Microsoft Disappoints at E3 2010

Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference

I was perhaps the only one of the staff that was genuinely excited about Project Natal, now named Kinect, and the Microsoft press conference in general. I thought Microsoft would not make the same “mistakes” as Nintendo when it came to representing the “hardcore” audience. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with Nintendo’s recent approach to casual games, it would have been a breath of fresh air to see Microsoft take gaming to the next level. Instead Microsoft felt as if they were behind the curve showing obvious Wii rip-offs and wave after wave of first person shooters that looked like they blended together.

Modern Warfare Blackops

Let’s start with the shooters. Microsoft not only showed a trailer for Modern Warfare BlackOps, they then took about 5 minutes to demo it. We’ve seen Modern Warfare before. In fact, we’ve seen it every year for the past 3 years and it is no longer exciting. Yes, the game will be bonkers, but please I rather you don’t shove it down my throat for the 3rd year in a row thanks. The game was followed by Gears of War 3 and Halo Reach, more first person shooters. Yay! I can hardly contain my excitement.

Metal Gear Solid Rising

The only redeeming showing was Konami’s Metal Gear Solid Rising Sword Fighting and Fable 3. Both of these games looked phenomenal. Word on the street is that Metal Gear Solid Rising Sword was for Kinect, but they didn’t actual show anyone playing on stage. I would have rather seen this live than any of the other first person shooters they demoed.

Kinect Sports E32010

So, let’s talk about Kinect. I felt I was looking at Nintendo’s press conference four years ago. Microsoft went as far as to use the device’s brand name as part of their title as Nintendo is known to do. The Wii Sports equivalent is Kinect Sports. What’s next Kinect Sports Resort in a couple of years? The Kinect brand games (Kinect Adventures, Kinectimals, Kinect Your Mom) seem like fun distractions, but we had these distractions four years ago. I don’t see anyone getting excited all over again for these kind of experiences.

Dance Central E3 2010

Not surprisingly it was the third party games that showed some potential for the device. Dance Central from Harmonix showcased just how accurate and fast Kinect is. The device was able to keep up with some complex choreography during the presentation. And the game itself seems to have the same polish and depth that Rock Band has on the music genre. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved from Ubisoft featured a sweet body scan feature in the game and floating menus that generated around the onscreen persona dynamically. This gave us a brief glimpse at what some talented developers can do with the technology. But that’s just it. There was absolutely nothing breath taking and exciting in traditional genres like RPGs, adventure games, fighting games or even racing games. And speaking of racing games, if Forza 3’s idea of innovation is being able to touch a car in 3D or hold up your hands and drive using a make believe wheel, heaven save us from Kinect.

Your Shape E32010

Wrecktify brought out a great point in our Day 1 E3 2010 wrap up podcast last night: Where were the Japanese developers? Aside from a quick showing from Konami the other heavy weights did not even get a mention at this year’s E3. It would have been nice to see some games from Capcom or SquareEnix making the rounds during the conference.

Xbox 360 Slim

Lastly, the XBOX 360 got a face lift and redesign. The new system is slick as all hell and shipping this week. However, the $299 price point at this point seems insane when you take into account that the Kinect is rumored to be another $150 dollars. You are looking at around $450 dollars when it is all said and done. Thanks, but no thanks.

Overall I give Microsoft a C.

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1 Response
  1. Christopher Bohne'

    Wait a minute! $299 is not bad at all! Take the Kinect out of the equation for a minute (especially since you & everyone else is speculating on the price point!). The new Xbox comes complete with a 250gb drive ($130) & built in ‘N’ wifi ($60)… If you were to upgrade your existing system it would cost you nearly $200. For an extra $99 you gey a whole new system with a quieter running fan & the updated processors (that are supposed to be anti-redring). For me Kinect is not a priority as I’m an action/shooter player mostly. I’ll buy it for the multimedia functionality somewhere down the line, but as for the updated Xbox, I’m on it! I’m one of those 40+ hours a week gamers. I’ve never had a machine ring, but my spindle motor went out in my Elite & I bought an Arcade. I was planning on upgrading my 120gb drive & and ‘G’ wireless, so this machine is coming at the perfect time. I was excited for the shooters & definitely for MGS Rising. I’m disabled, so I could care less about dancing games & petting virtual animals. It would’ve been nice for there to have been a fighting game for Kinect I suppose. You gotta realize that the big 3 had really spilled the beans about all their major games in advance and people are already whining about too much hardware and peripherals (ie Nofriendo’s vitality sensor & the RIDE skateboard). The big surprise for me was the lack of CASTLEVANIA (or at least from what I’ve seen, I’ve only seen highlights & watched the trailer collections on XBL).

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