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Microsoft's E3 Conference Displays Company Confidence 147

Posted by Zonk
from the they-have-the-games-and-they-want-you-to-know-it dept.
The tone from Microsoft tonight was one of celebration and anticipation, as they ran down their successes since the 360 launched and hyped their lineup between now and the end of the year. Peter Moore framed the discussing by recalling the blockbuster holiday season of 2004, which was driven by the Grand Theft Auto, Madden, and Halo franchises. Moore stated that 'the only place to play all three games' this year is the 360. In addition to showing off other heavyweight titles like Mass Effect (which is due in November), the company had a few new announcements: They'll be releasing a version of the movie trivia game Scene-It with a quartet of special controllers, for a standard game price. They've partnered with Walt Disney and its associated companies to bring their family of movies to the Xbox Live service, with many titles already available tonight. CliffyB officially revealed Gears of War for the PC; it'll have additional content as well as co-op gaming via Live for Windows. Resident Evil 5 will be coming to the system (the only game from their conference not releasing this year). The event was capped by a live-action short piece meant to show what a Halo movie might look like, the announcement of a Halo 3 special edition 360 sku set to launch alongside the game, and a new trailer showing a bunch of Halo 3 in-game footage. For further details on the event, click below for other sites' liveblog coverage.
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Microsoft's E3 Conference Displays Company Confidence

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  • Call of Duty (Score:2, Interesting)

    by QMalcolm (1094433)
    Really surprised at how great COD4 looked, especially compared to the underwhelming Halo 3 footage. Everyone kind of assumed that Halo 3, being the biggest game for the 360, would end up being a graphical showcase, but it doesn't seem like it's going to be.
    • Re:Call of Duty (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MooseMuffin (799896) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @12:44AM (#19822163)
      Bungie has the halo 3 trailer up in HD on its website. After a closer look on my own screen (as opposed to low rez streaming or the horrible g4 coverage) I thought it looked much much better than the multiplayer beta.

      Overall, I think it was an odd presentation. They only showed stuff coming out this year, and while there are a lot of quality titles coming in the next few months, it might come back to bite them. If Sony's presentation tomorrow contains all kinds of gorgeous footage from games that are still more than a year away, people will come away far more impressed. This is a lesson they should have learned from 2 years ago during the unveiling of the consoles. Sony showed CG footage that they hoped would represent in-game graphics, and even though it was BS, people came away wowed.
      • by grapeape (137008)
        I'd rather see a presentation of real stuff that is coming out in the short term than a dog and pony show full of high hopes and maybes. Remember last years Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo hoopla from Sony or how about Nintendo's demo with Mario 128 and the realistic Zelda several years ago. Selling based on hype 2-3 years off isnt a way to expand your user base if anything it's saying "hold off on buying now...the good stuff is coming down the pipe in a couple years so wait for the price drops".
        • Re:Call of Duty (Score:4, Informative)

          by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75@y a h o o . c om> on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @11:01AM (#19826207)
          Remember last years Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo hoopla from Sony or how about Nintendo's demo with Mario 128 and the realistic Zelda several years ago.

          Nintendo never showed a demo of "Mario 128", as in the game. I was at the press conference when they initially unveiled this - I believe it was actually at Space World, not E3. What they showed then was a demo called "128 Marios", *not* "Mario 128". This was only changed to "Mario 128" later. (There is a photo of the original title screen that got changed for later demos floating around the net somewhere, though I can't find it at the moment.) It was always a simple tech demo designed to show that the GameCube was capable of handling 128 N64-quality Marios at the same time without slowdown. There was no game there. It was just a bunch of Marios on a platform in space.

          Later, Miyamoto started saying in interviews that he was thinking of ways to turn "Mario 128" into a game. But no game was ever shown, and I don't believe any actual coding was done. Somehow, at some point the press and bloggers turned things around and got the idea retroactively that the tech demo that was shown was footage from a game that was never released. It wasn't. Any ideas Miyamoto did have were no doubt put into Mario Sunshine and Mario Galaxy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym (126579)
      One has to remember that COD2 & 3 looked impressive too but all the noise and hubris disguised a stupid AI, dumb automatons as allies, linear levels, infinite spawn points and lots and lots of scripting. Give me a shooter with a decent AI any day.
    • by ravyne (858869)
      The Halo series was never known for its graphics prowess, nor did it ever claim to. Perhaps the original was the best (or one of the better) looking launch titles, but both Halo and Halo 2 were easily surpassed by the likes of Half Life 2 or Doom 3, both of which were ported to the original XBox.

