Star Wars lightsaber duelling, Kinect party games and more
Microsoft was all about the motion control at E3 2010, revealing the final name for its mo-cap camera game controller (‘Kinect’) and a number of fun party-style games that can be used with it. Following all that it then decided to bombard us with lots of games based around guns, action, muscled-heroes and loud noises. The perfect E3 hangover shock-cure, it turned out!
See below for the top ten new games and bits of kit for the Xbox 360 revealed at E3 2010:
1/ Microsoft Kinect
Kinect is the new name for Microsoft’s motion control technology, formerly known as Project Natal and originally revealed and demonstrated at E3 2009.
The tech was shown off using a number of new games (more on those below) and the branding is clearly an attempt to marry the words ‘Kinectic’ with ‘Connect’ – see what they’ve done?
Nintendo fanboys have been all too quick to dismiss Microsoft Kinect as a too-late-to-the-party me-too technology, although from what we’ve seen of the demos on show at E3 they may well be almost completely wrong. What Nintendo has no doubt started, with the Wii Remote, Microsoft could well take to a much wider casual gaming market with Kinect. Well, that is obviously its plan. What we need now are Kinect games and new apps to sell it.
2/ Kinect Video Chat and Xbox Live mobile integration
In addition to family and party gaming, Kinect also features video-chat capabilities which will allow you to chat with your friends and family on the screen.
And continuing the theme of keeping connected to your friends, Microsoft also assured us that Xbox Live will soon be closely integrated with Microsoft Windows Phone 7, so you can keep up with all of your Xbox Friends, Avatars and Achievements on the go. A nice touch, providing it is user-friendly and glitch-free, of course.
3/ Star Wars lightsaber duelling
Never say that Microsoft does not know its gaming audience, because the announcement of a new Star Wars game that works with Microsoft Kinect and lets you wave around your arms and control a realistic representation of a Darth Vader-killing Jedi on your TV is pretty much exactly what this audience wanted from E3.
4/ A new, slimmer Xbox 360
Compared to the Wii, the Microsoft Xbox 360 is massive. So it was welcome news to be informed that Microsoft is planning on bringing a newer, slimmer and quieter console to market later in 2010.
You can read more about our first impressions of the new Xbox 360 Slim to find out more about why we are excited about an Xbox console that might also let us play DVD movies without making too much of a racket under the telly!
Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 announcement was overshadowed by the focus on its new Kinect tech. However, with built-in Wi-Fi and full Kinect-compatibility, this new console from Redmond is sure to be a big hit with gamers and families this coming Christmas.
5/ The price of the new Xbox 360 Slim
Microsoft won over the members of the press attending its E3 conference this year by gifting them each a new slimmed-down Xbox 360 console, simply for attending its press conference.
Those of us that weren’t at the event were immediately gutted the second we heard this news!
However, the pricing of the new Xbox 360 is surprisingly competitive, with Microsoft planning on releasing in later in July in the UK for a few pennies under £200. Properly impressive stuff.
You can read more on the Xbox 360 Slim pre-orders here.
David Braben – he of Elite fame – is the man behind the cutesy new pet simulation for Microsoft Kinect, called Kinectimals. The game was demonstrated at E3 by a young girl who was playing with her pet tiger on the TV screen in front of her.
It managed to be both cute and slightly scary at the same time. However, it looked like it could well be a lot of fun, if looking after pretend tigers on your TV is your definition of fun.
The hardcore scoffed, but this is a really good example of how Microsoft plans to embrace family gaming.
7/ Kinect Sports
Kinect Sports is being developed by the British development legends at Rare Studios, with many pointing out that it looks like a glorified version of Wii Sports. Which, in many ways, it may well be.
However, if it controls better than Nintendo’s game and has better graphics and lets you play online with your Xbox Live friends and so on, then Microsoft could well be onto a major winner with Kinect Sports.
8/ Gears of War 3
Just to reiterate the fact that the Xbox 360 is also still first and foremost a gamer’s console, Epic Games’ Cliffy B took to the stage at E3 2010 to show off the forthcoming Gears of War 3.
Microsoft doesn’t want to lose the hardcore following it has for its key franchises such as Halo and Gears of War. But what it does want to do is to try to make the Xbox 360 a lot more family-friendly at the same time, with new titles such as the aforementioned Kinect Sports and Kinectimals due out this coming Christmas.
9/ Peter Molyneux
Mr Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios is now owned by Microsoft. But that doesn’t stop him from going ahead and making some of the most impressive interactive entertainment spectacles of this generation.
Firstly, Molyneux was showing off the latest on Fable III at E3 2010. A must-get game for Xbox 360 owners when it releases later in the year.
And if that wasn’t enough already, Molyneux also revealed that last year’s Kinect tech demo is being developed into a full game called Milo and Kate. And while it was a shame that we didn’t get to see any more of the title at E3, we are still looking forward to seeing it when Microsoft decides to make its reveal.
10/ No more red rings of death
As early adopters of the first Xbox 360 consoles out at launch way back, we’ve had our share of consoles crap out on us with the annoying ‘red ring of death’ overheating problem. No longer.
Microsoft revealed that the new Xbox 360 Slim will not flash Red Ring Of Death, because there are no red lights in the thing to allow it to happen!
The lack of red lights in the machine were shown up on the new spec sheet for the Xbox 360 Slimline. Let’s just hope that there are no further overheating issues with Microsoft’s new console, because it has really had its share of PR disasters with those this generation!