Microsoft eGames Keynote

17 November, 2006 at 10:19 pm 5 comments

The Microsoft keynote was great. It was loaded with new news, walkthrough of live anywhere, walkthrough of the new TV/Music/Movies download marketplace. David McLean, the regional director of Microsoft Australia and New Zealand.

First there was a run through of the Xbox 360 and live in Australia. First 100k Xbox 360s have been sold in Australia, 30% more than the PS2 in the same time period. There is an attach rate of 4 games per console. There will be 160 games on the 360 (not including arcade) by Christmas and over 50% of Australian 360s are connected to live.

Then the keynote was broken down into 5 categories, the pillars of the 360 concept:

1. Connected

Live Anywhere was demoed and will be released early next year with 2 games enabled at launch, Shadowrun and Halo 2, which means that they will be playable cross platform as well as other applications which are tied to Live Anywhere. Previously Halo 2 was not going to be a Live Anywhere title, and it is news that it is now enabled.

Essentially, Live Anywhere is software layers over Vista and Windows Mobile phones. Vista allows you to access all the functionality of Xbox live from your PC, which includes friends list, gamer card messaging and cross platform gaming, as well as accessing any media you have downloaded via live on your 360. Developers can also develop applications that tie into Live Anywhere for their games. We were shown the car editor for Forza Motorsport 2 which allows to totally edit you car from parts, body kits and paint jobs, on your PC and transfer them to your Xbox 360 via Live Anywhere. From the mobile perspective, you can play arcade titles that have a mobile equivalent for free if you have purchase the Xbox version, access all the social features and again use applications developed for Windows Mobile. We were shown the Forza 2 app which allows a person to send you there care to view in 3D and edit the parts of the car and send it back.

The TV/Movie/Music download service was shown as well, and the interface is not that different from the current market place. Other details shared were that TV shows and movies can be streamed/watched while downloading. SD and HD are available and the service will start next year in Australia.

2. Broader

  • 70 million downloads on Xbox Live
  • 12 million arcade downloads
  • 1000 arcade games submitted to Microsoft for evaluation for release on XBLA
  • 9 million text/voice/video messages sent each week via Live

A video was then shown on a montage of XBLA title, then same one shown at Lipzing and on the Live Marketplace.

3. Immersive

Live Vision Camera and wireless accessories are key to emersion into games, as you can be placed into games and have freedom from console with wireless controllers.

A video of the Live Vision camera scanning a face for Rainbow Six Vegas was then shown, which drew some cheers from the audience.

4. Evolving

The Xbox 360 is constantly evolving, with new features and changes being made all the time as well as new accessories being added all the time. 14o were made in the last update.

Choice was stressed in this part of the keynote.

The other piece of news was the pricing for the HD-DVD drive in Australia, AU$249. This is actually cheaper than the US price when converting, a first in Australian gaming. It also has the same adds with it, the media centre remote and Kong on HD-DVD. It was highlighted that it will show all DVDs in 1080p with SD DVDs being upscaled.

The new Halo 3 news was spoken about which everybody should know about already, but confirmed some details. The Halo 3 beta will be free and downloadable from XBL by Gold subscribers. Both the beta and the new maps for Halo 2 will be released early next year and the 60 second add will be released on live early December.

5. HD

HD is not just about big screens, but enabling better graphics, because only so much can be done with the pixels on an SD set. Details won’t be able to be seen on an SD set, even if they exist in the game, that can be seen on a HD set.

Once again HD offers choice, where games allow for SD and HD and downloads (movies/TV/trailers) are also available in SD and HD.

They gave away an Xbox 360 and then showed the latest Gears of War trailer to finish off.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dante Jones  |  17 June, 2007 at 7:03 am

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  • 2. Jim Eckert  |  13 December, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Could you provide me some information on Microsoft E-games promotional competion

    Reply
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