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E3 2010: Highlight Reel from The Microsoft Press Briefing

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Yesterday, Microsoft held their press briefing at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles to help kick off E3 2010.  We made some great announcements.  There will be a new Xbox 360 hitting store shelves within the next couple of weeks.  We saw the first playable demo of Gears of War 3.  Project Natal is now officially called "Kinect" and we had the opportunity to see a slew of titles that will be released with the sensor on November 4th.  Here are some of the highlights from the event, enjoy!

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  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    i gotta say, im a bit dissapointed in te e3 keynote..

    -no kinect pricing,

    -no hardware info what so ever

    -no head tracking! (forza was a big maybe, it really didnt come out in the demo, seemed more like zoom controlled by moving)

    -game line up is all casual, and initial impression is very wii like ( kinect sports? what where they thinking )

     

    i mean look at the kojimas game presented mere minutes earlier, how awsomw woudnt it have been to 'cut it' with kinect? i can only think microsoft is doing this on purpose and shutting out exsisting controller versed gamers. its really sad if microsoft is just looking to cach out on the casual market and not exploring the full potential of the amazing device that is kinect

     

    i can only hope that an sdk will be released so others can do right by exsisting gamers

     

    -edit-

    i have nothing agaisnt the wii, infact ive owned two Tongue Out but kinect needs to show that can give a deeper experience than the wii and they didnt do that yesterday.. maybe they will, but so far they havent

  • CKurtCKurt while( ( !​succeed=try​() ) ) { }

    They did show it was better, the dance game compared to any other one is really good. (imho)

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    Arguably a better dance game perhaps, but till a dance game like dance games we've seen before..

    it doesnt help that atleast 2 of the launch titels are also dance games.

     

    im pretty sure a normal person without technical knowlege will not see something thats very diffrent from whats already out on wii and even the ps2

     

    currently kinetic has an image of an eyetoy/wii rip off and this lineup doesnt really help. [note i obviously do not share this oppinion, kinect rules, but im not a typical gamer]

     

    --edit--

    that said, its all in the game play, but since microsoft is only letting a limited number of people play, we wont really know for a while

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    Big letdown for me as well. Unlike Sony's Move, which is basically a more accurate Wiimote, Kinect is a whole different world of possibilities. Yet the only thing they managed to come up with was the same tired old Wii-like minigames. The dance game looked good but even that wasn't the wildly different experience I had expected from a completely new type of controller. Even Molyneux just showed a quick trailer Fable 3, and didn't even talk about the Kinect features in that game, or even mentioned Milo for instance. And even the dashboard interaction required a whole separate menu instead of just handwaving through the tiles in the standard dashboard.

     

    Major, major letdown.

     

    The one highlight from the press briefing for me was Kudo Tsunoda's reaction to the Lorenzo Lamas comment, which I'm sure will be edited out in the on-demand footage, but sure as hell was funny to hear live. Fun fact: that's the only bit that wasn't scripted, and it was hilarious.

     

    Learn, Microsoft. Learn. And for God's sake never again bring out twins who have a spontaneous conversation from autocue.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    agreed..

    The lorenzo lamas comment was hilarious Smiley

     

    imo that was very close to the core of what was wrong with the ms keynote. it felt so scripted. And scripted by a marketing department very very far removed from the actual product.

    compare this with the sony keynote  last year (and this yer so far) much less scripted, with actual researchers on stage talking about their creation and playing with it. sure that might have been as scripted, but it did feel that way

     

    Also, where the f..udge where johnny lee? he alone would have increased the credibility of kinect with several magnitudes. When i heard ms hired him i pretty much assumed he'd be on e3 this year.. but.. guess not.. Sad

     

    -edit-

    Yeah i know kudo is heading the team and shannon an some of the other devs where there. But they still just read from a script full of marketing blurb. (didnt they even call kinect magical? might as well put a turtle-neck on)

  • I disagree with the, "it should have been in game x" comment only because I would rather them not try to las minute shoehorn something into a game and lose out on the game being a good experience.  For instance, a lot of the early (non-nintendo and even some nintendo) games were horrible because they were trying things without a clear idea of if it worked well or not.  it turned out most times it was "or not".  It took a while for them to get the clue that they shouldn't always just assume a game needs the motion gimmick...

