Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Microsoft E3 Press Conference Highlights

Okay, Microsoft's press conference has come and gone. It clocked in at around 80-90 minutes with plenty of speakers and video along with some live gameplay by developers. This is my list of the highs (and lows).

The Highs

Release Dates

Some were newly announced, others simply maintained.

* Bioshock - August 2007
* PGR 4 - September 2007
* Assassin's Creed - November 2007
* Mass Effect now has an official release month - November 2007.
* 2 GTA IV episodes - Out by Spring 2008

New Releases

* Scene It the DVD/board game will be coming exclusively to Xbox 360. The game will include four unique Scene It controllers to play the game.
* Viva Pinata: Party Animals(Xbox 360)
* Resident Evil 5 (Xbox 360)
* Viva Pinata (PC)
* Gears of War (PC) - Will include some extra content and editor


Call of Duty 4 will have a public multiplayer beta exclusively on the Xbox 360.

Xbox Live

Xbox Live membership has reached 7 million users. Membership has been increasing at a rate of almost one per eight seconds. Microsoft expects there to be 10 million users by E3 next year(if there is an E3). I don't know if these numbers are just active accounts or if they include banned and cancelled accounts.

The Lows

Price Cut

Nope. Microsoft says screw the rumors and screw Sony's PS3 price drop. Nobody ever talked about the Xbox 360 price, and it appears to be staying the same.

New Halo 3 360

There is a new version of the Xbox 360 being released at the same time and in honor of Halo 3. It's green with gold plating(instead of the normal chrome). It's controller and accessories are also green. And while they didn't give any specs on it during the conference, it turns out that the one interesting thing about its specs are that while it has a 20 GB harddrive, it has HDMI connectors.

Crowd Reaction

Other than a few hoots and hollers, the crowd reaction was very minimal. Which is to be expected from a crowd of actual journalists. It's a low because the crowd's minimal reaction seemed to throw the speakers off. I think they had gotten used to E3 press conferences of the past where a majority of the crowd would be gamers and not real journalists.

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