E3 2008: XBL Avatars, Netflix, and FFXIII top 360 slate

Microsoft's press conference reveals rumored Xbox Live overhaul and Karaoke game--then delivers Square Enix shocker; exclusive Fallout 3 DLC coming, Gears 2 touted.

So what's not the big news at Microsoft's E3 Media & Business Summit press conference this morning? Well, that would have to be the long-rumored Xbox 360 Pro price drop. Yesterday, Microsoft officially pulled the trigger on a pseudo-price drop for its midrange console, saying that it would be discounting the 20GB hard-drive-equipped console to $299 in an effort to clear stock and make way for its $349, 60GB counterpart due out in early August.

With the all-important pricing information thus revealed, what could Microsoft have up its sleeve for this the first gathering on the opening day of E3 2008? That question may have already been answered, as well. In mid-June, market research firm Intellisponse had its online coffers plundered, and Internet denizens walked away with a trove of plausible-sounding information, including a Mii-like Avatar system to replace the Xbox Live gamerpic, a new karaoke game titled Lips, and a new installment in the Scene It? movie trivia franchise.

Ongoing rumors also suggest Microsoft is in store to roll out an all-new look for its popular Xbox Live user interface. More than just a platform for the "MiiToo" avatars, the new XBL look will reportedly bear a Minority Report aesthetic, wherein users will be able to navigate menus by way of a new motion-sensing controller.

And that's not even to mention a new blockbuster game from one of Microsoft's development partners, such as the project Bungie teased last week that may or may not be a Ghost Recon-influenced squad-based tactical shooter, or Microsoft's Netflix video-rental collaboration.

Here inside the decidedly empty Los Angeles Convention Center, conference attendees pack in to see just what Microsoft has in store for the rest of the year.

[10:26] The attendees have filed into the LACC West Hall and a video package with man-on-the-street comments is playing on the big screen.

[10:30] The actual presentation is taking place in a sliver of the West Hall set up with bleachers and a stage to accommodate a few hundred people. Music blares over the loudspeakers leading up to the conference's scheduled 10:30 a.m. Pacific start time.

[10:31] "What you waitin' for," asks the house music, as a bank of monitors to the left of the main stage momentarily goes blank. But then the music fades, the monitors return to normal, and Don Mattrick is introduced to the stage.

Microsoft SVP Don Mattrick.

[10:33] Mattrick welcomes the crowd and touts the Xbox 360's 2007 lineup, saying it proved that Microsoft delivers the biggest and best hits for gamers. He says Microsoft's goal is to deliver to its fanbase, but also transform the industry by delivering to everyone else as well.

[10:34] He plays up the mass appeal angle, but name drops Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, and Fable 2 to make sure we know the hardcore crowd isn't left out. Cue a video clip.

[10:35] A 1950s-style family sits around a table as a narrator pitches underground nuclear blast-proof vaults from VaulTec. Clearly the Fallout series' twisted sensibilities remain intact.

[10:36] After the humorous clip, a little bit of prerendered footage of Fallout 3 is shown, and Bethesda's Todd Howard takes the stage. A trailer for the game will debut later today on Xbox Live.

Fallout producer Todd Howard

[10:38] Howard takes us through a bit of the game, leaving Vault 101. He shows the ability to play in first-person mode or third-person mode as he walks through a devastated city. The Pip-Boy 3000 wrist-mounted menu screen takes him through an assortment of perks, weapons, and radio stations. He emphasizes that gamers can play it with an emphasis on combat, stealth, or persuasion. There's also the option to fight in real-time or turn-based modes. His first kill is suitably gory.

[10:39] His next kill is no nicer, coming with a combat shotgun at point blank range. He runs into a defense turret, and mentions the ability to hack it and take control, or just blast it with a laser rifle.

Fallout 3 blows up the 360.

