait – crackdown 1 was a big surprise when I first played it)
  • Left 4 Dead 2 – zombies in the daylight! (Nov 17, 2009)
  • Splinter Cell Conviction – Wow! looks very different from prior Splinter Cell games (fall 2009)
  • alan wake logoForza Motorsport 3 (Oct 2009)
  • Halo 3 ODST – is it me or are the Halo graphics starting to look dated? (Sept 22, 2009)
  • Halo Reach (fall 2010)
  • Alan Wake (spring 2010 – looked interesting). This game is from the makers of one of my all time favourites – Max Payne. Can’t wait!

New Skateboard Peripheral

xbox 360 skateboard peripheral 



Non-Exclusive Demos Shown

  • beatles rock band Beatles Rock Band. Likenesses of the Beatles sing and play along as you play the game.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward – looked great!)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (spring 2010)
  • Tony Hawk Ride – using new skateboard peripheral (see below)

Live Blog Coverage:

My Thoughts

I enjoyed their focus on games and not things like console sales or attach rates.  I’m most looking forward to Halo Reach, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Halo ODST, Crackdown 2 and Alan Wake.

I don’t believe that Project Natal will do all that it is promising. It seems to be more a ‘vision’, ‘proof of concept’, or ‘goal’. As far as I know, no actual shipping product was announced.

I’m delighted to see that Microsoft has finally got the last major PS3 third-party exclusive franchise (metal gear) coming to the 360.

I was disappointed that there were no more details about Zune HD integration. I continue to be sad that Microsoft continues on with its ridiculous Microsoft Points system.

 [Update: Post press conference Microsoft announced FULL game downloads for real money (not Microsoft Points) via credit card. This is a big deal! Coming in August. See this Gizmodo post. Still sketchy on details – whether it will apply to other content like HD movie downloads.]

While Twitter, Facebook and are nice, I won’t use them on the 360 – especially without a keyboard.