E3, the biggest videogame event of the year, is now officially in session. Just like last year, GameCola has asked their casual gamer to write up a report, instead of asking someone who knows all about current games. That’s because our slogan is GameCola: We Have No Idea What We’re Talking About.
E3 started off with Microsoft/ Xbox 360 day, which included all sorts of things like a press conference by Microsoft and loads of video footage we don’t have access to. Odds are you weren’t at the conference yourself, so here’s a summary of what happened:
- Project Natal has been renamed the Kinect. This is a motion-sensor device which you can use to control your Xbox 360. For example, you could flick your wrist to the right to switch to the right-hand menu onscreen, and point at whatever application you want (Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Free Cheese Delivery) in order to open it. It does not use a controller, and did we mention it is also voice-activated? Yes, it’s voice-activated. True, the voice commands are boring, simple things like “Xbox pause”, but it’ll still be cool to use for about five minutes. Also, you can do video chat with it, because it has a built-in camera. Expect to see it in stores on November 4th.
- The Xbox Slim is being released this week. It’s just like a normal Xbox, except it’s slimmer. That’s cool, right? It costs the same as a normal Xbox, and it is expected to eventually replace all the Xboxes currently being sold in stores. I’m told the slogan for this device is Xbox 360 Slim: You Might Get Fatter By Playing Our Games All Day Long, But We’re Getting Slimmer.
- Wait, ignore that last joke. A bunch of fitness-related Kinect games were announced, including Wii Sports for Microsoft, Wii Fit for Microsoft and Mario Kart Wii For Microsoft. They will all be available when the Kinect is released, and they look great. Besides for the ones that are oddly similar to Wii games, we also have a dancing game, a virtual pet/animals game, and a game called Milo and Kate, which reminded me of Milo and Otis.
- Rock Band 3 is going to be super-awesome. The Rock Band series is in a pretty dangerous position right now, if you think about it. The market is cluttered with all sorts of spinoffs/knockoffs like Rock Band: Green Day and Guitar Hero 99. If Rock Band 3 isn’t an absolutely spectacular product, one that stands head-and-shoulders above the crowd, it could spell the end of the series. For real! …Okay, not really. The game could have nothing but Sesame Street songs, and it’d still sell millions of copies. But still, Harmonix is trying their hardest to make Rock Band 3 a unique experience by having over eighty songs and new instruments such as a keyboard. Good for them.
- There was video footage of a lot of games, including Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Fable 3, and Halo: Reach. We weren’t there with a spycam, so we don’t have a copy of the footage ourselves, but it is all over Youtube.
- There are a lot more games where you run around shooting people. I’m not going to say this seems to apply to 90% of all Xbox games in existence, because I know for a fact that there are games like Assassin’s Creed where you kill people with weapons that aren’t guns, and I’m trying to be accurate here.
- ESPN is coming to the Xbox, so now you can watch the big football game on your Xbox 360 instead of your TV. Of course, you kind of need a TV to play an Xbox 360, which sort of defeats the purpose of having the Xbox replace your ESPN, but it’s still exciting.
- Companies like Disney and LucasArts are going to make Kinect games, but they didn’t show off too much besides fighting Darth Vader and Tinkerbell. Apparently, Darth Vader and Tinkerbell have teamed up to take over the universe and…no, wait, I’m sorry, I read the report incorrectly. They showed off fighting Darth Vader, and then they showed Tinkerbell flying around. Those are officially two different games. Sorry to get your hopes up for the craziest crossover ever.
So that was the Microsoft Press Conference. There was a lot of news about Kinect, by jingo, and for the first time in a while, no one even mentioned Windows Vista. Things are looking pretty good for Microsoft right now! But more than that, things are looking even better for gamers!