E3 2011 Conference Impressions: Microsoft
Microsoft started off their press conference by showing CoD: MW3. Now this might not have been the best choice considering the start of the demo was 3 minutes of swimming underwater and was boring. Have a look for yourself.
After a bad start Microsoft picked up the pace a little. They showed the new hyped Tomb Raider trailer/gameplay and it definitely impressed minus the “porn-like” moans and groans that seemed constant. Afterwards it was almost all about Kinect. This alone is a mistake as they did the same thing last year and many gamers complained about MS not showing enough hardcore games. The change this year was they are trying to make Kinect cater more for the hardcore gamers by using its features within the hardcore games themselves.
They go on to show this through Mass Effect 3 where using Kinect you can use voice commands to tell your squad where to go. This is probably the best use of Kinect but I don’t see why this isn’t possible via the PS3 eyetoy as well. After Mass Effect 3 Microsoft showed us Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and how you can use Kinect to outfit your weapon. While this seems like a neat idea, it’s just as practical to use the D-pad and buttons to navigate through menus. They did also show that you can use Kinect to actually shoot the weapon but it’s been said numerous times before that without actual “feedback” Kinect is not really going to work for hardcore games.
Sticking with the Kinect momentum Microsoft announced the addition of Bing and voice commands. Again while this is nice, why not just have a full browser? Regardless, Bing is going to be a nice addition as they showed how you can quickly and easily search for games, movies, and music alike. Afterwards UFC was shown as a partner with Xbox Live and introduces what looks like live quizzes and information through your TV. This opens up a world of possibilities. With all that out of the way Phil Spencer came on the stage and told the crowdthat the rest of the games you are going to see is 360 exclusives which is much better showing compared to last year.
They started off with a bang by bringing out Cliffy B and Ice-T to talk about Gears of War 3. To keep on with some hardcore games craze Crytek showed off their new IP called RYSE. The catch is that it’s a 360 exclusive for Kinect. Though the trailer looks promising I would like to see actual live gameplay. However being Crytek, the game should boast pretty good graphics. The rest of the conference you can watch below but I want to spoil one thing for you. Everything they showed besides the Halo 4 and Halo Anniversary, is all Kinect stuff and it just doesn’t look good in my opinion. The fact of the matter is, Kinect doesn’t work for hardcore yet Microsoft is still pushing it probably hoping one day it will be.
Conclusion: Microsoft had a better showing this year then last but they are pushing Kinect way to hard. It’s the old method of throw something at the wall and see if it sticks. However in their case even though it didn’t stick they keep throwing it at us. On the other hand, all the hardcore games pushing Kinect can still be played with a controller so their lineup of games this year wasn’t bad. Showcasing such games as Gears of War 3, Halo 4, Mass Effect 3 (multi-plat), Tomb Raider (multi-plat), RYSE (possibly kinect only), and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. I am hoping next year Microsoft showcases more games and doesn’t push Kinect at us as hard as they have in the past.
Check out the full conference below via Gamespot