[10:42] The next obstacle is a sentry bot, which he takes out with the help of an EMP grenade. Howard emphasizes that the game reacts with the way the players goes through it: good, bad, or in between. Troops from the Enclave come down on him in a helicopter transport, so he switches to The Fatman and launches a bomb across the map at the soldiers. He wraps up the demo to applause and a smattering of cheers. He also mentions "substantial" downloadable content for Fallout 3 that will be exclusive to Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.

[10:43] Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi takes the stage with a translator. Both men are wearing matching Umbrella Corporation zip-up sweaters. They're here to show a playable demo of the game.

Resident Evil 5 splatters Microsoft's console.

[10:44] RE5's director plays the demo, which sees Chris walking through a hovel. He quickly dispatches a shovel-wielding zombie, then one with a scythe, and another with a club. He comes out on the rooftop of the building and can move no further, which brings us to a new online cooperative mode of the game.

[10:46] The second player takes control of Sheva, another agent for the same group as Chris. He boosts her over a gap onto a neighboring rooftop, where she quickly mows down a horde of zombies, with Chris sniping a few of his own from the next roof over. Some of the zombies appear to have flaming crossbows.

[10:47] Sheva makes her way to ground level as Takeuchi emphasizes the cooperative nature of the game and the necessity of working together. They make it to a cutscene that shows a lean and menacing sack-headed zombie wielding a chainsaw. That's it for the demo.

[10:48] RE5 will be a simultaneous worldwide release, Friday, March 13, 2009.

More 360 RE5 in action.

[10:48] Peter Molyneux takes the stage now. "Fable 2 is finished," he says.

[10:51] Molyneux introduces a clip of the game showing off the world of Fable 2. A sparrow flies through the fantasy world and into a walled city surrounding a castle. People go about their business in the very active city as the bird perches on a ledge, and releases the most dramatically depicted dropping the game industry has ever seen. It lands on a small child's head, who's told it's good luck. That, Molyneux says, is the beginning of the game.

Mmmmm, that's good Fable 2.

[10:52] Now there's a demonstration of the online cooperative play in Fable 2, and a mechanic that will let players invite their friends into the game world without lobbies or other atmosphere-breaking elements. He says you can hack and slash together, go into a bar and get drunk, or otherwise just hang out. Molyneux introduces us to his in-game wife.

[10:53] Molyneux and his co-op partner interact with his family in a variety of ways before the demo ends. One last bit of news: Fable 2 will be out in October of this year, as Molyneux previously hinted.

[10:55] It's time for the Gears of War 2 part of the show, as a clip shows a dramatic firefight with a casual voiceover stating, "I have a rendezvous with death." The developer formerly known as Cliffy B takes the stage.

[10:56] Cliff says the Locusts are back in Gears of War 2, and they're sinking entire cities. It's time for another playable co-op session, this one with Dom and Marcus going through a scripted bit before a technical glitch resets the (apparently taped) play-through.

Don't call him CliffyB: Clifford Bleszinski is all grows up.

[10:58] While Cliff Bleszinski fiddles with the controller on stage to keep up appearances, Dom and Marcus are taking fire from a handful of new nasties. There's a front face curbstomp, a spider-like enemy, a flamethrower-wielding locust, and a fair bit of chatter interjected by Marcus himself.

[11:00] The pair wind up on a rooftop that crumbles underneath them. After falling floor-by-floor back to ground level, the pair re-enter the fray, blasting away some explosive crawling Locusts before coming under siege from a massive Locust monstrosity and dozens of foot troops. Marcus pulls out a nasty Gatling gun and plows through a few before they retreat to a wrecked elevator.

Judging by those red eyes, Mr. Bleszinski is fired up and ready to go.

[11:02] The big nasty pursues them, and the pair get behind the Brumak and decide to try riding the monster, which closes out the demo. Cliffy brings up a new mode called Horde, which allows players to take on wave after wave of increasingly difficult Locusts. The game will be available November 7.

[11:03] Don Mattrick returns to the stage and thanks all the presenters. He talks about the first moment everyone in the room was captivated by interactive entertainment and knew it would take over the world. Mattrick says that day has arrived, and says the industry belongs to everyone.

