E3 2010: Microsoft Dumped Me
Just a short run down on my thoughts of last nights Microsoft Keynote from E3.
So what happened?
Microsoft opened the show with the new Call of Duty Black Ops trailer and an on stage demo. Now I understand why they opened with it – it is, after all, the biggest selling game franchise (or any franchise) of recent years but it could have been done better, with fireworks and stuff! After the trailer, a guy from Treyarch walks out and shows us footage of him crouching through a tunnel. Then “in the interests of time…” he throws a few grenades at a few blokes stood near a chopper and nicks off with it. Well I say nicks off with it, it was an on rails shooter section and, well, I’ve seen plenty of those. For COD fan boys it may have been big news but nothing that impressed me.
Hideo Kojima was out next to show off Metal Gear Rising, now a Metal Gear game on the Xbox IS a big deal and, while we did get to see some cool gameplay, the whole thing just felt underwhelming. Hideo is in that group of game developers where they are a big deal; gamers know who they are and Microsoft let him down. Again, they needed fireworks or something.
Up next Cliffy B, again another member of the “I’m kind of a big deal” club. It felt like he wasn’t allowed to talk it was almost like “Hi I’m Cliff, me and my friends made this game, look it has four player co-op”. They showed us some gameplay for Gears of War 3 which looked sweet and then they were off. I’m suprised he didn’t bring his own fireworks
Another member of the “I’m kind of a big deal club”, Peter Molyneux, comes out on stage next. I don’t actually know what he said, I was busy tweeting “Pete!!!! I love Pete!” but by the time I had sent it the trailer was playing (which, again, looked good) and by the time it had finished Pete had gone. Where’s my empty promises Pete? Tell me how it’s going to make me feel?
I missed most of this next part because I was too busy tweeting about where Pete had gone. Crytek had the stage and were showing off something called Codename Kingdoms, again I don’t know if there was any gameplay as the small section I caught was live action. I’m a bad blogger, sorry guys.
Up next some Halo single player. If you have read anything I’ve ever written it’s normally pretty clear that I’m a Halo fan boy so I won’t go into it too much but I will say “SPACE FLIGHT!!”. This whole section was underwhelming too, this is Microsoft’s biggest thing… it deserved better than just a bloke on stage playing it and not saying anything. A Warthog should have jumped through the big screen and skid across the stage or something.
Next, for what felt like forever, was dedicated to Kinect (Natal’s new name) it was full of fitness games and how to use the menu… and fitness games… and a Star Wars game and what must have been another fitness game. Microsoft were talking about what they had done, why they had done it, how you do stuff. This was the kind of attention the earlier part of the evening needed. I wanted to like Kinect, honest I did, but it was aimed smack bang at the casual market, us core can get lost. I felt like I’d been dumped.
Sure you have all seen the news by now – at the end of the show they whipped out the new Xbox that most of us had already seen, so it was no surprise. What WAS a surprise was that it was out now! (mid July in the UK & Europe). Microsoft went for the casual on this one and didn’t hide the fact. What gets me is that I would class my mum as the one Microsoft wanted to see this, she has her 30 minutes on Wii Fit every morning but my mum wasn’t watching this. No Casual gamer was! That’s why they are called casual gamers. If I said to my mum “Hey mum you should watch the Microsoft keynote stream tonight” she’d be like “The what? Like a river? On that Google Planet thing John’s always looking on, why what’s happening? Oh I’ve not got time I’m busy”.
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