Microsoft E3 Conference Finished
Or, if you can't be bothered, check out the following stories, galleries and videos:
- New Xbox 360 in the US this week, July in Europe
- New Xbox 360 hands-on
- Digital Foundry: New Xbox 360 tech breakdown
- New Xbox 360 detailed on video
- New slim Xbox 360 photograph gallery
- New Halo: Reach trailer shows space combat
- Kinect launches in the US on 4th November
- GameStop gives Kinect $149.99 price tag / Greenberg: Kinect pricing "purely speculative"
- Hands-on with Kinect launch titles
- Microsoft shows Kinect Hub and Video Kinect
- Microsoft lists third-party Kinect titles
- Kinect needs separate plug on old 360s
- Forza Motorsport for Kinect in 2011
- Microsoft does Star Wars Kinect deal
- Call of Duty DLC will be first on 360 through 2012
- Crytek doing exclusive Xbox 360 game
- Fable III gets release date
All that, of course, came from a mixture of leaks and Microsoft's "Project Natal Experience" event last night, exclusively focused on what we now called Kinect. The real meat of Microsoft's announcements - presumably including Kinect pricing and hardcore game revelations - comes today at 10am PST / 6pm BST.
We'll be there, as usual. Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson will be reporting live from within the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles and we'll be posting all the news, screenshots, videos and other treats we can uncover throughout and into the evening.
All this and E3 itself doesn't even start until tomorrow. Amazing scenes. Stick with this page for our live Microsoft coverage, which begins below!
Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...
We're on our way to the conference... Not long now!
Still outside, no one let in yet. Peter Molyneux just came over and we had a nice chat. It looks like the conference itself is going to kick off at 10.30am PST / 6.30pm BST after half an hour of "pre-show". Or, from our perspective, queuing.
"Twitterverse, in a little over half an hour, you will begin to know what we know. Prepare." Stephen Toulouse writing on Twitter. We'll prepare by queuing some more.
Speaking of Twitter, someone going by @taswell has actually photographed us mid-chat with Molyneux. Weird.
Right, after just a few hours of waiting in baking hot sunshine on a blindingly white sparkly carpet - we're in!
The venue for this year's Microsoft conference is a bit different - it's a proper old theatre with ornate goldy bits all over the walls and ceiling. It's also a bit smaller than usual, which helps to explain why they've warned people the conference was over-subscribed.
Spotted so far, as discussed in our own pre-show: Peter Molyneux! Wandering outside and talking on his phone. He asked us what we thought of last night's event. We were honest.
Also spotted: Aaron Greenberg and Mark Rein. Mark's not in the VIP section this year, but in the pit with the rest of us. Keepin' it real.
Just texted Mark Rein asking him to tell us a pre-conference secret, as he has done in previous years. He doesn't seem to have noticed though. Come on Mark Rein! Check your phone!
As you'd expect, the theatre is all lit up in shades of green. There are living room-style set-ups on stage. Does this mean we are going to see business executives playing videogames and making tits of themselves? Let's hope so - E3 just wouldn't be E3 otherwise.
Mark Rein has texted back. He's not spilling. Oh well, thanks anyway Mark Rein. You may live to regret that decision when Gears of War 3 gets 4/10.
Can't picture what the Microsoft E3 conference stage looks like? Imagine the inside of the Tardis crossed with a DFS showroom.
Oli's just sorting out some photos. What do you think of the Microsoft conference so far, Oli? "It's really green." [This is breathtaking stuff guys. -Ed]
Molyneux told us he wasn't nervous earlier - he's confident that what he's got to show is the futhamucking shizzle dizzle, although he may not have used those exact terms. As long as he's got Fable III though, innit.
According to Pierre Molynoire, as he is known in France, today's conference goes "hand in hand" with the Cirque de Soleil event at the Galen Center last night. Is he subtly hinting that Don Mattrick is going to come out dressed as a crusty fairy?
Mark Rein texted back again! Apparently he has something to show us later in the week. "Is it Gears of War 4?" I replied. I am sure a response is just moments away.
Unfortunately the VIP area is upstairs and hidden from view, so we can't see if there are any big names here. GamesIndustry.biz's Matt Martin has suggested I make some up. Great to see Ben Fogle in the house. And hey, there's Lee from 5ive!
Actual non-fictional spotted: Hideo Kojima and Suda51, sitting next to each other in the VIP area.
"The briefing will begin in five minutes," says the PA lady.
I heard earlier that Sony Europe boss Andrew House, big fish little fish cardboard box, was at the Cirque de Soleil Xbox 360 event last night. Nice of them to let him in. Or was he in disguise? Would have been easy with all those white space ponchos they made everyone wear.
