Microsoft@E3

14 Jul

Thanks to G4TV.com, I was able to watch Microsoft’s XBox 360 press conference live from E3. Overall, they had a pretty strong showing putting pressure on Sony and Nintendo, both of which don’t go on until tomorrow.

Resident Evil 5 was the most anticipated title for me, and while it’s not an XBox exclusive, I was pretty excited to see it displayed so early in the expo. The co-op is looking to be a pretty big part of the gameplay. Chief producer Jun Takeuchi gave us a demonstration of the co-op with Chris giving the female protagonist, Sheva Olimar, a boost across a large gap and then providing sniper support. Cover meters were shown by the weapon and health meters, but they weren’t explained during the presentation, unfortunately.

There were a few technical difficulties here and there (a controller disconnected during Fall Out 3 and Gears of War 2 glitched up before starting again causing a few suspicions of it being pre-recorded), but there were only two real low points in the presentation: the awkward You’re In The Movies mini-games and the even more awkward Lips demo with big artist…what’s her name? Kotaku’s live comments were far more entertaining.

The show ended well with the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII for the XBox. While it didn’t have a gameplay demo accompanying it, it was still a pretty big blow to Sony in the eyes of XBox fans. The game won’t actually debut on the XBox, though.

Microsoft is also treading on Nintendo’s turf with an impressive casual game campaign. I usually don’t care about the multimediea features of game systems much, but with XBox’s upcoming NetFlix partnership and Primetime membership, the 360 is really turning into a new type of home entertainment system fusing all forms of visual media in an interesting way.

The most obvious move onto Nintendo territory is with the previously revealed Avatars. Some people may claim that Microsoft has ripped off Nintendo’s Miis, but really, who cares? Avatars are already looking better than Miis in that they have more room for customization and will actually be updated with more options. And of course, they will also be featured in lots of the XBox’s solid online community features, something the Nintendo couldn’t do with the Wii even if they wanted.

Microsoft definitely put on a good show. It’s a good thing too considering I just happened to acquire a 360 for myself. And while Microsoft has put pressure on Nintendo with their appealing to the casual crowd, I don’t think Nintendo has anything to worry about as they are all about their exclusives anyway. It’s pretty much guaranteed that Animal Crossing Wii will be revealed, and that has me very excited.

Sony has the last show and the ball is in their court. Not only will they have to deal with Nintendo’s potential plethora of exclusives, but they definitely need something to counter the loss of FFXIII being their big exclusive. Final Fantasy VII remake perhaps? 😛

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