Microsoft's Mattrick says gaming has surpassed the box office, DVD, and music sales.

[11:05] He talks about a projected billion in game sales this year, and touts it as bigger than box office and bigger than DVD movie sales. He says the best way to look at sales is by combining hardware, software, and online. It's charts time, as he emphasizes that third-party game sales are higher on the Xbox 360 than PS3 and Wii. He declares that the Xbox 360 will sell more units worldwide this generation than PS3.

[11:06] He says Xbox Live is 12 million members strong now, and said that consumers have spent more than billion on Xbox Live since it launched less than three years ago.

[11:07] More stats as he touts the success of TV and movie shows sold or rented over Xbox Live. Those sales account for one-third of all US Xbox Live paid downloads. He welcomes NBC and Universal Studios as content partners to the network.

Microsoft's new message: Xbox 360 will beat PS3 in lifetime unit sales.

[11:09] A sizzle reel showing movies like 12 Monkeys, Fast and the Furious, and The Bourne Supremacy runs. Mattrick says the NBC-Universal content is available today in the US.

[11:09] Mattrick introduces John Schappert to talk about the next wave of growth in gaming.

[11:11] Schappert talks about innovation in gaming, entertainment, and social experiences. He says a consumer electronics device will be completely reinvented through software, bringing us to a new Xbox 360 dashboard.

[11:13] "Welcome to the new Xbox experience!" He shows a new dashboard with the leaked Avatar, which shows up on the GamerCard next to points and achievements information. The Avatar seems to be a cross between the stylized Nintendo Wii Miis and the realistic Sony Home avatars.

The new look of Xbox Live--now with avatars!

[11:14] A video clip explains some of Microsoft's approach to avatars, with customizable clothes, hair styles, and so on. "Where else but Xbox Live can you introduce an avatar and immediately have it become a community of 12 million avatars," asks one of the system's designers. That question draws a few laughs from the crowd.

[11:15] Schappert talks about having a Live Party, with a group of eight friends connected, chatting, and playing games together with their avatars. He joins a "Photosharing Party," which lets him show off his pics to the other people in the room.

[11:16] Next is Xbox Primetime, where gamers can play along with a variety of game shows. He talks about 1 vs. 100 Live, an Xbox exclusive multiplayer game show where players can play on the stage or in the crowd, with a live host running the show.

[11:19] Next up is the games channel, which Schappert uses to show off the new Uno Rush. He starts it up and his entire party jumps into the game together and starts dropping cards. Schappert promises the best lineup of Live Arcade titles ever, starting with Geometry Wars 2 from Activision and developed by Bizzare Creations.

[11:20] It looks hectic, of course, and the presence of four players on the screen isn't going to make it any simpler. Next up is another shooter sequel, Galaga Legions. Schappert calls it the first true sequel to Galaga and says it comes form the same team that did Pac-Man: Championship Edition. It will be available next month.

[11:22] He introduces a new guest speaker: It's GLaDOS from Portal, who introduces Still Alive, a spin-off coming to Live Arcade this fall. Then it's a blink-and-you-miss-it trailer for a South Park XBLA game.

Still alive...on Xbox Live.

[11:22] It's about time for the first wave of community-made games from the XNA experiment, Schappert said. The first wave of those will arrive in the fall.

[11:24] There's one more content partnership to announce, and it's the oft-rumored Netflix deal. XBL members who are Netflix subscribers will be able to stream 10,000 titles from the movie rental service's library. You can even share your Netflix movies and TV Shows with friends in your Live Party.

10,000 streaming movies, courtesy of Netflix.

[11:26] Schappert introduces Microsoft SVP Shane Kim, who takes the stage and welcomes everyone to the party. He echoes Mattrick's intro about last year's lineup of games being amazing, then moves to this year's lineup. He brings up third-party exclusives like the downloadable episode of GTAIV for later this year, and says 1,000 games will be available on Xbox 360 by the end of the year.

[11:27] He brings up Rare, and shows off a trailer for the new Banjo-Kazooie game, Nuts and Bolts, which sees players constructing their own vehicles to help them in an adventure spanning land, air, and sea.