Matt Martin had breakfast with the artist formerly known as Sony's David Reeves this morning (now at Capcom, of course). He was also at the briefing last night. He said he didn't find the space poncho "very comfortable".
Oli has some kind of verbal tick which means he keeps referring to the new name of Project Natal as Kinetic. Better than referring to it as EyeToy. [Ooh, burn. - Ed]
David Braben has just twittered that something of his is being shown today. Is it a new haircut, Dave?
"The briefing is about to begin." Bring out Don Mattress!
The music just got a bit louder and more pumpy. Something must be about to happen, surely. Oh! It's all going dark!
A trailer! Explosions. It's for Call of Duty: Black Ops (out November 9th). "Just because they write it down and call it history, doesn't make it the truth." Men jumping out of helicopters, blowing up jungles, abseiling down mountains etc.
Stealth bombers, slow-mo, more helicopters, bigger explosions. 11.9.10. So in America, that's 9th November, right? Mark Lamia, head of Treyarch, is on the stage.
On the big screen we're seeing the game in action. We're creeping down an earthen tunnel, past a chopped up dead body. Nice.
There's a bloke in front of us leading the way. It's all very claustrophobic. An enemy comes out and batters our mate before there's time to react. Back down the tunnel alone, then.
"In the interest of time..." appears on the screen. Odd. Cut to a jungle clearing. Helicopter!
Looks like we're invading the enemy's jungle camp. Hiding behind some trees. It all looks beautifully detailed, very lush and realistic.
Now we're moving in, shooting all the troops in the clearing. We take a hit and the screen is fully spattered with blood for a few seconds.
Into the helicopter! Has it got cameras? Anyway, looks like we're going to fly it.
And we're off. Flying up through the trees and over a mountainous valley. Just blew up a rope bridge below. Marvellous.
Billions of explosions now. Makes that scene in Tropic Thunder look like an indoors fireworks display.
And it's over. That 11.09.10 date again, and Lamia is off. Here comes... Don Mattrick!
His hair is AMAZING. It looks like he borrowed it off an Xbox Live Avatar.
Multi-year agreement between Activision and Microsoft. All COD add-ons will launch first on 360. First on Xbox in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
That's game add-ons AND map packs. "So when you play COD in the next 3 years, you'll want to play it on Xbox 360."
This is "a year of transformation", says Mattress. "If you love games, Xbox is the only place for you and your friends to play all three of the biggest blockbusters in our industry - Halo, Gears and COD."
What about Uncharted, Mattress? Oh I see.
"We're going to world premiere an impressive collection of new experiences today." Are you sure that's a verb, mattress?
Hideo Kojima comes on stage, to thundering visuals and drums. He's speaking English.
"I felt it was important for my team to come up with something enw and unique for the first Xbox 360 project. Today we will premiere the first footage of the game in action. But just like Snake passed the torch to Raiden, allow me to pass the torch to my young producer for Rising," Shigenobu Matsuyama is on stage.
MGS Rising is "unlike anything you've seen before", says Matsuyama. We've heard that one before. No offence.
A trailer now. A close-up tracking shot of a big old sword.
A big guy in shiny black armour is stalking someone in a rusty old factory. It's Raiden! He leaps in and slashes the guy in half at the torso.
And pulls out his glowy electrical spine before crushing it in his fist. "Metal Gear Solid Rising - Lightning Bolt Action."
Now we're seeing him slice whole vans in half. He cuts enemies limes off as if with a pair of scissors. And finally, a couple of watermelons. It's Metal Gear meets Cooking Mama!
Phil Spencer is on the stage now. He's the corporate VP of MIcrosoft Game Studios, and has hair a bit like Christopher Reeve in the original Superman.
"This is our biggest year ever. With our teams delivering exclusive franchises like Halo Reach, Fable 3, Crackdown 2..." And now he's banging on about Kinect.
It's all about "exclusive experiences". Everything he's going to show us today is available only on 360.
It's CliffyB! He's holding a RED Xbox 360 controller because he is ROCK HARD.
In-game four-player co-op demo of Gears of War 3. Marcus appears to have just been in a car crash. He gets to his feet, swings round and sees an enemy ripping his mate's limb off and beating him with it. Marcus impales him on his sword by way of payback.
Now Marcus is racing round the battlefield, taking cover, taking enemies as shields and generally blowing all manner of shizzle sky high.
Just saw one of his new female mates. She looks ROCK HARD.
It looks like they're using ANOTHER giant worm!
Oh ho, they're going to bring the hammer online. They're being overrun by lambent - and to be fair, they are, with loads of massive tendrils appearing out of the ground and groping nearby buildings.
