Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Microsoft's Pre E3 Press Conference

Now that’s what I’m talking about. Microsoft has stolen the show with their Pre E3 conference. Sony’s lackluster conference pales in comparison to Microsoft’s. Here’s all the latest info…

First, The new Xbox Live Arcade games

Microsoft has recently announced a boat load of new arcade games that will soon be available to Xbox 360 gamers through the Xbox Live Marketplace. The full list of games confirmed is as follows:

Pac-Man, Contra, Galaga, Frogger, Sonic, Defender, Street Fighter II, Time Pilot, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Rally-X, Dig Dug, Ms. Pac-Man, PaperBoy, and Rootbeer Tapper.

Secondly, the next wave of new Xbox 360 games has been announced. There are a lot of big names in the line up such as Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway, Lost Planet, FEAR, Too Human, Enchanted Arms, Prey, 99 Nights, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Forza Motorsport 2, Fable 2 and two of the biggest gaming franchises on the planet, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Halo 3.

Speaking of GTA 4, This game was mistakenly announced as an Xbox 360 Exclusive but it turns out, Rockstar themselves confirmed that the game would release simultaneously on both PS3 and Xbox 360. This is still incredible news, Last generation, the Grand Theft Auto series was time-exclusive to the PS2, only appearing on the Xbox after Rockstar’s exclusivity deal with Sony ended. Now, the 360 owners will be able to play this game as soon as the PS3 owners.

Microsoft has signed an exclusivity deal with Rockstar to provide exclusive episodic content for the game. Meaning the 360 owners will have access to exclusive downloadable content to extend the life of the game after they have finished it.

Both versions of the game will be available on October 16, 2007.

Halo 3 was perhaps the biggest announcement of the conference. A brand new announcement trailer was shown and the crowd went wild. The trailer is available for download on either Bungie’s Web Site or through the Xbox Live Marketplace.

The HD-DVD add on for the Xbox 360 was also revealed and it is pictured below:

This device adds HD DVD playback functionality to the Xbox 360 and will be available this holiday season. HD DVD is currently in contention with Sony’s Blu-ray disc format, similar to the Betamax and VHS war that occurred a while ago. The last thing Microsoft wants is Sony gaining superiority in the High-Definition Media market.

I am very impressed by Microsoft’s Pre E3 press conference. After Sony’s Pre E3 Press Conference, which failed to show anything new or particularly exciting, Microsoft has officially stolen the show from Sony and struck a major blow to Sony’s upcoming PS3.

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