Monday, June 01, 2009

E3 - Microsoft Press Conference

Well, I unbelievably forgot all my E3 predictions beyond the announcement of Forza 3, which is pretty much a given anyway. The Microsoft press conference is scheduled for 18:20GMT tonight. You can watch it live on Gamespot. I will be posting thoughts here as the conference starts. The one thing I am desperately hoping for is Metal Gear Solid for the 360, although I am not optimistic.

The other major thing to look forward to at this conference is Peter Molyenux. The very fact that he has been given as slot means he must have some announcement. I think it is one of three things.

  1. A big addition to Fable 2 - most likely
  2. Fable Wars - a RTS based on the Fable franchise - not likely
  3. Fable 3 - I think it is too soon to be announcing anything at E3, even less likely
The big addition, which I think is most likely, will be akin to Halo 3: Recon. It will use the same engine as Fable 2, which will allow them to release it before the next E3, but will be a whole game. What I suspect they will do is, it will be about your child. As those who have already seen the future, you will know that your child is destined for great things. What I think they might do is create a game set 20 years after Fable 2. The world will be based on what you did in Fable 2. It will magnify the decisions you made and the character you became and alter the world accordingly. For example, if you have been corrupt, everyone would be poor. This would be similar to how the world changed after the training section, except on a larger scale.

As for an RTS, I think it is possible, but not very likely. Peter has talked before about new technologies which allow them to animate many unique things at the same time, the kind of technology required for an RTS. However, it seems unlikely they would have any where near enough work to show.

As for Fable 3, while there definitely will be a Fable 3, I think it is too soon to announce it, E3 2010 maybe.

Skip to the conclusion


Conference thoughts
[14:20] - Conference starts in 4 hours
[18:25] - And we are off
[18:30] - No, I can't get the stream either...
[18:40] - Finally got a feed, except it's the Beatles!
[18:42] - MS say no charts, is that because of bad sales?
[18:46] - At first, I thought it was just a Wii Fit board, but to be fair, it moves on the ground, which is a huge improvement. But seriously, stop using celebrities, it's so annoying
[18:49] - CoD trailer, already seen, still looks pretty cool
[18:56] - CoD game play footage shown. Looks very CoD 4ish, some nice environments and some gimmicks to make you feel part of the story. Oh yeah, and plenty of action. Should be good for the CoD fans
[18:57] - Urgh, Final Fantasy - not my cup of tea I'm afraid
[19:03] - Ooo, Epic Games, give that man I microphone
[19:05] - Ooo, a Xbox version of Metroid Prime made by Epic, awesome!
[19:07] - Free racing game! Otherwise I wouldn't care
[19:10] - L4D 2?! That better be coming for PC!
[19:11] - Sam Fisher, the new Jack Bauer?! I just wish they could go back to Chaos Theory days
[19:18] - Forza 3!!!
[19:20] - Rolling cars! And interesting environments
[19:21] - They are right about the painting community, I know people who are obsessed
[19:24] - That was awesome... They just did this crazy video of car stunts
[19:25] - Halo 3: Recon footage, they've brought the big guns out early
[19:27] - Stealth gameplay nice...
[19:28] - Certainly an interesting way of telling a story, sounds quite cool
[19:30] - 22nd Sept ODST will drop, new secret project!
[19:32] - Halo 0 presumably, guess Microsoft couldn't resist (Actually called Halo reach and is coming in 2010)
[19:35] - Don't know what to make of this game, Alan Wake, the fact that it is being presented by the writer is quite positive, too early to say I think
[19:38] - MS clearly have high hopes for it, that was quite a long demo. Looks quite Resi Evilish, coming in Spring 2010
[19:39] - Music is coming to Xbox Live, I bet it's not in England...
[19:41] - Yay, being included for once, except I bet it is only for Sky subscribers or something stupid like that :(
[19:45] - I don't care about these things... but coming up is Peter Molyneux!
[19:48] - She is almost as embarrassing as that person from Nintendo last year, except I feel pity more than anger. But yay to Twitter!
[19:50] Big announcement coming up. Oh my word, MGS4!!!!!
[19:51] - OK, not MGS 4, but still, better than no Metal Gear Solid
[19:52] - Don't know who Raiden is, I have never played MGS in my life, how embarrassing
[19:53] - Motion controller for the 360? Wait... Me... the controller?
[19:55] - Why is it with new control schemes the adverts had to be SO embarrassing. Still, looks technically impressive
[19:46] - Tony Hawk just got outplayed...
[19:58] - Life Experience is quite impressive, but like the Wii, it will need games to make use of it
[19:59] - Stephen Spielburg as taken the stage, thank goodness it isn't Peter Molyneux
[20:03] - Take those stupid glasses off NOW!
[20:05] - Nintendo, consider yourself challenged. I imagine these demoers are over-exaggerating things and helping it work, but still looks pretty impressive. And that was a cheap shot at Nintendo
[20:11] - On the second thoughts, that sounds like quite a lot of effort for most games...
[20:12] - Peter Molyneux!
[20:15] - Get lost! How are they doing this? How?! Even without the face recognition it is impressive...
[20:17] - Well, I wasn't predicting that *hastily deletes predictions*


Well Microsoft's conference is over, and it certainly had some surprises. I am pleased about the Metal Gear Solid, although it was really MGS 4 that I wanted to play. None the less, I am sure this new title will contain the same type of thing as MGS 4, which I suppose will have to do. ODST looked really good,(how many of you spotted I put Recon before correcting it to ODST?). Obviously the new Halo is good, but to be honest, it is going to feel forced and a lot of people (me) will be unwilling to drop Halo 3 after sinking time (maps) and money (maps) in to it. The 2010 release date will slip without a doubt, I reckon early 2011 or very late 2010 at best.

The big thing was obviously this motion thing (by the way, the name is stupid, no one is going to remember that, it's worse than the Wii, at least that was short). Technically, it looks impressive, but these things always do in such controlled environments. What Peter Molyneux has supposedly done is incredible, but I will wait until someone from a respected site says it's as good as he says it is. Like the Wii, this technology is entirely dependant on developers. If we just see another batch of mini-game/party games, then it will fail. Non-gamers have already bought the Wii, they will be unwilling, in these economic times, to buy another games console, even with this easily marketable gimmick.

It is also going to suffer from the same problems as the Wii did in that, I don't want to stand up for a few hours playing games. I am not going to buy hardware for the sake of easy menu navigation and a few mini games I'll only play once. I'll buy it if it enhances the games that I play loads of, but then, if I play them loads, I don't want to stand up...

I think that it is going to be hard to develop for and, as developers have already invested a large amount of money in to traditional 360 development cycles, they will be unwilling to pour more money in to an unproven tech. None the less, even my scepticism can't quite stop me feeling a little excited if it really does work that well.

Some nice game previews there, Splinter Cell looks like 24, CoD 6 looks like CoD 4 but better and obviously a new Left4Dead is good for everyone, and Steam will obviously be releasing for the PC. I was surprised to not see anything about Bioshock 2 or Assassins Creed 2

Overall, a very nice conference, Nintendo must be crying. They just got out-done at their own game, however it turns out in the end.

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