Lambent are bursting out of the ground all over the place. Marcus and chums are doing a storming job of taking all those pesky enemies out, using a winning combination of shooting and then shooting some more. "Mutating," one of the players yells out to Cliff.
More new lambent - this one's a lambent version of the mental blind woman Berserker. It's got bonkers tentacles with razor-sharp claws on the end.
There's some sort of column of fire chasing Marcus now. He races round the corner to safety.
Hang on though - something is putting huge dents in the metal gate. It's the berserker again, leaping over the gate now and... The end.
"We'll be unveiling a new mode called Beast," says CliffyB. Is this what Mark Rein has to show us? Shame, I was hoping for a Just Dance sequel built with UE3.
Molynoire! Hello, Molynoire! Yes, it's Fable 3. "An incredible story, a cast second to none, the great British humour - we know what that means." So Fable 3 will feature drawings of nobs on all the walls then?
Release date: October 26.
Trailer: An evil count type is informing us that people will do as he says or die. Two brothers - one is on a quest to save Albion.
Hand-holding, sword fighting, swan diving, fireball throwing, naval battles, explosions. What no dogs?
Spencer's back now. Babbling about independent developers and the power of Xbox 360. "I'm thrilled to announce an exclusive title from a leading industry developer."
Trailer: A barren, burnt landscape. A gladiator wanders across it, looking a bit grumpy. He's still wearing manacles. Blood drips down his sword.
Another gladiator type appears, this one wielding an axe. And another with a shield. "Codename Kingdoms", it's called.
Is that an actual codename or the name name?
That looked brilliant. But now Spencer's moving on to Halo.
Over 2 billion online hours played, he says. "You haven't experienced the world of Halo until you've played it from the beginning." Bungie's Marcus Lehto takes to the stage.
"Halo Reach is the most ambitious game Bungie has ever created."
Halo Reach is shipping this September, of course (14th if memory serves). We're seeing a trailer now.
SPACE. The final frontier etc. Bits of rock floating about.
A green planet. What looks like Earth, but with a big old hole in one of the continents.
We're on the planet now. Looks like in-game footage. "Is there any place the covenant isn't?" As dozens of ships fly above.
Our hero is crossing a dusty landscape, blasting the enemies that pop out of pods fallihg from the sky.
Racing towards a big industrial structure now, taking cover behind rocks and blasting at more enemies along the way.
The soundtrack is rawking guitar music. You half expect Jack Black to turn up.
Looks like pretty classic Halo, all in all. "Spartans coming in." Shiver.
We're inside the structure now, racing down metal corridors and battering more enemies. It's all gone a bit Alien.
We're entering a large chamber open to the sky. More ships zoom above. Our man retreats bac,k into the corridor.
The rawking guitars are replaced by soaring strings. We see a rocket launching out of the structure and soaring high above the planet.
This looks new - playable starfighters. Dogfights in space!
Only a brief glimpse though, and now Marc Whitten, another corporate VP is on the stage. "Xbox Live has changed the way the world plays videogames" AAAA have we really got three days of this still to go
Xbox Live has 25 million members.
He's talking about Kinect. "With technology like this there are no barriers and no learning curves."
"It's a revolution not just for your games, but for all of your entertainment." Including your pornography?
A bloke called Ron is demonstrating how Natal works. You wave to sign in and it recognises you.
The Kinect Hub - this is where you can access Facebook, Netflix, games, Zune etc.
You can also use your voice - "Just say it and you'll see it."
Zune Marketplace will work with Kinect - you can use your hands to select the movie you want to watch. Our man wants to watch Alice in Wonderland, Wouldn't bother, it's rubbish.
You can use your hands to find your favourite scene on a virtual timeline. People are actually applauding that. (There's more of that in our Kinect family video thing.)
"Xbox, pause" says Ron. The movie pauses. IT'S LIKE LIVING IN 20342
"Xbox, play" starts it again. Now: "Xbox, play music." It works!
He's using his hands to swipe between albums now.
Xbox Live now. First Facebook mention of the show! Hi5!
Kinect and Live are coming to every country where the 360 is sold. Well, yes.
Live is coming to Windows Phone 7 too. Your achievements and avatar will be with you wherever you go.
Sounds like he's going to show us Skype sorry Kinect Video Chat now.
They've got a woman to show us how video Kinect works! Perhaps even I will be able to understand it!
Some of her friends are on Live, some are on MSN. She can see pics of them all on the 360. She's got a twin sister in Texas, and she lives in Seattle, so Video Chat is a great way to keep in touch. What's wrong with ChatRoulette?
