Views from the Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles.
Well, by now many of you will have read Tristan's live blog of this morning's Microsoft event in Los Angeles. My personal pick of the announcements (aside from that fact that everyone in that theatre has one of the brand new 250gb Xbox 360s shipping to them TODAY) was that we've a new
360 exclusive (correction: coming to PS3/PC as well) Metal Gear Solid on the way: Rising. Hideo Kojima himself came on stage to present it, showing us gameplay footage that looks extremely fluid and sleek.
When the words “cut at will” flashed up on the screen, they were followed by vans, concrete pillars, and – yes – people being sliced and diced. Players are able to control the angle of their sword, so one enemy spiralling through the air can become two pieces. Or three. If you're quick enough, as we saw, what hits the deck following the battle scenes is a veritable Genghis Kahn Mongolian BBQ of flesh.
Other exclusives for Xbox 360 over the 10/11 year will include Gears of War 3 (brutal), Fable III (still for every choice, a consequence... which leaves me wondering what Molyneux actually meant when he said “...like you've never seen before” - could you not say that of all sequels?), Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo Reach. We saw gameplay from all, and each of us will get a chance for hands on with some of the titles over the next few days. Angus, especially, is lined up for some pretty exclusive stuff (so exclusive Shaun and I will have to find something else to play with).
We also saw more of Kinect (which I keep wanting to call Kinetic; probably exactly what they want) and if there was ever any doubt that Microsoft are applying the boot to the throat of Nintendo's Wii, that's all out the window. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is basically a more high tech version of Wii Fit. After seeing that the sports collection was called Kinect Sports, I'm surprised they didn't just throw all pretense out the window and call it Kinect Fit. Speculation about just how rigidly they wish to stick it to the Big N aside, it does at least do some pretty cool things.
A demo of the aerobic program showed a blurry orange version of the person standing in front of the Kinect sensor; that it mapped her body near perfectly was one thing, that it imitated her movement was another, but when she took off her cardigan and we could watch it cast aside on screen, it was pretty clear that Kinect has some pretty neat tech going on. A diagram showed us three depth sensors, a multi-array microphone and a motorised tilt. We know its sound as well as motion activated. The only thing we're not sold on is the array of games...
Its social media, music and movie integration was shown off, and in fact much of the emphasis was on how Kinect would bring people closer together and act as a mighty media centre. You'll have seen from our wrap up of the Kinect event last night that it's really the games that still have a bit of a climb. Although, my enthusiasm for Dance Central notched up when we saw what it looks like when it's done properly. As I said yesterday, this could be the ace up Kinect's sleeve. Harmonix and MTV are behind this one, and we all know what they did with Rockband.
We'll bring you more goss from Microsoft as the show progresses; tomorrow's the first proper day, and our schedules are PACKED.