June 14, 2010

Daily E3 wrap: Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft

That there is the new slimmer Xbox 360 which will be available, uh, tomorrow and which will replace all versions of the current system. Next to it is Kinect, which will be available this fall and will automatically connect up to the new, slimmer system. For older 360 models, Kinect will require its own power supply. In addition to that convenience, the new system will come with a 250 gig HD, which will be removable though presumably smaller, that you can transfer your data to from your current system via a $20 cable (not included) that was included with the old 120 gig drive. It's quieter, smaller, and has built in wifi. Oh, and it looks like the PS3 used to. Why would they go for the glossy look? And the random angle in the middle of the power button? Overall, it looks more like an Alienware computer to me and less like an Xbox. More shots here. Unfortunately for Microsoft, this was pretty much the best of their show today. The full day's summary after the break.

So my prediction of the Microsoft show was pretty much spot on. The show opened with a preview of COD: Black Ops, which actually looked alright. It was interesting to me in that the demo took place in a jungle which was finally something other than either a city or a desert. Nice change of pace. That was followed by the first footage of Metal Gear Solid: Rising (called it!) which looked SO AWESOME! Then there was a demo of Gears 3 (I'm pretty sure the demo contained a lambent berserker!) and Halo Reach (when you see the end, bricks will be shat). There was a trailer of Fable 3, though I was expecting a demo. Not that it matters much because that game doesn't interest me. The rest of the show, predictably, was focused on Kinect. While it looks like an awesome hands free controller for system functions, my gimick-y fears were realized today. The only thing of value shown off was a demo of Forza 3 controlled by Kinect. There were two exclusive announcements: timed DLC for all COD games for the next three years, and an exclusive new IP from Crytek which looked like it was set in ancient Rome. Cool, but no details. Then the announcement of ESPN on Xbox Live and... the new Xbox which wasn't even a surprise because the story leaked yesterday. And that's it. Not even an Arcade montage. Overall, I'd say I get an A for my prediction. And Microsoft? They get a C-.

EA fared much better. They showed off ten of their upcoming titles which included Medal of Honor, Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm, The Old Republic, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (from the developers of Burnout!), Maden 11, a new MMA game, some fitness crap, Crysis 2, and The Sims 3 for consoles. While they didn't show the the new project from Insomniac or Respawn I was hoping for, it was a really solid showing, with some awesome demos and trailers.

Ubisoft's show was... weird. They opened up with a gameplay demo of the only promising Kinect game I've seen called Child of Eden. It's a spiritual successor to Rez, one of the most popular cult games ever, from the very same developer at Q? Entertainment. Then there were a bunch of strange non-games like, uh, laser tag and a game for breathing exercises. Besides that, there was a demo of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, which actually looked impressive and surprisingly more interesting than the previous installments. Ghost Recon Future Soldier was demoed and also looked surprisingly awesome. A new Driver was shown off as well and it looked interesting, but not quite as cool as the new Need For Speed. There was also a new downloadable project dubbed Project Dust. The trailer was vague, but intriguing. And while there was nothing about Beyond Good and Evil 2, the surprise of their show was Rayman Origins. Yup, Rayman lives! The new game will be 2D and looks gorgeous.

Keep your eyes out for a big 'ol trailer post to wrap up the day.

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