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Microsoft Announces Halo 4, TV For Xbox Live, Kinect Star Wars 157

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-than-last-year dept.
Today Microsoft held their E3 press conference, announcing a number of major new games and services for the Xbox 360 platform. Halo 4 was briefly revealed, and is currently planned for a holiday 2012 launch. In addition, the original Halo is getting an HD remake. Smash indie hit Minecraft will be coming to the 360 this winter, with support for Kinect. In fact, there is a huge push from many game-makers to bring Kinect integration to the next level — from a new Fable game where you can use your hands to cast spells, to EA Sports titles, to Kinect Star Wars. Topping it off is an update to Xbox Live which will bring live TV to the console (including DVR functions), controllable by voice through Kinect. YouTube and voice search through Bing are coming as well. The update is planned for this fall. Those interested can catch a video of the press conference, which includes all the relevant game trailers, at G4TV.
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Microsoft Announces Halo 4, TV For Xbox Live, Kinect Star Wars

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  • by xMrFishx (1956084) on Monday June 06, 2011 @03:43PM (#36354504)
    Seems like Activision and Microsoft are going toe to toe in the grand "Squeeze the most money out of an IP" competition. Oh great...
    • by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Monday June 06, 2011 @03:45PM (#36354556)

      SquareEnix has a HUGE head start on either of them.

      • by xMrFishx (1956084)
        Perhaps, though I really don't follow the FF series, aren't they all different characters, in different worlds? So essentially different games by the same person with FF slapped on? On that thought though, I guess it still counts as franchise whoring. So yeah, your point is taken.
        • by erroneus (253617)

          I don't even know that much, but each one with a name that includes "final" I would expect each one to be the last. I have been constantly annoyed with every sequel.

          • To be fair, when they released the first game the company was circling the drain. They used every last penny they had to publish the game and were more surprised than anyone that it was the hit that it was. That's where the "Final Fantasy" moniker comes from.

            And since you are self admittedly unaware of the games, it's worth pointing out that there are very few sequels in the family. In fact, until FF X2 there were none that even took place in the same universe as any of the other entries. Since then, th

        • by gman003 (1693318)
          Sort of. All the numbered games are individual - VI has no characters in common with I, IV or IX. They have made a few sequels - X-2 is a sequel to X, FFIV: The After Years is a sequel to IV, VII has both a prequel and sequel game (Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus, respectively), etc. And, if you want to get technical, VII, X and X-2 are technically in the same universe, but that's a rather obscure fact, and there's no shared characters between VII and X.

          Normally, there are certain constants in the serie
          • 2 and 9 are somewhat in the same universe too.

            Ramuh in 9 tells the story of Josef from Final Fantasy 2.

            Technically speaking, FFIV leaves it open that all FFs are in the same "universe" but on different planets...

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Hey now we should give MSFT credit! After all Halo singlehandedly helps keep drunken fratboys safely contained on the X360. I know that when I play online games after a Halo release the amount of "nigger fag" teabagger bullshit drops WAY down, thus showing Halo is doing its job and keeping the fratboys away from the rest of us, yay!

      And personally i hope MSFT and Sony milk the living shit out of the X360 and PS3 respectively, thank you VERY much! I LIKE being able to play all the newest games on a $60 HD4850

      • PC Gamer here...

        Warcraft, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, Starcraft, Starcraft 2-1, Starcraft 2-2, Starcraft 2-3, Diablo, Diablo 2, Diablo 3, Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, Doom 4, Quake, Quake 2, Quake 3, Quake 4, Half Life, Half Life 2, Half Life 2-Ep1, Half Life 2-Ep2, Left4 Dead, Left4Dead2...

        PC Gaming isn't "milking" franchises?
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Don't play the others so I can't comment, other than Doom 3 lasted about 45 minutes on my PC as I got tired of "walk into a room, take three steps, turn to shoot booger in the closet, lather rinse repeat" but if the total gaming goodness that is HL is "milking" a franchise? Then PLEASE milk that shit, milk it more! Between the excellent mechanics, story, and mods, I'd say that is a perfect example of how to do gaming RIGHT.

          That would be like saying they shouldn't have made The Dark Knight because someone ha

    • Mario, Mario 2, Mario 2 USA, Mario 3, Mario World, Mario is Missing, Mario Teaches Typing, Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, Mario Galaxy, Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario, New Super Mario 3, Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, Mario Party 1-7(?), Mario Land, Mario Land 2, Mario 3DS, Paper Mario, Paper Mario 2...