      Aside from that, the visual style of Halo simply doesn't transfer well to the uber-realistic rendering of games like Gears of War and forcing it to do so would be detrimental to the game's sense of identity. Heck
  • I would be confident if I had The Chief on my side.
  • by TommyBear (317561) <tommybear2@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @12:34AM (#19822127) Homepage
    I watched it live, and I must say it was full of marketing drivel. Not one moment did I feel wonder at what was displayed, only felt like I was being sold something but a really slimy salesman. Which is fair enough right? No not really. I'm not interested in how they are going, or how many millions of dollars they will make, I just want innovation in games. All we got in this display was I bunch of dick waving.

    I'm sick of all this "our console is better than the other's" crap, I want to see the best games on the right console at the right time. For all three competitors. Their products should speak for themselves.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QMalcolm (1094433)
      Marketing drivel? It is a press conference, they are trying to sell their product. And Microsoft has never been about the big reveal at E3, they tend to emphasize big games coming, and basically reiterating their focus for the year. If you want big surprises, you'll probably going to be more interested in the Nintendo and Sony conferences tomorrow.
    • I think they were certainly trying to sell to consumers, but also to shareholders and especially distributors/vendors.

      Who else would care that the biggest 'holiday' (and here I thought the war on Xmas was dead) ever was generated by the three franchises for which Xbox360 has exclusive rights.

      The message? If you're going to carry/hype/stock any console and games, make sure it's this one.
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      I'm sick of all this "our console is better than the other's" crap, I want to see the best games on the right console at the right time. For all three competitors. Their products should speak for themselves.

      They're learning from Sony. I'm surprised they didn't say XBOX360 can make baby dolls cry blood yet. PS3 can.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)
      Frankly, I think that the 360 is a pretty damn solid platform, but you're absolutely right. There was a lot of awkward clapping by the presenters on the stage, and not a lot of enthusiasm in the crowd.

      That said, what did you expect from a press conference? "Our competitors are also good"? Microsoft wanted to point out their advantages (Halo and other exclusive titles, Live Arcade, movie downloads).

      Moreover, E3 is as much about publishers as it is about end users. Microsoft is trying to steal PS3 exclusives,
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by VertigoAce (257771)
        Wasn't this E3 about a much more limited audience? In other words, if the crowds are primarily press, are you really surprised that they didn't cheer like crazy? If I was there covering it for my website/magazine/whatever, I would be taking notes as fast as I could, not clapping to everything that was said. That said, I got the distinct impression the audience was more lively than you could here on the streaming video feed.

        On another note; I found it interesting that Microsoft seems to be going after Ninten
    • I find the title of this article, for that reason, to be pretty silly. OF COURSE Microsoft is going to "display confidence" in a public venue. When has there ever been a headline like "Sony says Holiday season will be 'meh.'" Or "Nintendo says 'no new games for a while, so, just relax and enjoy what you've got.'"

      I know we'll never hear it from any company, ever, unless they're already announcing their bankruptcy, but I'd like some realistic reports on game systems from their makers.

      And if they can't give me
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Das Modell (969371)

      I just want innovation in games.

      What the fuck is this "I want innovation in games" whining that's been going on for years and years now? It's getting very annoying. Why does everyone want innovation for innovation's sake? Do you even know what you want, or are you just repeating the popular catchphrase of the moment? Even if developers do release innovative or different games, people still keep repeating "moar inovation plz" like some kind of fucking parrots. A game doesn't need to be innovative in order to

      • by Altus (1034)

        Depends on what you mean by "innovation" and it depends on what you mean by "gameplay"

        All too many games these days are just rehashes of last years crap. Look at the games that Microsoft is touting here. Madden, GTA and Halo. These games will be small iterative improvements over the last version that was released. Probably not even that in the case of Madden which is pretty much just a roster update every year.

        I'm not saying there are absolutely no innovative games but all too many are just rehashes of
    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      I watched it live, and I must say it was full of marketing drivel. Not one moment did I feel wonder at what was displayed, only felt like I was being sold something but a really slimy salesman. ... All we got in this display was I bunch of dick waving.


      You wandered into the wrong trade show. You wanted the Electronic Entertainment Expo, not the Erotic Entertainment Expo. Read the marquee more closely next time.
    • >Peter Moore framed the discussing by recalling the blockbuster holiday season of 2004, which was driven by the Grand Theft Auto, Madden, and Halo franchises.

      Damn straight!

