There you have it folks, the Microsoft E3 press conference for 2011. We’ll be at Sony and Nintendo too. Keep an eye on the Inside Gaming blog throughout the day for more news.
Don Mattrick wrapping up, new Halo trilogy
The head of the Xbox business bringing it all together. If last year was about Kinect, now it’s really going crazy with the new games and incorporation many mainstream games. The Mass Effect 3 options were pretty incredible, so that’s definitely one to watch.
And a first look at a new trilogy for 360. HALO 4. Announced. Holiday 2012.
Dance Central 2
All songs from the first game can be imported into the sequel. Now with two simultaneous players. And more moves, of course. And I will still never play this game. (But I’ll watch!)
Guess what? More Kinect (Sports Season Two)
Adding skiing and tennis. Voice commands to change a club in golf, and full body gestures lets you swing a virtual golf club. And football, use voice command to call a play. And it’s two-man comedy time as the demoers over-play the roles! One at QB, the other the receiver, and yeah, sorta works.
Kudo on more Kinect
It’s so bright in here, Kudo needs to wear shades.
Kinect Fun Labs is a new addition to the dashboard, where you can try out new Kinect features developed by the industry and users.
Kinect Me — like the GameFace that was in EA Sports games (briefly), it scans your face then your body, and recreates it as an avatar in the game. That demo looked to work…
Kinect Sparkler — finger tracking…drawing, kinda, in 3D (in front and behind the image that you have Kinect take). Share images through kinectshare.com Impressive tech demo at least.
Kinect Googly Eyes — Scan in objects (like cuddly toys) and like Kinect Me the object is in the game. Scan your skateboard and skate on it. Scan a toy car and drive it. That’s the idea…
Fun Labs goes live today.
Tim Schafer and Sesame Street
Already getting the chuckles with his intro to the game. All for the kids to help out Sesame Street characters using Kinect controls. One for all the family, allegedly.
The “simulated family” trying not to be embarrassed by waving their arms wildly in order to be a scary monster. Ah yes. Wonderful wholesome entertainment.
Kinect Star Wars
Clones, pod racing, cities, dodging traffic in the sky, and, of course, lightsaber fighting. Railed X-Wing segment.
Voice command for Lightsaber on. A few slashes and the clones are destroyed. Gestures to use Force powers to move objects blocking your way. Even though it’s that early trilogy nonsense, it kinda looks cool (and also quite a workout) with jumps, dodges, as well as the sweeps and thrusts with the saber.
Really not too shabby.
A little something for the kids
Disneyland recreated, and yes, they have a couple of kids on stage. Hang on to your hats for Peter Pan’s Flight. These kids keep dodging the coins instead of collecting them. Yeah. Lovely.
Ooh, more kids with Alice in Wonderland. Kids, gotta love ‘em. Indeed.
Minecraft is coming to Xbox this winter, exclusively on 360
Kinect support for Minecraft.
Peter Molyneux and the new Fable
Good old Peter, wanting to put power and control at your fingertips (again). Fable: The Journey is the next game set in Albion. Peter is always one to sell a great story of potential, but maybe in Kinect he really has the chance to realize it. Kinect controls use gestures to whip your horse. Then pushing your hand forward and gesturing to make certain spell effects to kill creatures that look like Dobby or whatever his name was in the Harry Potter movies!
Pretty significant gestures to create magical weapons, like a javelin that’s then thrown to destroy a tower. Neat, potentially complex, but certainly involved.
Forza Motorsport 4
Kinect head tracking so you can look around while you’re racing, community car clubs, and Top Gear integration. Those cars look amazing–and it’s available October 11th.
Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary
Seven classic multiplayer maps, and basically a recreation of the original game, it seems. In case you missed it first time around.
New action game from Crytek
Ryse is a new action game coming from Crytek, set in Rome…you know, with Romans and stuff.
Gears of War 3 with Cliff Bleszinski, Ice T
A brief UFC trailer leads in to Phil Spencer, product head at Microsoft. And leads of with platform exclusives:
Gears of War 3 — of course, Design Director at Epic, Cliff Bleszinski out to demo a new section of the game. And brings out Ice T to play co-op!