      Legend of Zelda, Adventures of Link, Link to the Past, Ocarina of Tim
    • by Xest (935314)

      Yeah, to be fair though the difference is that the Halo games have been consistently good, whilst Guitar Hero followed by Call of Duty have become consistently worse.

      Microsoft at least keeps the quality high with Halo, Activision just milks without care for quality until the franchise dies.

  • Halo 4? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Skarecrow77 (1714214)

    I swore I read somewhere that Halo 3 was the last one, and that's why they went the prequel route after that.

    Maybe I'm misremembering.

    Has Johnny Depp signed on for 40 million yet (I may be cross-remembering my "our series is done at 3" press releases here)?

    • Bungie was done at 3 like it said in the summary.

      Also, the Story Arc that Started in Halo:CE ended at 3. I'm guessing that this will be a new story arc.

      • The real question is who's left for the enemy - the Covenant became allies in Halo 3, and the Flood are dead. Hopefully they'll do something reasonably creative.
      • by The Moof (859402)

        Bungie was done at 3 like it said in the summary.

        Sure.. if you ignore ODST and Reach.

        • Actually, "done at 3" can mean that the STORY was done at 3, in terms of chronology.

          The order of games released is 1,2,3,ODST,Reach.

          However, their chronological order is Reach,1,2,ODST,3. From that point of view, 3 is the last one still, and I'm pretty sure that's what they meant.

    • Re:Halo 4? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by chemicaldave (1776600) on Monday June 06, 2011 @03:53PM (#36354684)
      It's no longer developed by Bungie (although many employees moved to the new in-house developer, 343 Industries). And this surely isn't over yet, one thing the summary neglected to mention is that Microsoft announced a new trilogy. Expect Halo 5 and 6 as well.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You are correct. Bungie aren't doing it, 343 studios are.

      Anyone watch the huge lag with kinect demos? It was around 0.5s!

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I swore I read somewhere that Halo 3 was the last one, and that's why they went the prequel route after that.

      Halo 3 ended the Master Chief saga. That's it, the end, case closed. That's what Bungie has always said - it's the end of the 'Chief.

      FTA:

      Halo 4 is "the dawn of a new trilogy for Xbox 360," Microsoft's Don Mattrick said of the new title

      It's a new story arc. No more Master Chief, other than odd cameo you'll find.

      Halo Reach wasn't really a prequel either, it doesn't goes into the whole backstory of the

      • by The Moof (859402)
        Actually, this is the continuation of the Master Chief saga, as was shown by the trailer. It's where the story continues after the teaser at the end of 3 on Legendary (343 even mentioned this in their follow up interview).
  • This was foretold by LRR almost four years ago: http://loadingreadyrun.com/videos/view/228/Halo-The-Future-of-Gaming [loadingreadyrun.com]
  • Steve Jobs took a dig at XBOX Live today during the WWDC. "In just 9 months we have 50 million Game Center users. To put that into perspective Xbox Live has been around for about eight years and they have around 30 million users." It's not the same. A one time purchase of Angry birds doesn't compare to a subscribing, active user of XBOX live. For all of Microsoft's missteps and gaffs (and there have been plenty), XBOX live seems to be the one thing they got right. It's a great UI, and it has some great c
    • by smelch (1988698)
      Can Steve Ballmer take credit for over night creating however many million Games for Windows users over night? Steve Jobs, you are a jackass.
    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Do you still have to tithe to MS to be able to use netflix?

      • No. It works with your regular subscription. IIRC, it has the same selection as the Netflix streaming service, which is to say, not much, which is why I cancelled it.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I have netflix streaming and it has a pretty good selection. Easily better than amazon prime and hulu combined. My understanding was to use your netflix subscription you had to pay for Xbox live Gold. Which to me is a total ripoff. I guess if you already have live for some other reason it makes sense, but I am not going to pay money to listen to 12 year olds call each other bad words.

          • That may be. I already have gold, so I was unawares of that requirement. There are games that kids don't play, plus you can play online with your friends and hear none of the kids at all. But if you're looking for a device that just streams Netflix to your TV, you may be better off just building an HTPC as I find the 360 to be on the loud side. There are plenty of totally silent options for making something that can stream 1080p video.
            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              So you need a Gold subscription just to play online?
              Are there free games or something?

