A Quick Overview of Microsoft’s E3 Presentation 2011

Although it is almost certain most of my ramblings will be hockey based, I must confess not being able to fully articulate all of my inevitable feelings towards this years E3 in numerous 140 character tweets was part of the reason I started this blog.

Every year I plonk myself down, get frustrated as I try and find a decent stream – and then sit back and enjoy the roller coaster of emotions. From child like excitement to feelings of extreme underwelment (I think I made that word up…) – E3 is always a day I look forward to in the gaming calendar.

This year was no different.

Understandably there is a heavy Kinect bias in Microsofts offering – it seems to form much of the backbone of MS future strategy for the Xbox. But that’s not to say there were not some things to get excited about – even if it was a sequel heavy presentation.

The family market is not one I especially dip in to; but several kiddy friendly projects are on the go and the whole ‘entertainment hub’ idea continues to be a big point for MS. The addition of Xbox music and such likes is certainly a way to try and claw in more of the casual market.

There are some neat touches and great ideas like Kinect Labs and some of the use of Kinect in more ‘hardcore’ games is, at times, enough to make any gamer a little giddy!

But for the hardcore, I’m not sure in some ways.

Some things are just a given for your more ‘traditional’ gamer. An anniversary reboot of Halo: Combat Evolved was expected but the announcement of Halo 4 will no doubt excite many. Whilst Xbox.com may have dropped the ball and leaked the big announcement early, news of a new Halo game (not just a game in fact, but a trilogy!) maintain the former Bungie babies importance to the console and MS.

From the other ‘hardcore’ fair – Gears of War 3 is an obvious one, Mass Effect 3 is on its way, the new Tomb Raider got a quick trot out whilst the new Ghost Recon looks impressive – even for someone who is not a big fan of the series.

Heck, they even threw out another Fable chapter, but again there was a heavy Kinect bias.

Some of the uses of Kinect with these more traditional games is pretty exciting – the idea of voice commands in Mass Effect 3 and the GunSmith segment of Ghost Recon were true ‘Yes!!!!’ moments.

But Fable: The Journey was an entirely Kinect based affair. Whilst the potential idea there is quite cool; personally I am still more interested in the more ‘pad friendly’ offerings.

I’ll probably go in to more details about specific games in future posts, but as a whole ‘view’ of MS E3 2011 presentation, my point is this – there’s some great ideas using the Kinect; ideas which genuinely make me want to go out and buy the motion sensing add on MS first trotted out 2 years ago! There’s some great cross over use as well. But my heart still lies with the control pad in my hands.

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About Rob

Software engineer by day, Elite League Media man by night, Rob also blogs about cricket for One Stump Short, hockey for In Goal Magazine and video games for Outpost Delta as well as hosting the One Stump Short Podcast.

Posted on June 6, 2011, in Gaming, Xbox and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The whole conference was a bit poor for me. I knew Kinect would be the focus point but expected some fresh ideas instead of just milking old or already established games like Fable and Halo. The Halo series has had it’s time and so has Fable really (though the new one doesn’t really look like a Fable game anyway mind!). Tomb Raider was probably the best promising game in their conference.

    Surprisingly, Sony seemed to have a better show mind, next up Nintendo’s Project Cafe.

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  2. Unfortunately it seems that established franchises are the ‘safe bet’ – developers/MS ‘know’ the likes of Halo and Fable will sell.

    The economic climate is still rocky, so few developers will take risks on new games when they know they can make money producing sequels for old titles. You only need to look at Mirrors Edge compared to (for example) Fable III – Mirrors Edge was one of the more innovative games for some time now, but sold poorly by comparison.

    In a way it is understandable – though it is disappointing to see so few new ideas. That said, I liked the look of Ryse! Has potential to be exactly the kind of game the Kinect needs to really start to get ‘serious gamers’ (I hate that term, but it fits) interested in the tech

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