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.

    Nobody is saying it should be shoehorned into a game that wasn't originally designed for it.

  • I don't know what people were expecting. It was always pretty clear to me that Kinect is about casual/physical gaming, not about core games (lack of buttons should be a hint). You may see it tacked on as a gimmick to some core games (Forza did have head tracking in the cockpit view), but really this isn't about core gamers, it's about expanding the market to the casual crowd (which they even stated fairly explicitly).

     

    That's fine though, it's not like the core games disappear just because there's also casual games available. Halo, Call of Duty, Crackdown, Fable, etc. are all coming this year for the core crowd, so I'm not sure why the existence of Kinect Sports is cause for disappointment for those who don't like that sort of stuff anyway.

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    There is absolutly nothing preventing kinect to be used for othat things that minigames and fitness. kuda has repeatedly said thay kinect can enrich 'core' games as well and i agree.

     

    the forza demos where technically tracking the head but it was not doing the kind of 3d parallax effect that people like johhny lee has demonstrated. instead they tracked head turning meanign that you'll look away from the display when you're looking to the side. for the car watching mini game, the tracking seemed more to use your body as a kind of joystick for zooming rather than turning the tv into a virtual window. hey i might be wrong but if that was true head tracking they didnt show that very well, and even so, it was just a mini game, id expected all the cameras (driving with an outside view for example) to use this mechanic

     

    forza also seemed for some inexplicable reason only included kinect controls in a tiny part of the game, they described what they showed as a mini game witch i can only take as meaning you cant use kinect in the main game where you have to use the throttle/break

     

    also, citing the kinects lack of buttons as some sort of obstacle for integration into core games is incredibly unimaginative.. hello, you you already have an xbox controller with plenty of buttons. microsoft has even talked to some of the press about using kinect along side a traditional controller.. head tracking for paralax 3d is just one example of something that could well have been integrated into halo and gears without either requireing a lot of work or severly diminishing the experience for people without natal

    This polarisation between casual and core is completly arbitrary, it doesnt have to be so black and white.

     

    What did i expect?

    -i expected kinects full potential to be shown instead of reducing it to the eye toy ripoff its so often claimed to be [and is not]

    -i expected the dashboard to 'nativly' use kinect and not have a whole other dashboard just for kinect.

    -i expected the kinect pointing device mechanic  to take advantage of head position and not simply track the hand relative to camera space and using only positioning for 'clicks'. (again like the eye toy)

    -i expected technical details about kinect. Someone said that sunday was about experience and monday was about the technology. they lied. 

    -i expected more than a frickin prerender of a startrek game that didnt even show the person playing! for all we know that lightsaber waving might have been canned animations.

    -i expected microsoft to realise that the audience didnt consist of soccer moms and six year olds, but gamers and journalists with considerable experience. no one is doubting that there will be mini game compilations and sports games for kinect. They are doubting the accuracy and flexibility of the device. just look at sonys presentaion. Thats how you talk to the gaming press! if only sonys marketing dept had worked at microsoft.

     

    So far it seems like MSR developed something amazing and some marketing execs just saw that as to sell lots and lots of shovelware (zumba and biggest loser, im looking at you) to people who doesnt read gaming reviews or visit e3 for that matter.

     

    im not saying sports and adventures arent fun games, they might well be, im just saying they are obvious games.

  • Kinect is very different from a normal controller. That's why there's a separate "hub" for kinect in the dashboard which optimizes for Kinect-based navigation. You wouldn't want to work your way through a controller-centric UI using a gesture based input. It would be frustrating and annoying.

     

    The audience does consist of soccer moms and six year olds. That's exactly the audience that MS hasn't been able to tap into yet, and exactly the audience that needs to start buying Xbox 360s for it to move beyond the tens and into the hundreds of million units. Don't worry - the core games and normal controller aren't going anywhere. Just because there are games and input devices that aren't for you doesn't mean you have to stop playing the games you do like.