              This really seems like MS is double dipping. I have played PC games since the late 80s and since the time multiplayer was available have never paid to play with friends.

              • I've long said that Xbox Live! is the world's most expensive P2P network, but for console gaming it's the very best option. What Sony and Nintendo offer is a total joke.
                • by h4rr4r (612664)

                  In what way it is better?
                  How does it compare to other free services like steam?

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I have to admit that MS has stayed with it in the console war. They just keep plugging away and away at it. All the blood and sweat, all the mistakes and finally it's starting to look like they will overcome Sony. Sony had it all but they've just sat on their asses.

    • Can anyone tell me what the summary means when it says MS is bringing "live TV" to the Xbox?

      Does that mean Sid Caesar is coming back?

    • by camperslo (704715)

      At about 180 Watts power consumption, streaming tv with an Xbox 360 is not environmentally responsible. In comparison the Apple TV uses about 3 Watts (and at 10 Watts an iPad even has a display).

      Power consumed becomes heat which is one reason the 360 has so many heat-related hardware failures.
      Using a desktop PC as an alarm clock works too, but it is too wasteful to consider...

      • At about 180 Watts power consumption, streaming tv with an Xbox 360 is not environmentally responsible. In comparison the Apple TV uses about 3 Watts (and at 10 Watts an iPad even has a display).

        Ignore for a moment the cost of cooling. Then unplugging an existing Xbox 360 and plugging in an Apple TV 2 will save 0.177 kWh for each hour of video that one watches. How much does one have to watch at $0.12 per kWh to make up for the $99 retail price of an Apple TV 2? That makes 825 kWh, or 4,661 hours of video. How many hours of video do people watch per month?

        • by schwaang (667808)

          The guy comments about environmental responsibility and you change the subject to $$?

          Let me take a shot. A quick search says americans watch an average of 151 hours of TV/month: 1812 hrs/year, which is a penalty of (1812 hrTV/year * 0.177kWh/hrTV =~ ) 321 kWh / year.

          A quick search [carbonfund.org] says on average, 1kWh generated in america puts out 1.3lbs CO2.
          So the average american would generate about (321KWh/year * 1.3lbsCO2/kWh =~) 417 lbs of CO2/year from using an Xbox 360 instead of an Apple TV.

          By comparison, a gallo

          • So by driving to the store to pick up your AppleTV, you nullify any gain?

            But seriously, how much energy do you think is used in the production of an AppleTV? Wouldn't not buying another device have huge cost savings of it's own?
            • You should probably look into more fuel efficient cars if driving to the store and back eats through 20 gallons for you.

          • The guy comments about environmental responsibility and you change the subject to $$? [...] 1kWh generated in america puts out 1.3lbs CO2.

            Only commensurable quantities, meaning those in the same units, can be compared. So in order to compare the price of an Apple TV 2 to the environment responsibility of less carbon dioxide emitted at the power plant, one needs to convert environmental responsibility into units of dollars. Should I use the price of a carbon offset?

  • Minecraft (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nschubach (922175)

    The 360 has a JVM? Or are they going to do a half assed port in XNA?

    Also, I guess I shouldn't be surprised Notch sold exclusivity to MS.

    • The 360 has a JVM? Or are they going to do a half assed port in XNA?

      There's no need for half-assed ports - because CIL is, semantically, complete superset of JVM bytecode, it's possible to have a JVM implemented on top of CLR (with automatic translation of bytecode). This already exists - IKVM.NET [ikvm.net] - and it can do "ahead-of-time" translation (i.e. feed it .class files, get a .NET assembly).

      The trick is getting the class libraries. IKVM offers a lot of fundamental Java classes (collections, I/O etc). But it also gives you the ability to call directly into .NET APIs from Java,

  • But I'm finding myself really, really uninterested in what's coming out. These AAA titles get so caught up in the extraneous BS that they forget to put a fun game in there. And so many overblown, uninteresting stories! A minimal storyline can be fine but the more involved it is, the better it had be. A big story that's stupid is worse than a minimal story that's good because the poorness is staring you in the face. An actor might not be a song and dance guy. If he doesn't do a routine in the film, you won't

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Do you guys just copy-and-paste this same old shit into every single Slashdot thread, or are people actually typing it over and over again under the delusion that 1) it's an original sentiment, or 2) other people care to read it?