He's phoning her twin. "I can see you're busy!" "Yeah, I'm here at E3!" This is like the start of a porn film.
"We can watch a video together!" I bet we can.
"Hey, that's the last airbender! Wasn't there a videogamer about that?" "Yes, there was! My co-workers played it just to boost their gamerscore!"
You'd never believe this was scripted. If you were mad.
Kinect can track body movement and the camera moves with you. "Wow, that's cool! It's following me!" It's stalking you, love.
Video Kinect lets families talk to families. No headsets. No controllers. No.
Video Chat is coming to Microsoft's Live Messenger network too.
Some sort of ESPN trailer now. NBA, MLB, "soccer".
A couple of hilarious American sports presenters are explaining that sports fans will get live on-demand access to 3500 sports events. College football, etc.
Josh Elliott and Trey Wingo are on stage. Trey Wingo! I think they're from ESPN or something. USA's answer to Adrian Chiles and Andrew Castle.
I want to marry you just so I can be Ellie Wingo.
"Wuick shout out to the USA - GOOOOOAL! No English goalie jokes here!" What?
Thousands of sports events, "Most of them in fabulous HD."
We're going to see a clip of USC vs. Ohio State.
"Watch this: Xbox, join USC." You can show which team you support basically.
"Xbox, replay!" says Trey Wingo. The Xbox obeys.
Something just happened in the football match. The Americans are cheering. I have no idea why.
You can enjoy sports trivia questions while watching the sports. "How many times has Ohio State won the Rose Bowl?" Um, 2903?
51 per cent of viewers are supporting USC, the rest are supporting the other one. Can you do virtual hooliganism as well? "Xbox, riot!"
The ESPN men are going. Bye bye, Trey Wingo.
All the ESPN stuff will be available free to Gold Live members. If they live in America, presumably? Wonder if Sky is up to something similar.
And now... Kinect creative director... It's Kudo! He's wearing sunglasses what a shock.
Lifestyle photography alert: An Asian gentleman and lady playing Kinect in a white living room. Do they have a factory where they produce these things now?
A small child just ran on the stage. Ah, she's playing Kinectimals. Kudo is standing behind her rubbing his hands. I'm not making it up.
The girl is petting a virtual tiger cub. "Yeah, you like that, yes you do."
She's tickling the tiger. It really is very cute. Now she's telling it to sit and jump. Can you also tell it to sick balls?
The tiger cub has a toy now. She's hiding from it. It's looking for her through the camera.
The tiger cub is called Skittles. She's making it skip with a virtual skipping rope now.
Skittles has gone feral. He's biting her face off and slicing her abdomen open like a carrier bag full of sausages. I am making this up.
Bye, little girl! Bye, Skittles! Hello, Kudo! He's telling us about Kinect Sports with the help of a chap from Rare.
There's a big crowd in the virtual stadium, doing Mexican waves, waving sponge fingers and letting off fireworkds. The Rare guy is telling them to cheer and wave and they respond.
Now the Rare bloke and a random woman are warming up on the track. It's hurdles.
The woman won the hurdles. I suspect performance enhancing drugs.
A video of Kinect Sports now. Soccer. Bowling.
Javelin. Long jump. Table tennis.
Boxing. Beach volleyball.
Kinect Joy Ride now. Another woman is showing the game off. Women are a key theme of this year's Microsoft press conference.
She is using her invisible steering wheel to career round a desert track.
She is drifting all over the place. Now she's doing a double flip through the air.
There are coins to collect and turbo pads to drive over for speed boosts. Where do they get their ideas.
She came third. Well done love, never mind.
"Thank you Lorenzo Lamas," said the chap now taking over from Kudo. No idea.
Now we're seeing the Kinect Adventures game where you're on the moving mine cart platform, catching all the balls.
There's a split-screen multiplayer mode . The camera takes photos of you as you play.
(You can already read our hands-on impressions of all of these elsewhere on Eurogamer, incidentally.)
"Awesome job!" says Kudo. Now we can check out the "great action photos of Darren and Oscar while they played". They are great.
Two more women are showing off River Rush. They've gone women MAD.
They're both on the same screen, in the same raft, leaaning left and right to collect things.
After this they might watch the Sex and the City movie again and get a Chinese. I expect.
Kudo is talking very fast. It's almost as if he's not sure if this whole thing is a good idea and he just wants it to be over. Almost.
Kudo's off. Now we're seeing a video. People in lycra skipping, running.
Shooting virtual balls through hoops.
A hot man is inviting the woman in lyrca to follow him. He's a cardio coach. Very nice.
Another block is punching coloured balls, which explode into showers of pixels.
