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E3 2009: Microsoft's Press Conference

E3 2009: Microsoft's Press Conference

June 1, 2009 | By Staff

June 1, 2009 | By Staff
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Gamasutra will be updating with details from the Microsoft E3 2009 press conference as they occur, discussing the basic facts and announcements out of the company's Los Angeles showcase of its titles for the rest of 2009.

We'll follow up with a detailed analysis from our on-site reporters, but here are the basic facts from the conference:

10.30 - Starting the Microsoft press conference at E3 2009, Harmonix's Alex Rigopulos and MTV's Van Toffler revealed the first public demonstration of The Beatles: Rock Band, coming to Xbox 360 this September.

10.36 - The title includes "never before heard studio chat" between The Beatles, and the duo showcased both a sumptuous intro sequence and plenty of in-game footage, with tracks spanning 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' to 'I Am The Walrus'.

10.39 - The creators also revealed that downloadable albums will be available firstly 'Abbey Road' in its entirity. In addition, 'All You Need Is Love' will be available on Xbox 360 as a downloadable song, with all proceeds going to the Doctors Without Frontiers charity.

10.40 - A number of Beatles-related notables, including Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appear on stage to endorse the game, which is due out later this year, before ceding the stage to Microsoft's John Schappert.

10.44 - Tony Hawk comes on stage to show the first trailer for Tony Hawk Ride and the new board design, showcasing professional skaters praising the skateboard hardware peripheral.

10.47 - The trailer for Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2 is shown, before the firm's Vince Zampella and Jason West demonstrate an impressive-looking snow-filled level, with gameplay including ascending an ice cliff and impressive battlefield combat scenes.

10.57 - Schappert confirms that two map packs for Modern Warfare 2 will debut "first on Xbox Live", before introducing Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama of Square Enix.

11.00 - The duo demonstrate Final Fantasy XIII running on the Xbox 360, showcasing a live demo of similar content to the recently released PS3 demo of the much-awaited RPG, which is due out in "spring 2010".

11.03 - Schappert now announces that all titles from now on will be Xbox 360 exclusive. He introduces Cliff Bleszinski and Donald Mustard from Epic and the Epic-owned studio Chair Entertainment, showcasing an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive, Shadow Complex. This is a sideways scrolling 2D-playfield action title, due out on XBLA this summer.

11.07 - Newly acquired Microsoft studio Bigpark debuts a new title, Joy Ride, which is a free to download, free to play and microtransaction-based kart racing game which prominently features Xbox Live Avatars. It'll be out this Winter.

11.09 - A trailer for Crackdown 2 confirms the much-rumored title, being developed by Scottish studio Ruffian Games. No release date is specified.

11.10 - Left 4 Dead 2 is then shown in brief, gory trailer format, surprisingly being confirmed as an Xbox 360 and PC exclusive, due out this November from Valve.

11.12 - A tense trailer for Splinter Cell: Conviction debuts, and Ubisoft staffers come onstage to showcase the title, which they note has changed quite a bit since the last time it was showcased. A series of impressive hands-on gameplay demos of the title ensue, and it's debuting "exclusively on Xbox 360" this Fall.

11.17 - Microsoft and internal studio Turn10 officially announced Forza Motorsport 3, debuting this October, and trailed as "the definitive racing game of this generation." More than 400 cars from 50 manufacturers will be available. Sharing of car customization and video upload is also prominently mentioned.

11.25 - Bungie's Joe Staten appears on stage to show Halo 3: ODST, with a confirmed release date of September 28th, impressive in-game playable demonstrations, and a new co-operative mode confirmed.

11.31 - Before leaving, Staten trails Halo Reach, which 'Falls 2010', with a cryptic trailer. Both Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios are credited at the end of the trailer, and buying Halo 3: ODST will get you an invitation to the multiplayer beta for this next Halo title.

11.35 - Remedy's Sam Lake comes on stage to give a lengthy real-time demonstration of Alan Wake, which is coming out in Spring 2010 exclusively on Xbox 360, and showcases graphically spectacular use of smoke, distortion effects and more in the third-person action/survival horror title.

11.41 - John Schappert announces Last.fm, the popular online music listening device, for Xbox Live - it'll be free for Gold subscribers starting later this year. He also reveals an extended version of the Netflix player with the ability to browse and add to the Instant Queue, and mentions the Sky TV partnership in the UK and Ireland which gives live TV to Sky subscribers on the Xbox 360.

11.43 - Schapper talks about the relaunch of Xbox Live's video service as Zune, with full 1080p videos, instant play, and an expansion from 8 to 18 countries. He also announces the previously delayed Live Party, in which multiple avatars can simultaneously watch movie and TV content.

11.45 - Felicia Day comes onstage to show the Facebook interface for Xbox 360, newly announced and integrated into the Xbox Live menu system, with the ability to link Facebook and Xbox Live avatars so you can easily view. In addition, you can upload screenshots from select games starting with Tiger Woods this year.

11.48 - Day also announces Twitter for the Xbox 360, with a redesigned interface suitable for the living room - both are debuting on Xbox Live "this Fall."

11.51 - Xbox's Don Mattrick is interrupted by Hideo Kojima, who reveals Metal Gear Solid: Rising, apparently starring Raiden, will be coming to the Xbox 360. A brief teaser trailer (without any in-game footage) is shown.

11.57 - Schappert then showcases the much-rumored motion controller for Xbox 360, Project Natal, which is an unspecified camera-based solution includes gesture recognition, and a sensor tracking 3D movement and recognizing voices, with a glossy demonstration video.

12.00 - Steven Spielberg is introduced onstage to discuss why he was impressed with Project Natal, saying that the ability to "personalize... the gameplay experience" is key.

12.06 - Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda (formerly of EA Chicago), and project director of Project Natal, demonstrates the gesture recognition and 'real-time motion capture' of the tech -- before showing a demonstration game which tracks a player's limbs in real-time, and also tracks depth at the same time.

12.09 - Further demonstration of the tech includes gestural painting, being able to move around in 3D space, and voice recognition, and "development kits are arriving at our partners today."

12.14 - Peter Molyneux comes onstage to demonstrate interactions with a virtual boy created at Lionhead Studios in the UK called Milo, who conducts naturalistic discussions with the player through the screen, and further demonstrates Project Natal's capabilities. The peripheral's launch specifics are not yet specified.


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