[11:28] That's followed by a trailer for Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. It shows off some of the pinatas and new regions. The clip also gets into the new Xbox Live Vision camera compatibility, which will let players add pinatas to their gardens by taking pictures of special trading cards.

[11:29] Kim says the original Banjo-Kazooie game will also be released on Xbox Live Arcade this holiday season.

[11:31] There's more SceneIt! on the way, as a trailer for Box Office Smash! plays. Kim says the game will let you play online with friends and download new questions and content through Xbox Live. The game will make use of the avatar system.

[11:33] Along the same line, he introduces Codemasters' You're In the Movies, developed by Zoe Mode. Kim says the game features brief games and improvisations that are then incorporated into movie clips. A demonstration has one player running in place as his image is spliced onto an image of a character in clown pants running against a bungee tether.

[11:34] The next game showcases a player swatting hornets off a screen in a game highly reminiscent of Sony's EyeToy.

[11:35] The third game calls upon the player to dance and then strike poses where pointing hand cues dictate. There's some "freestyle" time built in as well.

[11:36] Kim shows a "masterpiece" film that the team created about a lab experiment gone wrong. A radioactive lizard grows massive and threatens a town as Kim and his helpers attempt to stop it with footage pulled from their minigames.

[11:37] A director's mode will let players control the action, make their own edits, and upload them to share with the world. The game will come packed with an Xbox Live Vision camera when it ships this holiday.

[11:38] Kim moves to music games, saying an average of 3.5 million songs are downloaded from Xbox Live every month, adding 80 percent of all song downloads for these games take place on the Xbox 360. He introduces Kai Huang, founder of RedOctane.

[11:40] Huang is here to talk about Guitar Hero: World Tour, and says it will take music games to a whole new level. He talks about the touch-slide guitar, the wireless drum kit, eight-player online Battle of the Bands mode, and a tracklist including more than 85 songs at launch.

Loose lips revealed Lips last month, apparently.

[11:42] He also touches on the Studio Mode that lets players create and share their own music online. He says it will help a community of aspiring artists become the next big rock stars. With the launch of World Tour, gamers will be able to download an REM track pack with three songs from their next album before anyone else. Guitar Hero also has exclusive rights to The Eagles and Van Halen, and the new Metallica album will be available as a full album download exclusively on Guitar Hero, first with GH3 this September, then World Tour in the fall.

[11:43] Now it's time for another of the leaked bits, as a trailer runs for Lips. The karaoke game apparently uses special mics with LED lights in the handle. Apparently the game will hook up with the Zune to add new music to the game.

Microsoft hopes this special mic will light up your life.

[11:45] Kim introduces Keiichi Yano, creator of Elite Beat Agents, Gitaroo Man, and Lips. He says Lips will let people enjoy the music they love in fresh and exciting ways. It will let gamers sing from their own music collections; he specifies that you can plug in an iPod as well to play from your own songs. The mic is motion-sensitive, he notes, allowing for some interactivity even when they're not singing.

[11:46] He introduces Duffy to sing her song "Mercy" in the game. She seems to be doing pretty well.

[11:47] This might actually be a live performance, as she's nailing the notes, but missing an on-screen cue to tip the mic in the air.

It's Duffy (no relation to Puffy)

[11:49] Duffy gets a hearty round of applause, and may have been the most photographed part of the conference to date. She'll be one of the featured artists in the game.

[11:50] Kim takes the stage back, and starts to talk about Rock Band. He brings up the exclusivity window for the Xbox 360, and introduces Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos to talk about the game.

[11:52] He introduces "the entire Rock Band 2 on-disc--86 songs--all listed on a tiny PowerPoint slide. Bikini Kill, Sonic Youth, Guns n' Roses, Megadeth, Testament, and many others. Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" will be in the game, as will AC/DC. the latter will be exclusive to Rock Band 2, with "Let There Be Rock" being the first track involved. Beck, Interpol, Modest Mouse, AFI, and others are included, as well as 20 bonus tracks making for more than 100 songs on the Rock Band 2 soundtrack.