      Because if it's the latter, it's impressive how alike they all end up sounding.

      This is just the Slashdot Games version of, "you darn kids, get off my lawn!"

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      And so many overblown, uninteresting stories! A minimal storyline can be fine but the more involved it is, the better it had be.

      Trying to force stories into games is one of the reasons why so many new games are so bad. I buy a game, install it, start it up, have to sit and wait through a bunch of stupid videos, have to sit and wait through uber-cool animated menus to start the game, and then I have to sit and wait through half an hour of unskippable cutscenes where I make two dialog choices which have no real impact on the game. So an hour after I started it up I get to do something for two minutes before the next unskippable cutsce

      • by Dutch Gun (899105)

        Trying to force stories into games is one of the reasons why so many new games are so bad.

        To me, games simply aren't as engaging or interesting unless it also tells a story. And frankly, for as many people like you who are more interested in the gameplay, there are plenty of people like me who who tend to view story-driving cutscenes as a tangible reward for gameplay progress, and look forward to them. I lost interest in pure twitch-fest gameplay quite a while ago. While the occasional arcade game is entertaining for brief periods, it just can't hold my attention for long anymore.

        The inclusio

    • by Amouth (879122)

      personally i liked lost planet (the first one) the second is exactly as you claim.. they focused so much on adding multi player that the single/story based version sucked

    • Getting old. (Score:3, Informative)

      by yarnosh (2055818)

      Either that or you're just getting older. Generally it is safe to assume it is yourself changing and becoming bored with games rather than games becoming boring. Same with music or movies. Not sure how old you are but when I was younger, I could become engrossed by the stupidest, most trivial of video games. Some (most) of those Atari/Coleco/etc games were really pretty shitty if you think about it, and they're even worse if you try to go back and play them now. And how about that Atari joystick? Terrible

  • Might be me, but that Star Wars title seems to lag quite a bit whenever that guy jumped, or swung the 'lightsaber'. I don't know that I could play a game with that much lag.

    Also, where are the other controls for that game? What controls the walking around? I didn't see the guy on stage with any kind of controlling device (other than Kinect "lightsaber, on!" and jumping about) so I'm left to assume this is a "on a rail" type of game? What if I don't want to be "on a rail" and follow exactly the path laid out

  • I hope the system-wide search lets me disable particular video sources.

    My ISP does not provide ESPN3, I do not use "Zune Video", and I do not have a "Hulu Plus" account. I won't want searches to ever show me content from those three sources.

    Think Microsoft will accommodate me?

    • by xMrFishx (1956084)

      Think Microsoft will accommodate me?

      Nah, I doubt it. Businesses don't accommodate punters, they accommodate other businesses.

    • by tepples (727027)

      My ISP does not provide ESPN3

      Does the other ISP in your area?

      • by DdJ (10790)

        A zillion do. But I care more about "multiple static IP addresses and an agreement that permits me to run servers" than about "sports". (Haven't found a sport I enjoy watching yet.)

        • by tepples (727027)
          And then there are people with different tastes, the kind of people who in a cash crunch would cancel Internet access and keep ice hockey. My aunt lives with one.
  • I notice you still can't control where your character moves in Star Wars. He follows a pre-defined path, and you just swipe at enemies as you approach them. What I'd really like to see is Kinect + some sort of hand-held controller for moving around. Then you'd have a truly immersive experience; ducking to avoid fire, using your body for emotes, crouching with a sniper rifle, throwing a grenade...

    I can't believe no-one's done it yet.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Its called the PS Move.

      People knock it for having a controller then complaint that move needs one. PS Move really is like the Wii the way it should have been. I say that because you can't just flick your wrist when bowling or similar things the wii lets you get away with. This is because it not only tracks acceleration but also location and orientation much better.

  • by harl (84412) on Monday June 06, 2011 @04:08PM (#36354954)

    Fable game where you can cast spells with your hands? Star Wars Kinect game?

    I remember the exact moment the Wii went from Cool to Lame for me. About 20 minutes into Spiderman 2. Likely the best spiderman game released. Captured the look and feel. Had great voice acting. Top notch product. I highly recommend it. That is on a traditional controller. After 20 minutes of punching the air in front of me, to mimic shooting webs, the Wii went from Must Buy to Never Buy.