It's "YOURSHAPE - Fitness Evolved".
It's a Ubisoft title, exclusive to Kinect. Again, one we played the other day.
Felicia Williams is on stage now. She's from Ubisoft. Where's Peter Moore in shorts when you need him?
"Hello, come on in to your own personal gym," says the Wii Fit trainer.
She's taking her jumper off. Her on-screen avatar does the same. Amazing scenes. People are whooping.
Kinect is scanning her body. Good grief this is like something out of Total Recall I am terrified.
Now it's calibrating... Something.
It's measuring her arm length, shoulder span, the lot.
She can choose from gym activities, personal training and fitness classes.
She's inviting Hollywood personal trainer Michael George on stage. He's very excited to be here.
He worked on the game, apparently. It gives you the freedom to choose how you workout. You can take martial arts or yoga classes, play "fun gym activities" or work with a personal trainer.
Felicia is showing us the personal training. The trainer avatar does knee lifts and she copies. Instructions from the coach appear in the upper right corner so you can correct your moves as you play.
Squat punches now. Felicia has burned 25 calories, according to the bottom left of the screen. Time for a biscuit?
No, time to punch some virtual bricks. They explode into smaller bricks.
Now it's time for the cooldown - it's all about being conscious of the relationship between our breath and movement.
I'm more conscious about the relationship between my bottom and this very hard seat. Hurry up, Felicia.
It's over. Now the Harmonix logo is on the screen. It's... Dance Central.
A woman is doing some awesome moves to Poison by Bell Biv Devoe. I think she might have been in Steps.
Two men are sitting watching her, jiggling along to the music. They have yet to produce any dollar bills.
Alex Rigopulos is on stage now. Dance Central is coming this holiday, exclusively for Kinect.
"Posing with handheld controllers just doesn't capture the real spirit of dance." OOH BURN.
The soundtrack features pop, hip hop, RNB, Beastie Boys...
They've worked with world class choreographers. There are over 600 moves and 90 routines, including some from the actual music videos.
Kasson Crooker from Harmonix is going to show us that Dance Central is easy to play even if you're rubbish at dancing. This looks like the demo we saw last night.
The on-screen coach slows his moves down so Kasson can copy them.
Lots of punchy elbows, thumbs up, wiggly hips.
Put your hands in the air like you just don't care! But are contractually obliged to dance in front of 500 journalists!
Kinect will launch worldwide this holiday, starting in North America on November 4th.
15 titles at launch. 40 million+ Xbox 360s now sold.
Exclusive deal with LucasArts. Yeah we know.
Here's a trailer. Star Wars! A man holding a light saber! The video we saw last night! Again!
We can expect to play this next year apparently.
It's hard to tell if it's on-rails but it looks like it could be that way.
A spaceship lands. Darth Vader is on it! Booom! Coming 2011! End of trailer!
Bill Giese from Turn 10 and Dan Greenawalt are on stage now.
You can play this racing game with a virtual steering wheel, turning your head to look around.
Yep, it's a Forza Kinect game.
"Radical new car experiences" are being promised. Video: lots of close-ups of a nice red Ferrari. Rawk guitars. Desert landscapes. Rrwoworrr.
Using Kinect you can walki up to and around the car. You can hold your hand over the headlights to take a closer look. "Sold!" says Oli.
"This is catnip for car nerds," says Oli. It's certainly making me consider retaking that driving test.
You can open the door and sit inside the Ferrari. "I love this part," says the man on stage. He closes the door of the car and the rawk guitars are suddenly muffled.
Don is back! It's the Mattress king!
"This is the biggest year in Xbox history." Wasn't that last year? And the one before that?
"We believe fun is a universal magnet that binds us together." Amazing.
"We are launching a whole new era of entertainment." Again.
He's going to share something special with us today - It's a new Xbox 360.
It's all shiny! Like a PS3!
Built-in Wi-Fi. About time.
Ready for Kinect. The New Xbox 360 - here today, ready for tomorrow.
"Sleeker, smaller, whisper quiet, and with a 250GB hard drive" says Mattress. "The fastest wireless network for any console." It will cost the same as the regular 360 - $299.
It's shipping to retailers today. They've done an Apple!
"It will be available in stores later this week. Unless you were here in the theater, in which case we are shipping the new 360 to you, right now, on us."
Woo! They've done a Sony!
Mark Rein is standing up and applauding.
Everyone is very excited. It's like when Oprah gave them cars away.
"Thank you, and have a wonderful E3."
Well, that's it. Sony and Microsoft tomorrow. Here's hoping they're giving away 3DSs and magical wangs, eh?