      I want GTA: Madden.
    • I just want innovation in games
      You are in the minority.

      Top selling games of 2006: http://kotaku.com/gaming/npd/npd-mario-madden-top- software-list-228222.php [kotaku.com]

      What most Americans want are fps/sports sequels and licensed movie titles.

      Not Okami. Not Katamari. Not God Hand. Not Viewtiful Joe.
  • They are excited because by the end of the year they finally hope to be making profit (which they never did with the original xbox). Also, they seem to think they have beaten the PS3. Amazing what you can do with $4billion to burn. The most amazing thing is that Sony still probably would have beaten them if they didn't get caught up in their own hubris and focus on things like blu-ray.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by suv4x4 (956391)
      Amazing what you can do with $4billion to burn. The most amazing thing is that Sony still probably would have beaten them if they didn't get caught up in their own hubris and focus on things like blu-ray.

      You know: if, if, if...

      If Sony didn't focus on things like blu-ray, hd-dvd would've taken edge, and they'd lose a far more lucrative revenue source than gaming.

      If Microsoft didn't burn so much money on sales at loss, maybe they'd still gain edge since XBOX260 was the first 3G console on the market, and with
    • by the end of the year they finally hope to be making profit

      Yeah, right :)

      Do you think they're going to make OVER SIX BILLION DOLLARS by the end of the year? Because that's what it would take.
      • by W2k (540424)
        I assume they meant yearly revenue. Previous losses come out of MS's coffers. And those are quite deep.
        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by Simon Garlick (104721)
          So far Microsoft has invested $24B+ in Xbox in order to make a cumulative $5B+ LOSS -- and that's not counting the $1-1.5B that analysts estimate the warranty extension will cost.

          Xbox is a total and utter TRAINWRECK BLACK-HOLE DISASTER by any sane reckoning. Like, "shareholder lawsuit, SEC investigation" disaster.
          • by W2k (540424)
            Microsoft's total revenue for 2006 exceeds $44 billion. A $5B loss on the Xbox division may seem like a lot, until you realize that it's part of a greater strategy. In the end, $5B means nothing to Microsoft, as long as they feel they've gotten somewhere in the console market. And that they have.
            • Only in /. (Score:2, Informative)

              by jotaeleemeese (303437)
              Such an idiotic comment could be uttered.

              Check MS stock performance:

              http://finance.google.com/finance?q=MSFT [google.com] (check Max).

              That is a steady state system curve for you. This means the company has matured and is not finding anything innovative.

              Look how an innovative company looks:

              http://finance.google.com/finance?q=GOOG [google.com]

              the exponential curve shows that people perceive value in the company.

              Simply put, MS is stagnated, I am sure institutional investors are losing patience, wasting 5 billion chasing a chimera does
              • by W2k (540424)
                Not wanting to waste five minutes responding in detail to yet another anti-MS troll, I suggest genuinely interested parties either look at those links (ignoring the false claims being spewed by the poster) or google for "microsoft stock performance".

                I'll note that Microsoft appear to be getting by just fine (swimming in a sea of cash, actually) without being what the above poster perceives as "innovative".
                • by Kelbear (870538)
                  Heh, on an unrelated note:

                  I laughed out loud at "google for "microsoft stock performance"".
          • I own a 360, but if I was buying today I would buy a PS3. The 360 is useless as a media centre since the fans make it sound like someone is revving a jet next door. Having said that, it is a reasonable gaming machine, if that's all you want it for. The PS2 is still selling more than the 360. BTW - Gidday Simon... still playing the guitar?
            • When I can -- not as often as I'd like, I'm afraid :) so I know you under a different nick?
              • Not on here. You, Andrew J and I (LC) shared an office and a tutoring job when you were at WU. I remember you practising guitar in the office.
  • Live? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ludomancer (921940) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @01:05AM (#19822253)
    "...it'll have additional content as well as co-op gaming via Live for Windows."

    Oh goodie, as opposed to co-op gaming via the mother-fucking-internet.
  • The new E3 (Score:2, Informative)

    by dunezone (899268)
    I think Microsoft did an excellent job of showcasing what the new e3 is about. They presented themselves like they would to shareholders in a company. They talked about the current market and how they are standing up to the competition. (And when they showed the numbers they showed Nintendo right behind them and didnt hide it) They showed off their exclusive titles, new services to xbox live, and of course they showed us game play of new titles.

    This is the new E3, no more crowded booths, no more distract
  • So you get one story about MS partners bailing over delayed releases in the SW division.