[11:53] Almost all of the original Rock Band songs will be playable in the sequel, and sometime this holiday season Harmonix will reach a total tracklist of 500 songs.

AC/DC joins Bob Dylan and Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy in RB2.

[11:55] Now Kim has introduced Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada. He talks about the Xbox 360's ability to draw in new players from around the world, and says Square Enix has been building a partnership with Microsoft.

[11:56] He talks about Star Ocean, The Last Remnant, and Infinite Undiscovery coming to Xbox 360, saying the latter would be released first: September 2 in North America, Sept. 5 in Europe, and Sept. 11 in Japan and Asia.

[11:56] Star Ocean: The Last Hope will arrive in spring of 2009.

[11:57] A clip of the game will appear later today on Xbox Live. As for The Last Remnant, it will release on Xbox 360 first this holiday season. He cuts to a clip of the game.

[11:58] The trailer showcases the character and monster design of the game, as well as a bit of voice acting. It will be released November 20 worldwide.

[11:59] Wada admits the clip was short, but said he hopes it's enough to get people excited about the game. The Last Remnant will also be available for Games for Windows, but a launch date hasn't been decided yet.

[12:00] Mattrick re-takes the stage as Wada leaves to applause. Mattrick gives the party line again, but Wada comes back out with "one more big announcement."

[12:02] He shows a trailer for a game. There are winged dragons flying through a canyon and up above a strange fantasy world. Cut to a sci-fi setting with flying soldiers dropping into view. Then there's a gigantic airship itself shaped like a dragon, then the standoff of Final Fantasy XIII characters shown in previous clips of the game.

[12:03] Final Fantasy XIII is coming to Xbox 360. "The future belongs not to those who wait..." The crowd roars.

FFXIII on 360 on day 1.

[12:04] The game will be available at launch in North America and Europe.

[12:05] "We believe that releasing an Xbox 360 version of final fantasy 13 will allow us to provide the game to even more fans in the two regions of North America and Europe," Wada said.

[12:06] Wada thanks Mattrick, and Mattrick thanks the crowd. That's the end of the conference, which draws applause form the crowd.

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Discussion

354 comments
mangoslayer
mangoslayer

Shinobukaizu... 1. 360 isnt kicking the crap out of ps3 in sales... each month at least. 2. Just because FFXIII is going to xbox, doesnt mean ps3 is screwed. Just because bioshock is going to ps3.. does that mean that xbox is screwed? No. And what the hell does Japans ecomnomy have to do with anything? Btw, they didn't need time to improve in that one year... it was already better.

bcviper
bcviper

and they say sony steals things from other consoles... this new xbox thing looks stupid i love the dashboards

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

@darkride66 But, most people don't have their PC's in the living room, so the Netflix/360 idea is still a good one. Try again. Ps. I like this last weeks HW sales, looks like a trend too. :)

esqueejy
esqueejy

Just a little jab at the 360 fanboys... Think it thru: M$ only buys out the PS3 exclusives because it's scared to have a competitor with better hardware in the marketplace. BY buying out exclusivity, it forces developers to develop to the lowest common denominator hardware-wise...which is the 360. As a result, PS3 games look just like 360 games and vice-versa. If developers poured themselves into a PS3 exclusive and figured out how to tap into the better hardware...well, you'd have things liek MGS4 and, quite quickly, even better, so enjoy M$'s monopolistic BS while you can.

