E3 2009: Microsoft briefing set for June 1

Xbox 360 and PC giant to reveal its latest gaming wares the day before this year's revamped expo starts; will likely be last console maker to present.


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Even though it's still more than three months away, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is already stirring up plenty of interest. After the poor reception of the last two years' events, Entertainment Software Association organizers promised that the 2009 confab would be bigger and bolder, though they have stopped short of saying that it would return to the massive spectacle of E3 2006.

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Although the past week saw one major publisher--Blizzard Entertainment--announce its intent not to attend, E3 2009 saw the first of the "Big Three" console makers lock down its press event. This morning, Microsoft announced that it would hold its pre-E3 briefing at 10:30 a.m. on June 1, the day before the event officially kicks off.

The announcement means that the software giant will likely be the third platform holder to present. At past E3s, two of the three events were held the morning before the expo opened its doors, with Nintendo traditionally taking an early morning slot. The other console maker's event is typically held the day prior to that of its two rivals.

Though it has not divulged any details about its press briefing this year--including its location--Microsoft used its E3 2008 presentation to make a series of major announcements. Besides unveiling its now million-user-strong Netflix video-streaming service for the Xbox 360, the company also revealed three PC/360-exclusive expansions for the popular role-playing game Fallout 3. Last but not least, Microsoft stunned many Sony fans by revealing that the formerly PlayStation 3-only RPG Final Fantasy XIII would be released simultaneously on the 360.

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