On a boat, dealing with a massive, infected, pissed off sea creature. Chance to hop into a mech–the Silverback. shooting out the eyes of the sea creature and bugs escape from the open wound when the eye pops. Nice touch. But now it’s really pissed. And, of course, it all ends with a massive explosion!
Ice T — Bodycount to reform to do a song celebrating Horde mode.
New Xbox Live Dash with Kinect
New Xbox Experience. New interface. Use Kinect to select “music,” “games,” “video.”
Controller, a gesture, or voice to get to your chosen area.
More partners are to be announced. Including YouTube now on XBL.
Bing is coming to Xbox. It searches Netflix, Hulu Plus, and the catalogue of music and games, and you can command through your voice. “Xbox Bing X-Men” will find all the movies and games involving X-Men.
Live TV coming to 360 — but not too many more details (something similar to the Sky deal in the UK).
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Demo:
CEO of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot out to introduce Kinect interaction with Ghost Recon Future Soldier.
Down to the nitty-gritty, the Gunsmith mode lets you customize your weapons through Kinect movement spreading arms to pull a weapon apart, closing them together to reassemble). You can also do the customization using voice. “Optimize for close combat,” “Randomize” voice commands and then you can take your weapon to a range to test, again using hand movement. “Optimize for range” and opening the hand fires the gun, dropping arm pushes you into scope view, then lifting it again steps back to regular view.
Probably take some practice, but pretty crazy.
Last announcement — all future Tom Clancy games will incorporate Kinect.
You on the Kinect Bandwagon yet? Looks like you’ll need to be for this next generation.
Mass Effect 3 Demo:
Dr. Ray Muzyka introduces the new Mass Effect. “It’s about kick-ass action, consequence, and …will also support Kinect through voice recognition.”
A live demo actually showing the game’s producer speaking the dialogue parts. A few word snippets are recognized and that flows the dialogue. But then… using voice, you can issue squad commands to your support. “[character] move up” and he does, into combat situations. Seemingly it’s taking squad commands from the controller and putting them on your own voice.
More to come at the EA press briefing.
Peter Moore and EA Sports:
Head of EA Sports, Peter Moore returns to the Microsoft press conference (where he was known for announcing big new games with tattoos!)
Tiger, Madden, FIFA, and AN Other to incorporate Kinect support this year. No other details, and probably a year or so out.
Short and sweet…
Tomb Raider Demo:
Second billing for the new Tomb Raider.
Very cinematic design style, cuts of the camera, close-ups, and s surprising amount of dialgoue, Lara talking to herself, whining, grimacing, and getting crying with every crazy leap and fall. Collapsing ruins, weird dudes crabbing at her ankles (apparently waggling the left stick will kick them off so they can be crushed by falling rocks).
Fall 2012 release, but looks very impressive, good new refreshing for the series.
Modern Warfare 3 Demo:
The lights dim, the sound fades, and Microsoft employees start to whoop.
Modern Warfare 3 leads the opening sizzle reel. And as a life demo starts…the controller becomes unconnected! Nice one. An underwater scene, cutting through a barrier, and swimming slowly through a flooded, destroyed area. Bodies and debris in the water, avoiding mines as explosions start.
Like the Imperial star destroyer opening Star Wars, a sub glides above you and you move in to plant a mine.
Finally you break the water as the sub rises to see a cityscape of smoldering buildings. Now time to storm the sub, enemies coming out of hatches, helicopters in the distance, then you drop into the sub.
Squad mate lays the smack down on some fool, you mop up the rest.
The demo fast forwards deeper in the sub (“in the interests of time…” Slow-mo scene on breaching the missile command room for those classic takedowns.
Pretty stunning visuals.
Now outside the sub in a small raft between battleships, missiles firing, explosions, water splashes, flames. Absolute carnage on the water, with a backdrop of exploding buildings, then on to a chopper and time for the cinematic view of the warzone.
Yeah, that was pretty awesome.