Limality
Limality

Okay Netflix and new Avatar System...whatever makes the fanboys happy. The only problem I see here: I bet it's only meant for North America. Most of Europe doesn't even know about Netflix and its service and thus can't profit from it. My point is, if it's not meant for the whole of the world, then it's rubbish. Also: Only FFXIII will be multiplatform, and that only in North America and Europe if I'm not mistaken. Also the X360 version will start development when the localisation for the European Version of FFXIII starts. What this tells me is: Square Enix just wants to dish in more money, why else would they not release an X360 version of the game in Japan but everywhere else where the X360 has a strong foothold? It has nothing to do with the X360 being better (which is the main uberpoint for most fanboys). Furthermore: FF Versus XIII is still PS3 exclusive. I bet Square Enix will wait and see how sales are going for FFXIII. But that's all still far in the future. Some more: Someone Mentioned two Star Ocean games being exclusive to X360 which is wrong. I forgot which one, but one of those two games is a timed exclusive (and btw, that's the stupidest invention EVER...timed exclusives...). Blah yada yada yada

shinobukaizoku
shinobukaizoku

What all you PS3 fan-girls don't know about japan is this. The Economy isn't that great so even if the PS3's are winning in sales over there it doesn't mean that every signal Nihojin has one, and that means jack seeing as the 360 kicks the crap out of PS3 in America, and Europe. Now that FFXIII is coming out on 360, the PS 3 is even more doomed now than when it first began. Its only a matter of time before the PS3 is a smudge in entertainment history. Not too mention the 360 came out a couple years BEFORE the PS3, which was ample enough time for them to improve, but they didn't.

Fyre8892
Fyre8892

Netflix thing looks cool, but avatars? They look life Miis, and that is way not good!

sonicx03
sonicx03

I've never played a Final Fantasy game before, so I wasn't too excited about XIII. Now that it's coming to 360, I can finally try to understand the hype behind this franchise. I hope it lives up to the hype.

michfn2
michfn2

I have to say that the avatar system looks like crap. I can't understand why anybody would like it in the first place. It screams gay Microsoft needs to worry more about fixing the RROD problem and getting customer service people who speak descent English. 95% of the time I can't even understand what their saying.

MightyMouse505
MightyMouse505

I'll accept the avatar system if they don't expect us to pay for content (clothes, graphics, basically what they do for gamerpics, etc.). Also, any clue on when this update takes effect? I haven't seen a date...

RyD3n
RyD3n

Final Fantasy XIII on 360? Man the fanboys on both sides are gonna be wetting themselves now, for different reasons obviously... I hate fanboys...

morte_mafia
morte_mafia

Microsoft : mahy-kroh-sôft, sŏft; The leader in the gaming industry, the best. Making SONY look like foolish little girls, in diapers. And the diapers have pee in them. a.k.a- Simply Amazing... You havent experienced true online gaming, if you dont have a gamertag on XBL... Okay, ill stop now : )

eliascastro912
eliascastro912

what you xbox fanboys are forgetting is that in japan the ps3 is killing the 360 in sales so in the end its more of a tie, and as for the ffXIII story, im a ps3 user and i dont mind as long as the ps3's quality doesnt go down the drain along with the 360's.

darkride66
darkride66

Netflix, eh? So Microsoft wants you to pay for XBL gold, then pay Netflix fees? Why on earth would you do that? Just pay for Netflix to stream movies onto your PC and hook your PC up to your TV. Or, hook your PC up to your Xbox and stream it that way. There are plenty of tutorials on how to do that. There, again I just saved you all $50 a year. I only take 20% of that and I do accept paypal. :)

SierraS117
SierraS117

Xbox360=the true gaming experience. Also If Sony wants war, we will give em war.

lamprey263
lamprey263

another great feature I'm looking forward to is playing the games off the HDD instead directly off the disc, though I hear you still must keep the disc in the system for copyright issues, but I think this will cut down on problems like delayed texture loading (hopefully), and at the very least cut down on load times significantly, as well as cut down on disc drive noise that people say is way too loud though, I'm also going to have to go out and get a bigger HDD, but maybe with this in consideration I might not mind picking up one of those overprice 120GB X360 HDD's for $150, especially for this feature I think this will also cut down on the people who mod their X360s to do this very thing

flackstone
flackstone

I will NOT buy Final Fantasy XIII for my PS3 to protest Square Enix for made the decision to produce an Xbox 360 version!!! go ahead that means they will develope more games on the 360 instead of the ps3 because more people are buying it on the 360 then the ps3 because this stupid protest its a stupid idea go ahead protest SE wont give a ****

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

karx relax brother. I thought it was a bad thing at first and then I realized it is good because it will now be for pc and 360 and ps3. This means we can all connect and play with millions of more people witch is completely awsome. So look at it from that perspective.