     

    Yes, Kinect Sports and Adventures may well be "obvious", but they're "obvious" for a reason - because they're obviously great fits for this kind of technology and are loads of fun. It would be stupid to not have those games for Kinect. You can't not do fun games because you think they're not unexpected enough. If that had been the case we would've never see wii sports in the first place. 

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    Well you flip around things in the regular dash borad as well, also, the kinect dashboard uses voice control, dont tell me that couldnt have been integrated in the regular version.

    i think the fail here is that kinect isnt really integrated at all, its basically an application that you launch. What they should have done was make the transition between kinect and control based input smoother. they could for example switch layout if kinect heard the word xbox, and switched back if the controller was used. (just of the top of my head)

     

    no the audience at e3 does not consist of soccer moms and six year olds. you are talking about microsofts target audience, non of whom where at e3. the ms keynote would have been fine for general media but for a gaming convention with gaming journalists they totaly missed the mark. what they showed of kinect didnt speak to anyone in the room. again, compare with the sony keynote. KB engages the audience, connected with them, got them excited about the product. even though move may be technically inferior to kinect, journalists will write it up because sony connected with them and showed them the potential

     

    im not worried that 'core' games will go away, im dissapointed that they are not taking advantage of the significant enhancments that kinect could bring. The e3 keynote also failed to hammer home unique abilities for kinect even in sports type games. why didnt any one run with their arms flailing for example*, that'd been hilarious. Sure the demo with the kid was all cutesy, but it failed to clearly demonstrate what was actual game mechanichs and what was her pretending.. i see what they did there but journalists are a cynical bunch and imo you need more substance than that. hold-to-select in the dashboard is also far below what kinect can do.

     

    i say the games where obvious, not that they shoudnt have been done. they have been done before however and didnt fulfil the promise  of 'suprises' that ms hyped before hand. wii sport was new and fresh, it was a suprise. kinect sports is not. as i said before, no one ever doubted that there would be those kinds of games and microsoft was right to show them, but they should have shown other things as well.

     

    -edit-

    *actually, the tinas [excelent] interview, they guy actually shows that. reassuring, but that was really what they have been showing at the keynote. things like that is what makes kinect unique

  • The reason they made a separate hub is because it works better that way. Don't assume they're just bumbling idiots who haven't thought this through. It's done that way for a reason.


    E3 isn't a consumer show at all. It's a press event. They're not selling it to the attendees at E3, they're selling it to soccer moms and six year olds, and are relying on journalists to do their jobs and report on it accurately even if they're not personally the target audience.

     

    Wii sport wasn't a surprise. It was equally obvious. It's clear that physical gaming requires a sports title. We've certainly had arcade machines with sports titles for ages (golf, skiing etc.).

  • Allan LindqvistaL_ Kinect ftw

    i dont agree that it "works better that way" and just because they are microsoft doesnt mean they do everything right. this is one instance where i think they where wrong. i dont think they are idiots, i think they took the easy route instead of figuring out an integrated experience. that might make short term economical sense, but its hardly optimal from a usability stand point since almost the same options are available in two places but with wildly diffrent ergonomics.

     

    and no, e3 is not a press event, its an trade show. its for developers and other industry professionsals as well as the press. but yeah, the press has the job of relaying information from the show to their own target demographic, the problem is that for e3 that demographic is largely gamers.  you are incorrect in a more general sense though as its hardly the job of the press to simply repeat microsofts marketing, its their job to review what is shown and provide their own subjective oppinion of what they have seen.

     

    the fact that wii sports was a sports game that was not the suprise, it was the concept of motions controls [in the mainstream]. That concept in it self is no longer new, making kinect sports redundant. People already have wii sports, why should they upgrade? thats the question microsoft failed to awnser in the keynote, maybe they will later on. i hope so.

     

    once again, i never said they shouldnt do a sports game, i said they should have shown more unique features of kinect.

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