    Then the next story is about the confidence in the gaming division.

    That's /. for ya. A Windows hatefest followed by a Microsoft Gaming lovefest.
    • by MoonFog (586818)
      Right, so, since I don't like Windows and use Linux and Mac I shouldn't play GTA IV on a 360? What kind of logic is that?
      • The exact same logic as people who won't buy a PS3 because of what BMG did with CDs - extremely poor.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          No I don't buy sony because of what sony did to Sega.

          Yeah I hold my grudges till grim death.
          • by Khaed (544779)
            I don't buy Sony anymore because so far, 100% of the Sony products I've bought have died, no matter how careful I am with them.

            The fact that as a corporation they're a bunch of shits is just an added bonus.

            P.S. What did they do to Sega, specifically?
        • It's not the same logic at all. People don't like Windows for technical reasons. They don't like Sony's DRM for moral reasons. Hence, not liking Windows but liking the 360 is possible, but hating Sony for the DRM implies that you hate the company, not a single product.
          • You honestly think that people don't like Microsoft purely for technical reasons? You obviously haven't read Slashdot enough...
            • by LKM (227954)
              I didn't say "Microsoft," I said "Windows." I made a very specific argument. I most certainly did not claim that people didn't dislike Microsoft for moral reasons.
    • by Rayonic (462789)
      Well, a lot of Linux and Mac folks say that the only thing Windows is good for is playing games.

      So it's theoretically a good thing that MS is crystallizing their gaming experience into a standalone console. With all these PC/Xbox cross-platform games (plus whatever console-only releases), it makes owning a Windows gaming PC less necessary.

      In theory.
  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @01:09AM (#19822277)
    The tone from Microsoft tonight was one of celebration and anticipation

    Well of course it was! How many companies go to a big conference and put on a presentation and say "Hey! We suck!"?

    Remember Sony's conference last year? Remember "Riiidge Racer!"? _They_ were certainly confident, but that didn't mean much in the long run. It's not whether they show confidence in themselves that matters, it's whether the media and the consumers also feel confident about them by the time the presentation is done.

  • by wall0159 (881759) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @01:09AM (#19822281)
    After the cinematic masterpiece that was DooM, I just can't wait for the Halo movie.

    I hope they release it in blu-ray or HD-DVD, so I can watch it in all its HighDef glory.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Osty (16825)

      After the cinematic masterpiece that was DooM, I just can't wait for the Halo movie.

      Haven't you heard? The Halo movie was put on indefinite hold a while back. That said, it looks like they still have Neill Blomkamp [imdb.com] in their corner, judging by the short they showed tonight. If you haven't already, you should check out some of his stuff [youtube.com], especially Alive in Joburg [youtube.com]. He's a very talented director and cinematographer, and many people were excited to hear that he was going to helm the Halo movie. On top of

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by BarneyL (578636)
      Just watch, the Halo movie will come out exclusively on Blu-Ray...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think the final sentence of the following portion of the summary is sad:

    "The tone from Microsoft tonight was one of celebration and anticipation, as they ran down their successes since the 360 launched and hyped their lineup between now and the end of the year. Peter Moore framed the discussing by recalling the blockbuster holiday season of 2004, which was driven by the Grand Theft Auto, Madden, and Halo franchises. Moore stated that 'the only place to play all three games' this year is the 360."

    The cel
    • by scapermoya (769847) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @03:29AM (#19822871) Homepage
      The console has fewer capabilities than a comparably-priced personal computer these days, and it has only been the exclusive publication deals that have drawn people to buy the 360 at all.

      really? i agree that it was a forced event, but microsoft has never been known for their people skills. bash the presentation all you want, but their console is pretty good. i'd like to see the $3-400 multi-core 3.2 ghz computer you have been gaming on.

      also, saying that "it has only been the exclusive publication deals that have drawn people to buy the 360 at all" is like saying disneyland is only popular because its the only place where you can find all of those rides.
    • The creation of Microsoft's video formats, or the Flash video format, or Sony's Blue-Ray, or SMS, or Verizon's "Get It Now", or Sony's memory stick, etc, has nothing to do with creating value for the consumer or making an advance in technology. It's all about luring people in to habits that are difficult to break.

      I don't know. the flash video format seems to me about creating a format anyone can watch, assuming they had a flash player. It's simply an integration of the player into the video data itself, yes, but also in a format that's not platform specific and fairly slim.