K_A_R_X
K_A_R_X

I will NOT buy Final Fantasy XIII for my PS3 to protest Square Enix for made the decision to produce an Xbox 360 version!!! I have NO DevilMayCry 4 for PS3 because of the same reason of CAPCOM!!!

Decibyte
Decibyte

I think the avatar system is lame. But that's just my personal opinion. Kind of a piss off that the gamer pics we've paid for will be rendered obsolete. If you can choose to stick with the old it's ok, but all in all I think it's very childish and does not appeal to me being an older gamer.

TurambarGS
TurambarGS

As long as there's a variety of avatars to choose from and you don't have to pay for yet another thing, then I'll be happy. Otherwise, not interested. I don't like shelling out so many 'little' $10's every year plus my XBL subscription, plus games... it all adds up to be such an expensive experience. I don't get as much time to game now that I'm working full time, so I'm going to have to start cutting back on things I don't use as much :(

grambyte
grambyte

All great stuff except for the Lips, You're in the movies and frikn Scene it...

bobthegoat2001
bobthegoat2001

Lots of good news. I've been waiting for Netflix for a while now. It's pretty funny about FFXIII. I wasn't really interested in that game, but I'm sure a lot of people happy about it. For the people complaining about the avatar. Who cares if it's a copy, if you don't care for it, don't use it.

Moronk
Moronk

I appreciate that Microsoft is trying to bring gaming communities closer with avatars. Their new Dashboard update will give players a better connection with other players. the ability to just hang-out with other players is awesome. Being able to watch movies with other players on live will give gamers the efficiency of being at home, but also with your friends. And the ability of the Party Leader to launch a game for everyone in the party. Although the avatars do bring a resemblance to Nintendo's Mii Characters. I find the avatars to look more Professional than the cartoony and poorly put together Mii. The avatars give Xbox 360 Players the personalization of having a custom player model that will take place of gamercard pics. I Like the innovative spirit that Microsoft brings to appeal to not only the Hardcore gamer, but as well as the casual gamer.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

Wow this is great news for microsoft. Very impressive. It seems like all the consoles had something good to offer this year.

trw534
trw534

i kinda like the avatars but i also think that it is too much like nintendo i think they should just keep gamerpics

fanboy_killa
fanboy_killa

i hope you can choose between gamerpics and these avatars...i prefer the gamerpics, i have a Wii already. but other than that FF13 on 360....... i guess i will never say never again. either way, no matter what system you own, i think eveyone will find something they will enjoy this year. be a gamer and not a hater.

nemesi609
nemesi609

microsoft is really turning up the heat, i still want a ps3 for some exclusives(if i ever get another job and cash) but it is getting less important to me because of the awsome job microsoft is doing. i definitly agree with godzillavskong, i hope to god that they dont give up on the 360 owners, but i doubt it because the 360 has been so much more popular, and has so many more users compared to its previous generation. i am personally not the biggest fan of final fantasy(dont like turn based games that much) but seeing as this is getting so much importance amongst gamers that i may try it out. all of these games and updates are looking fantastic, im just waiting for some word on elderscrolls V, the next rainbow six, and a halo that continues after teh halo 3. WOOT nice job microsoft

ShadoweaverCode
ShadoweaverCode

OMG i've been away for too long! FFXIII is going to be on 360!!??!?! AHAHAHA SONY GOT PWNED!!! Goooo MS!!!

Azhar85
Azhar85

Xbox 360 was the best this year....:p

flackstone
flackstone

i think xbox360's pressconfrince was the best this year!