    Waving your hands to play a game sounds cool but sucks in reality. Better put you need to design the game from the first word in the design document to be a motion game. Tacking motion control onto other games is a waste of time.

    The problem is that if you follow that advice you end up with a single platform game. Really a single sub-platform because if you've done your design work right the game will suck if played with a traditional controller. People don't want to take that risk.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I agree 100%. The PS move games have the same issue, the ones that are move only are great, sports, boxing, shooting gallery. The ones that try to accommodate both are mostly terrible. Killzone 3 is ok on both controllers, but not as good as it could have been if they had only had one control scheme.

    • "Waving your hands to play a game sounds cool but sucks in reality."

      Depends on the game, Metroid prime is definitely a better game with the wand. Few games use the game controller to it's strength is the real issue. I agree though that the regular controller didn't need re-inventing BUT... I hate how most Wii games do not support Wii classic controller, it was my biggest pet peeve buying a Wii Nintendo did not ensure that you could use a regular controller over the wand with most (all?) first party games

      • by harl (84412)

        "Depends on the game, Metroid prime is definitely a better game with the wand."

        Yes that's the point I was making. Thank you for repeating it.

        • "Tacking motion control onto other games is a waste of time."

          Your words... motion controls were "tacked on" to metroid prime trilogy, the first and second did not have them. Thank you for your poor literacy skills.

          • by harl (84412)

            My bad. I thought it was a native Wii game.

            Why do you think it's better?

  • How abut making it possible to use regular terabyte harddisks?

    • I can already do this with the 360 Slim, the regular 360 as well if you can get ahold of the shell used for the drives. I'm told you could do that with the PS3 but to be honest I don't use mine nearly often enough to both checking it.
  • I was hoping for something more interesting in the Star Wars games they demoed.

    I guess it's not 'there' yet.

    The visual were quite nice though.

    Also it appears too scripted, like the old Dragon's Lair game...

    I suppose it is too much to ask for today for the game to be open-ended. Don't know why though, there is enough computing power to enable something very sophisticated but it appears their resources are not used efficiently enough.

    • by theurge14 (820596)

      My guess is the problem is not the hardware keeping up but the developers. Most console games I see now are just $60 portals to an online multiplayer melee on a handful of maps (Call of Duty, etc). Finding any decent single player content anymore is like trying to throw kittens in the bathtub.

      • by bryan1945 (301828)

        Finding any decent single player content anymore is like trying to throw kittens in the bathtub.

        That is the most bizarre analogy I've heard in about a week. Kudos.

  • Does it also understand Klingon?
    • by tepples (727027)

      Does it also understand Klingon?

      Probably not. I seem to remember reading that Microsoft's criteria for video games on Xbox include not using any constructed languages. (I can dig up citations if you wish.) No Klingon, no Sindarin, no Huttese.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        No Klingon, no Sindarin, no Huttese.

        No possibility of a port of Panzer Dragoon Saga... which is sad.

  • by eclectus (209883) on Monday June 06, 2011 @04:31PM (#36355276) Homepage

    That Star Wars Kid [youtube.com] from a fews years back is finally gonna get his revenge once Star Wars comes out and he can use the Kinect controller.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604)

    So, where in the XBOX 360 do I plug in the CableCARD, or will it be via another add-on USB device? And will I still be at the whims of a cable company's Switched Digital Video tuning adapter over what channels I will be able to tune when I want or will support for that be included (and will it function reliably)?

    I ask because Time Warner Cable seems to want to sabotage any DVR that isn't their own, designing unreliability into their cable boxes and tuning adapters to that end. (And they don't support HBO GO

    • I would love a DVR on the 360, but my concern is you really need a robust enterprise hard-drive or hard drive array for all those rewrites, especially when people like me like who used to rerecord all the futruma/south park/trek reruns every single night whether I watched them or not just to make sure I have something to watch if I wanted to. I don't think the 350 drive is up for it.
    • You dont. This is going to be an IPTV implementation like Uverse etc.
  • From that video the Star Wars Kinect game reminds me a lot of Dragon's Lair. Totally scripted and just a matter of pushing the right button (or waving your hand) at the right time.

    And those robots had worse aim than the storm troopers in the original movie.

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