    • by grumbel (592662)
      ### The console has fewer capabilities than a comparably-priced personal computer these days

      Where can I get that $300 gaming PC where I don't have to care about driver installations, upgrades, patches and all that stuff and that is going to play games for the next few years? A simple Vista license eats already a third of that money.

      ### and it has only been the exclusive publication deals that have drawn people to buy the 360 at all.

      Consoles are about who has the best games, this generation it seems to be Mi
    • by GrayCalx (597428)
      Am I missing something here? With the Wii, the PS3, and the PS2, made by Nintendo and Sony (and Sony) respectively how is it even possible that Microsoft is maintaining a Monopoly in the console gaming market. You do realize that Nintendo is outselling Microsoft in Japan right? Thats a pretty piss-poor monopoly.

      I just wish I had mod points to mod you as a troll. If you'd like to carry on the "Microsoft is a monopoly" debate in an actual thread that it might be relevant, your post would be completely
      • by Khaed (544779)
        The guy compared the 360 to a PC, saying a similarly priced computer had more capabilities.

        It's not an honest argument. Sure you can buy a $400 PC and do things with it you can't do with an X-Box, but you can't play comparable games on it -- which is the point of a games console. So his argument isn't all that, y'know, sensible in the first place.

        Anyone thinking Microsoft has a monopoly in the gaming market is something of an idiot. In a few months, Nintendo Wii sales will pass up 360 sales -- and the Wi
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by phildo420 (827619)
      In economics, this is product differentiation where the ultimate goal is to be "different" enough to be considered a separate market, and therefore have market power.

      Apple does the same exact thing with the Mac. It's not a PC, it's a Mac -- product differentiation into a different market. Once you're with Mac, you don't have choices as to hardware, you just have Apple. It's ultimately the same goal. The iPod is similar in that it ties into iTunes. And OSX is similar in that it's tied directly to their har

  • A little mixed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @03:05AM (#19822797)
    After watching their press conference I'm a little mixed about it. I liked the fact that they didn't bother talking too much about what's coming out far off in 2008, but talked about what we could be expecting to see in time for the holidays. It's interesting to see what's in the pipes, but I liked that they highlighted the games showing up in the near future. I also think they did a good job pointing out some of the exclusives that they were going to have as well or what kind of exclusive features (GTA IV downloadable content) that would only be showing up on the Xbox 360.

    I think that their efforts in terms of family games was a little on the week side. I can understand they want to get into the same marketspace as the Wii, but it seems as though it's an afterthought for them. I think that their initial core market is mature gamers who enjoy FPS games and such. The Scene It game just seemed kind of awkward for a console. I think the majority of Xbox 360 owners don't really care too much about these games. I would have rather seen more focus on their core.

    I really could care less about their Live for Windows information as well, but I've never been much of a computer gamer. I've always liked E3 for the focus on the consoles.

    One thing that really stuck out, and this always seems to happen at pretty much every conference, is that some celebrity or designer comes out to highlight a game and they come off sounding stiff and awkward. The lady talking during the Assassins Creed preview made me cringe. The Madden demo also felt forced. Please reherse or find some more genuine presenters. It makes everything look more professional. Last year Sony was horrible for this reason.

    Overall, not a bad showing, but it didn't feel as though they were trying to generate a lot of buzz. Maybe that's just an effect of the new format of E3 though. Looking forward to both of the press conferences tomorrow and what Sony and Nintendo have in the works.
  • If it's going to be Vista-only I'll be waiting for the inevitable "unofficial" XP patch before I buy it. Whether they'll have the balls to scupper sales for a potentially big PC hit is another matter - any bets? I might consider it but I've heard that lots of my existing games *won't* work on Vista - as a gamer, why would I want to spend money on that?
    • by GrayCalx (597428)
      why would I want to spend money on that?

      Direct-X 10? Thats why I want to spend money on it.
  • Nooo!! Was Monkey Boy dancing around the stage again?
  • Last year one of my relatives gave everyone a plug and play game called Buzztime for christmas, its fun but disconnecting the existing consoles to plug it in to play one game is a bit of a pain. This sounds alot more spontaneous. Having access to Live means the game can be updated easily. Its proably not going to attract many of the traditional gamers but for the new casual gamers its sounds like a great way for the family to game together. I'ts gimmicky but I can see the controllers being used for othe
  • And all I kept hearing - between the lines - was that some games would ship on Microsoft that already were shipping on PS3 and Wii, and that other games would ship first of xBox360 and then ship on the Wii.

    Take home message, other than a few games (Halo) that we already knew were xBox360 specific - not much behind the PR.

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