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I have to say that Microsofts spotlight at this years E3 showing was really strong. I think it blew away last years show and I am looking forward to a lot more out of my 360. It just sucks that their are rumors of a new xbox by 2010. Then we all know what happens to the support of our 360. Hopefully they'll continue to support it and not ditch it like they did with the original xbox. I do think Microsoft had the best initial showing out of the 3 consoles this year. With Sony coming in second with title like Resistance 2, GOW, and that DC MMO. The Wii looked lackluster in my opinion. Not hating on the Wii though, just my opinion.

DonnieDarko
DonnieDarko

Is there a way for me to NOT have an avatar? I guess when I'm about to play Gears 2 I'll have to look at a ridiculous cartoon version of myself and my friends, all of whom are above 25. Crap. I just realized I'm old.

Deluhathol
Deluhathol

Up till 11:05 it was fine, but then it degraded into shameless pandering to the growing casual gaming craze, who mostly stay away from the 360. Why Microsoft, why? If I wanted to play around with childish cartoony avatars, I would have bought a wii. If I wanted to play party games, I would have bought a playstation. Blatantly copying the competition at this late stage is NOT going to help them. What they need to do is what they have done in the past, or come up with something original. Because it was working, and would continue to work. Stick to what your good at, instead of stealing everyone else's ideas. Damn me, but thse new avatars are ugly.

AmnestyErr
AmnestyErr

Oh WOW! Sony really dropped their balls about this one, but hey, about time there's some NEW REFREASHING news!

lamprey263
lamprey263

I think Microsoft had a much much stronger E3 presentations this year than Sony or Nintendo... though, maybe Sony was waiting for TGS08 or something. Anyhow, great work Microsoft, you've worked hard to show your a force to be reckoned with this generation, even when some non-believers thought you lost all your steam in the 4th quarter of '07. I was pretty shocked by the FFXIII news, but also just as excited to hear that GLaDoS is coming back exclusively to the X360. Those were my favorite two announcements. I might even consider getting a Netflix account to take advantage of the XBL library.

jameston80
jameston80

wow, i love this Final Fantasy XIII, wow all the sony fanboys are all pissed now, lol take that fanboys, lol

shamarke
shamarke

IM SO HAPPY MAN!!! FFXIII

rbop
rbop

All good things to my mind.... especially FF!

BLuFAlc0n
BLuFAlc0n

the avatar for live looks like mii's

kingliono
kingliono

Lots of good news here: the Netflix deal, the games for the hardcore and the casual, updates to the system blade. Seems like a little bit for everyone. FFXIII and Netflix ought to steel the show...

cooldude03
cooldude03

Microsoft's avatar looks lame. Does this mean all the gamer pics and themes that we purchased and no longer valid. Even though those purchases were included in their figures. Now they can charge us for clothes and such. I just hope games include them with games. It would be cool if some achievements had clothes attached to them. Alright I guess avatars have a possibility of being cool. The Netflix deal is awesome, although I think we already new that was in the works. Too Human and Gears of War 2 are going to rock.

SpartanChaos999
SpartanChaos999

Awesome..but I don't like the Avatars I prefer my gamerpic.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

When are we getting this dashboard update?

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Microsoft's new avatar system and dashboard will be slick and functional, whereas Sony Home will probably be awkward and ugly. Like their new trophy system.

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

@salarinchemist I dont think there is anything wrong in loving PS3 it has its own game. But useless hatred toward anything that is not Playstation or a Playstation fan is wrong.

Heiro
Heiro

M$'s presentation is pretty indicative of the videogame industry as of late, and it's kind of depressing. None of the games shown looked weak, but there's nothing to get excited about either. We've seen Gears before. We've even seen people crib Gear's cover system by now, so its hard to be hyped for the sequel when the only feature advertised is "It's bigger and better and badder of ass." RE5 looks like RE4 meets RE0. Fallout was great back in the day but its hard to be optimistic when the sequel is straying so far from the series roots. And the biggest news is that FFVIII, a game that we haven't actually seen or heard anything about in like 2 years, has jumped Sony's ship. There was a time when a 3rd party game going multi-platform would barely bat an eyelash. But now that we're in a console jihad it's a show stopper.