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Liveblogging Microsoft’s E3 2008 Press Conference
All of the latest Xbox 360 announcements as they happen at E3 2008.
By Nick Arvites 07/14/2008 12:22:01 PST

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We're about 10 minutes away from the start of Microsoft's E3 press conference. They've already confirmed a price cut on the 20GB Xbox 360 and introduced a 60GB Xbox 360.

We're a few minutes away from starting. Some cheesy music is playing.

VP Don Mattrick is on stage welcoming us. Touting big sellers like GTA IV, Bioshock, Halo 3, CoD4 and Assassin's Creed. Also games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero show it appeals to everyone.

"Can we deliver to our fiercily loyal fans and continue to deliver to everyone?" Apparently yes.

And he turns us over to some video.

Corny video. Like 50's-style educational propaganda. Oh wait, Fallout 3. Should have seen this coming. I'm ashamed.

Its showing the style and then zooms out into gameshots of a post-apolyptic landscape.

Introduces Todd Howard, Game Director of Bethesda. Says the video was the first part of a full trailer that will be released tonight.

Live demo of Fallout stumbles out the gate with a disconnected controller. Quickly resolved. Showing that you can play in first person and third person. Showing off the Pipboy 3000 (armband that shows stats, skills, and weapons).

Claims that you can play the game in multiple styles (talking, fighting, stealth, etc). Showing off combat. You can go realtime or use a freezing targeting system. Bloody. Soldier of Fortune-style gibs. Looks interesting. Not sure the diehard Fallout fans will really like this though. Might be too actiony for them (though they haven't left 1998).

Claiming 100 hours of gameplay. Says the game reacts to how you play it. Suggests that you can make friends with factions, which effects other factions. Showing off some DC landmarks. Equips a nuclear bomb catapault to take out a few enemies.

DLC is exclusive to Xbox and Games for Windows.

Now up is Resident Evil V producer Jun Takeuchi.

Showing off the first public playable demo of Resident Evil V.

First time it comes to the 360. Showing the online co-op mode. They use teamwork to throw one across a ledge.

Dead zombies. Dead zombies. Looks more like Gears of Resident Evil. They're stressing the importance of teamwork.

Sidenote: Fallout 3 looked good, especially if they can deliver on the 100 hours and world reacting.

And they ran out of time before showing the team taking out a chainsaw weilding enemy.

One More thing: release on Friday 13, March 2009 in Europe/NA (12 in Japan).

Peter Molyneux from Lionhead up. Fable II is finished. Let's see what it looks like and if he can deliver on the (once again) lofty promises of the Fable series.

Looked pretty until the bird crapped on some kid. Oh boy. The story starts with you getting bombed by a bird. Way to break the serious mood with the flyovers and everything.

Doesnt want to show us the dog. Woah, the ability to play co-op over Live. You see orbs of people on your friends list playing in your game. If you talk to them, they jump in. Any part of the story, any time. Hero is unique to you and changes based on how you play. World is unique to you.

Things you can do here that you cant in other games. Fight and get drunk? GTAIV maybe?

Getting married. Blah. House. Some video game kid. Kids grow up with you. Your friend can apparently "chat up" your wife. I can only imagine the Live drama over that.

Looks interesting though.

ONE MORE THING (STOP RIPPING OFF STEVE JOBS): October 2008 release date (No firm date).

Cliffy B is up after a trailer for Gears 2.

Trailer looked cool. Massive fighting. Now they're showing off the co-op demo.

World looks a little brighter (smoked out collapsing city, sun in the clouded sky). Still probably won't stop obnoxious whining about BROOOOOOOWN.

Showing off several new baddies. One had a mace and shield, another is riding a spider until it got Hammer of Dawn'd.

Flame-throwing baddy blew up. Now Marcus is lighting people on fire (not as entertaining as TF2 IMO, but it'll work). Roof collapses down a few floors. Heavy smoke. Now trying to find a way into the cavern. I think Ive seen more variation on enemy soldiers in this one demo than I did in the first game. Crawly exploding things and a Brumak. Neat. Finally get one on the Xbox. Dont add a new level for PC this time without giving it to the console guys.

Burning building. And we're in the elevator? I thought you weren't supposed to do that.

