It was an unseasonably brisk morning for Southern California, but the video game media lining up outside the Galen Center didn't mind. They would have taken on almost any form of unnatural elements to be in the crowd for the Xbox 360 media briefing this morning. Microsoft covered everything in their arsenal this morning and came out blasting with in-game play from Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, followed by some astounding new Tomb Raider gameplay, Mass Effect 3, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier. All looked great, but the weapon customization through Kinect in Ghost Recon Future Soldier, done not only through hand motions, but through voice, generated a few gasps and rousing applause from the audience. You have the ability to create literally millions of different weapons within that game. Most of the newer games, including Mass Effect 3, will have voice control elements.
They then moved on to show us the latest features being brought to Xbox Live, including YouTube, Bing voice search, and LIVE BROADCAST TELELVISION! Wonder how much more THAT will cost? (they glossed over that part)
The other big announcement was that the console debut of the underground indie hit Minecraft will be available exclusively on Xbox 360.
From there they gave us brief glimpses into the latest UFC Undisputed game, Halo Combat Evolved, Forza Motorsport 4, and Fable the Journey. For kids, they debuted Disneyland Adventures and Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster. They then gave us a live gameplay look at Star Wars Kinect, with all of the flailing/slashing lightsaber action we’re expecting. Yes, the gameplay progression looks like it’s on rails, but should make for a fun experience without the fear of launching a controller through the television or nearby window. And on the more active front, they showed Kinect Sports and Dance Central 2.
But the most fun Kinect feature seemed to be the Kinect Fun Labs, where you can instantly create an avatar of yourself by simply standing in front of the camera and letting it scan you. The same goes for objects, such as a stuffed animal, that you would hold up to be scanned. Kinect brings them to life on the screen. And they have a feature called “Finger Tracking” that lets you draw on whatever you see on screen by moving your finger through the air, creating something in 3 dimensional space. And the amazing thing about those features is that they went live to the Xbox Live community TODAY!
Of course, to wrap things up, they had to go out big. They left us with first footage of the first chapter in a new trilogy: HALO 4. C’mon, you didn’t think Xbox would stop milking their biggest cash cow, did you?
Stay with PopCultureGeek.com all this week as we cover the big events and the happenings on the floor throughout the massive E3 Expo week to come…