Microsoft's pre-E3 press conference has come and passed, and with it plenty of details with it on a relatively small amount of Xbox 360 exclusive games, and quite a few Xbox 360 Kinect games. Gaming Union had its collective eyes glued to the conference, and of course, we have our collective opinions, condensed, here for you to check out before our next podcast.
Jamie: Overall Microsoft has had next to nothing interesting to show off, with way too much emphasis on boring looking Kinect games and fitness junk. Just to add insult to injury, they took one of my favourite Xbox 360 games, Forza 3, and made a junky looking arcade passing-mode with a poorly implemented "look at this car" mode.
Colin: Microsoft's presser was relatively unimpressive, with most of the presentation covering a lot on Kinect. The games that were demoed don't look to appeal to the core gamer, but more towards that of the Wii's
market. Some highlights included Metal Gear Rising and it was amusing that Kojima came on stage for only a few seconds just to introduce the actual producer. Halo Reach was generally unimpressive, showing off more of the same, simply with better visuals.
Shawn: The first half of the press conference was decent, but the second half covering Kinect completely killed the mood. This would have been better suited to be shown off during the Kinect event on TV, or at least have some more "hardcore" games that used it, like Forza 3. I'm wondering how the Kinect games will turn out, since many of the motions the people made on stage didn't perfectly respond to what their avatars did. I honestly can't see Kinect being useful outside of Wii-like "me-too" games. This was worse for me than Nintendo's 2008 press conference, which is saying something.
Alex: It was definitely a gamble relying so heavily on Natal- excuse me, Kinect, for Microsoft. It seems odd to say but they almost seem to be going the way of Nintendo here. Everything else seemed to be almost phoned in compared to the energy they gave toward Kinect, and Crackdown 2 was completely forgotten! Microsoft has a very strong presence in the "hardcore" crowd but that is because they constantly focused on them! Seeing a little girl up on stage, petting a small tiger, doesn't exactly give me the best hope for a strong showing of A-level games this year.
Nick: The Microsoft pre-E3 Conference was disappointing to say the least, the big name games like Halo: Reach and Gears Of War 3 were no more than improvements on features we've seen before. The cringe-worthy Kinect games were hardly a ground breaking use of a 'ground breaking' technology. It's like Microsoft isn't even taking E3 seriously, I mean, where was Crackdown 2?
Kyle: With the Kinect event yesterday, it's a wonder why Microsoft spent so much time on Kinect today. They filmed their enormous Kinect event yesterday for nationwide broadcasting in prime-time with Cirque Du Soliel, all the casual gamers they're targeting with Kinect will see that and interpret that; the pre-E3 press event, I would think, is for the gamers who actually pay attention to the industry, and are the least likely to care about Kinect, yet Microsoft spent the majority of their conference time expanding on Kinect. With so few hardcore-geared games shown, I'm concerned about this next year's line up of Xbox 360 titles.
Jordan: Microsoft chose to focus on Kinect as opposed to their hardcore exclusives
(where's Crackdown 2?) - neither were that impressive. Don't get me wrong, Gears and Halo looked solid, but they also looked a little too familiar. Kinect failed to show anything groundbreaking that will attract anything more then the family audience. Although based on their track record, the Harmonix Kinect game, Dance Central, will probably turn out well. Overall, Microsoft's press conference was pretty underwhelming.
Darryl: I was really hoping that Microsoft would actually show some new titles, because so far their line-up has been quite underwhelming. Apparently they feel it's strong enough, and with Halo Reach guaranteed to sell countless millions, who am I to question their strategy? That doesn't mean I can't be disappointed though, and disappointed I am. The Xbox 360 Slim did very little to save their conference, they really dropped the ball this year.
It's safe to say that from a gamer perspective, Microsoft's pre-E3 conference this year was a let down. A real lack of games for the dedicated Xbox 360 install-base, and a slew of Kinect games for the casual gamer that for the most part look like me-too versions of old Wii games, with minor improvements. Did you get a grasp of the year ahead for the Xbox 360 from the conference? Because that's exactly what Microsoft just showed everyone.