We can ride a Brumak? I can only hope, right.

ONE MORE THING: Nov. 7 release date. Horde mode. 5 players take on increasingly difficult locust.

Back to Don Mattrick.

"Our industry belongs to everyone!" Well, maybe if you're Nintendo Don. Bigger than box office, etc. Yeah.

A .3 lead over the wii, but they're highlighting that they're beating Sony. 3rd party revenue outpased the PS3 and Wii combined.

Declaring Xbox 360 will sell more consoles worldwide than the PS3. Depends man, Sony likes those 10 year product cycles.

Touting Xbox Live. Consumers have spent more than one billion dollars on Xbox Live. 500 million pieces of flair...err...content.

New TV partner and movie partner: NBC and Universal.

Showing movie trailers. Unless they're free, I'm not really interested to be honest. I've only rented when I had spare points I wanted to clear out my account.

New Euro partners: Constantin and MGM International

More content is going to other counties (no detail).

Bringing on someone from Xbox Live (missed the name, not Major Nelson, sorry).

Innovation Innovation Innovation!

What's next? Reinvented through software? WOAH. Ripped off Miis. Totally new dashboards. Looks sleek. A little closer to Windows Media Center.

Showing off the Avatars. I guess if Sony and Nintendo do it....

They look like a cross between the Miis and the things on Home. Cartoonish yet human.

Talking to the designers. New fashions, custom. Looks interesting.

They do more than sit in the living room apparently.

Community channel. Friends list. Your friends avatars show up when they sign on.

Live party: Up to 8 friends chat and react. Always connected to the party and always chatting.

Joined a photosharing party. Can stream photos to everyone in your party. Took us to Xbox Live Primetime.

Xbox Live Primetime is basically gameshows. Partnership with creators of 1 v 100, Big Brother, Fear Factor, etc.

First step is 1 v 100: All the Xiis (see what I did there) act as the people. Looks fun. You can watch and play it. You can win real prizes apparently. Like what? No details.

New Games channel. UNO Rush announced.

Can launch it for everyone in the party with a push of a button. Moves seemlessly from photos to 1v100 to UNO.

Best lineup of titles on XBL Arcade. Come on, more 90s arcade ports. Nothing from 80s-prior.

Exclusive new Geometry Wars next month. Bizzare and Activision. Looked the same as the old, but it was good.

Exclusive Galaga legions. Looks like Geometry Wars meets Galaga. Next Month.

Portal: Still Alive. Exclusive on Arcade. New Levels, achievements. In the fall.

One more title: South Park. Absolutely no details, just Carman in a teaser.

First wave of community generated games is soon. "looks great!" Some do.

One more media partnership. Exclusive with Netflix. (Wha?)

Only game system that allows Netflix subscribers watch TV/Movies. If you have XBL and Netflix, you have access to the entire library. You get your instant watch queue.

What if you're not on the same couch as your friends? You can share the Netflix with your Live party. That's a good idea.

Shane Kim is up. Showed his Xii before he came up.

Lineup of games. Prince of Persia, Call of Duty, Tomb Raider, Need for Speed, PES 2009, Mirror's Edge (too many sequels). GTA Content---wake me up when it hits.

Rare info. Bango Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. Looks strange. Vehicles, running, etc. Looks like a good answer to the lack of Mario-style games. This could be the end of Rare's slump.

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. This game always creeped me out. Looks pretty. Pinata watchers can scan a card via the Xbox Camera and import them into the world. Does that mean they're going to sell cards or we can just draw them?

Showing off Scene It. Shows your Xiis cheering when you get it right. That's kind of interesting actually. Scene it Boxoffice Smash. First title to incorporate avatars.

New game that makes a movie. "You're in the Movies." Is that the title? Kind of dumb. Looks like it uses the camera. Has the demo guy in giant clown pants getting pulled by a bungie cord. Next guy is trying to swap hornets. This is the type of game that should have launched with the camera in the first place. Next victim: has to dance and strike a pose. Scene It looks far more entertaining and fun than this. If they packed this with the camera, it might work. Outside of that, what's the point?

It compiles the minigames into a movie. It dumps the movements from the minigames into a B grade movie worse than some Mystery Science Theatre stuff. Looks incredibly dumb, but I could see how it would be funny to a group of people with nothing to do.

