Monday, June 1, 2009

E3 2009: Thoughts on Microsoft Conference

You can only dream of having the rings of light on your 360 to stay this green.

This morning's E3 conference for Microsoft was a bit underwhelming and here are the things that really caught my interest.

1) A new Metal Gear was announced by Hideo Kojima for the X-Box 360 but suspiciously, there is no talk about it being exclusive to the console. I have a feeling that Kojima is going to show up again during the Sony conference tomorrow. Still, I don't know if I can stomach another movie-over-gameplay nonsense from Kojima. To be honest, I think it's time for him to go back to the fundamentals of what makes a great video game instead of continually directing his "games as movies" vanity projects.

High on himself again. I rather see Hiroshi iuchi than this fool any day of the week.

2) The implementation of music channel to X-Box Live is pretty cool. Free music? Count me in! It's only available to Gold members, of course.

3) The whole Facebook/Twitter merge - puke. Just seems rather desperate to me. They should have just expanded the customization options of the player profile. If I want to mess around with social networking, I rather do it with my X-Box 360 off. Socializing in video games are more expansive these days but one should never forget that the main reason why one would turn on the console in the first place is to play games, not to flirt and flaunt endlessly. These two features will have their followers but I can see that they are not going to be as popular as Microsoft is hoping for them to be.

4) 1080p HD movie stream - About bloody time. I don't watch movies on the 360 these days *ahem Blu-ray* so it really doesn't apply to me. If Microsoft really wants to impress me, try enforcing a native 1080p resolution standard to all future X-Box 360 games.

What's a Wii commercial doing at a Microsoft conference???

5) Project Natal: A new camera peripheral that is able to recognize full body motion in 3D space - goodbye Wii - complete with facial and voice recognition. The technology is definitely impressive beyond belief and I can see myself having fun with these kind of motion games every once in a while. The danger with this technology is that it is aimed at non-gamers and it may undermine the need for anything other than casual gaming - just look at its impact on the Wii. Apparently, Microsoft wants to steal Nintendo's demographics and based on what I have seen, it's going to happen. Here's a bit of wisdom for all the developers out there: I love playing video games because it's a lot of fun and it takes very little energy to accomplish. If I want something that is physically demanding, I would have played real life sports. Peter Molyneux, who was introduced after the project's announcement to further hype up the technology, made a nasty remark about how the current game controllers constrain us from truly experiencing a game. It's such a sad statement and it's very untrue. The game controllers provide us with a sense of ultimate precision and speed that will never be able to be duplicated by the mechanics of our body motion. That man has lost what's left of the credibility he had after the disappointment that is Fable II. He should have approached it as a new technology that can merge with the current one instead of something that may possibly be the only way to play video games in the future. Example: I like how you can use the camera to navigate through the dashboard with a little swish of your hand but then again - wouldn't it be easier to do so with the controller?

Yes, everyone is born to be active in sports. Yup. Uhuh.

With the big announcement of "Project Natal", Nintendo's wiimotes - even with the motion plus attachment - became completely obsolete, thanks to Microsoft (Oh, the skateboard controller introduced by Tony Hawk at the beginning of the show became redundant as well, way to go). The lesson here for Nintendo: gimmicks don't last forever. It's all about the games. Still, I prefer the wiimote's small waggle motions than the dramatic body movements that are being proposed here by Microsoft's new innovation. It will be interesting to see Nintendo's counter offer tomorrow. I also hope that Nintendo and Sony will have a more impressive showing for us than the things that were displayed today.


1 comment:

Blake said...

Yeah, Nintendo has really jumped into the everyday market these days and kinda left the gamer on the sidelines.

I mean my wife's parents even bought a Wii and they are in their 50's. When was the last time old people went out and bought Video game systems?!!

Nintendo knows there's money there, and sadly, its money that drives the market, so if Xbox wants a little piece of that, its just good business.

But I am guessing that the real losers are the hard core gamers.