Ships this "holiday" with a camera.

Now to music games. 80% of all songs downloaded across all platforms.

Guitar Hero's up. Kai Huang (President of Red Octane) is speaking.

Guitar Hero World Tour. Wireless drumkit. Touchslide guitar. On disc: 85 songs (great number of master tracks).

GH Music studio. Make and share tracks. Wonder how they got the labels to sign off on that.

At launch. Can download an REM trackpack before anyone else (is it free?). Van Halen and the Eagles are exclusive. Metallica's next album is DLC when it's released.

Shane's back up. Coming this holiday from MS Games, exclusively on Xbox 360: Lips. Oh no. They're answer to Singstar. You knew it was inevitable; a Karaoke game. Needs a catch.

Made by Elite Beat Agents creator Keiichi Yano.

And the catch: You can use your own portable music player (Zune and iPod specifically named). Mics light up when you sing.

Duffy or someone is singing her own song through the game. I don't see the point. I mean, it's a cool demo, but I'd rather see some random person showing off the software.

Kim: Lips is the gotta have game this Holiday. I'll put a $1 bet on the opposite.

Rock Band II: Alex Rigopulos is talking about it. Debuts exclusively on the 360 this September.

Music: announces entire disc soundtrack. 84 songs. Every one of them is a master recording. I cant read the print, I'm sure it'll be out in full form shortly.

Axl Rose is using Rock Band to show off a new track from Chinese Democracy (I'll believe in that album when I see it). Bob Dylan gave them a track. And they got AC/DC. Diverse mix of subgenres of rock. 20 bonus tracks for free download.

Platform strategy. You can redownload the old DLC tracks and import RB1 tracks. 500 songs in RB 2 by holiday 08. Well, that just curbstomped Guitar Hero IMO. Platform strategy >>>> Guitar Hero disc swapping.

Now up: President of Square Enix Yoichi Wadi. Did he mistake this as the Sony presser? Says they've been building a strong partnership with MS since the launch of the 360 (What, Project Sylpheed?).

Three major titles:

Infinite Discovery, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and the Last Remnent.

Infinite Discovery is an XB exclusive. September 2 in NA, 5th in EU, 11th in Japan/Asia.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope is in the Spring 2009.

No screens, videos, or anything but logos.

The Last Remnant. Currently developed. Hits the 360 first this holiday season.

New footage from The Last Remnant.

Looks like typical JRPG melodrama, though on a Square-Enix scale. Could be the second or third (depending what you think of Blue Dragon and Lost Odesey) true RPG. Looks pretty interesting though, mainly because the last JRPG I played was Eternal Sonata and I was looking for somthing much "darker" and "Mature." 

Launches November 20th Worldwide. Also for Games for Windows. No launch date for that platform.

Mattrick's' back up. We've seen the proof.

ONE MORE THING from Square-Enix.

Final Fantasy?!

Final Fantasy XIII. Available at launch in NA and Europe. Believes that releasing a FFXIII for the 360 will allow them to reach more fans in NA and Europe. Wow. Major loss for Sony.

And that's the end of the Xbox briefing. I'll do one more post with my immediate reactions.

Well, Microsoft made some decent showings. The Fallout trailer got me interested, and RE5 and Gears of War 2 looked good. The Xbox dash update looks incredible. The Xiis are sort of a middle ground between the  Mii and the things on Home, though I'll wager this will actually beat Home to full release. The intergration looks interesting, and some of the minigames/arcade games look cool. 1v100 with Xiis looks completely entertaining. I love the Netflix integration, and that will likely drive me to purchase a Netflix subscription. Not sold on the Lips title or the Camera title. The camera title looks like it should have launched with the camera title, and karaoke isn't really my thing. Putting Guitar Hero: World Tour on stage right before Rock Band 2 was mean. The platform system is an excellent idea.

The biggest news is obviously the Final Fantasy announcement. If Square thinks Sony is having problems breaking into North America and Europe to the point that they're bringing the formerly PS3 exclusive to the 360, what does that say about Sony's status with the rest of the developing world. This is a major coup for Microsoft.

Hope you've enjoyed the Liveblogging. Keep checking VGGEN for more updates through the conference.

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