Microsoft Conference LiveBlog

19:15 – So, let’s take stock. A bouquet of sequels, an hour dedicated to Kinect tech and an Ice T cameo. Sony up next.

18:59 – Fin, one minute early too. How about that for timekeeping.

18:59 – A new trilogy with the number four in the title, it’s all a bit George Lucas in here.

18:58 –  We’re in space. There’s a red cloud. Heartbeat. Someone says: “I need you.” Sounds like Cortana. “CHIEF!” It is. Ahoy, Chief in zero gravity, he’s stuck on a burning spaceship headed toward a big white circle. Holiday 2012.

18:58 – “Dawn of a new trilogy for Xbox 360.”

18:56 – Don Mattrick returns, he’s talking about Kinect, Xbox and Bing again. Xbox is going to make your house “the happiest place on earth” apparently. Clearly Don Mattrick has never been to the real Disneyland.  This is the conclusion, Halo 4 up next then.

18:54 – Dancing ensues.

18:53 – Harmonix are up to announce Dance Central 2.

18:52 – They’re demoing football now. Not the real one. I wonder if Soccorball is included.

18:51 – Includes skiing and tennis, in game voice and new gestures: “playing sport in videogames is now more realistic than ever”. She’s playing golf, she tells the game to change club. It does. Was it a good choice? I couldn’t say, I don’t play golf.

18:50 – Big Park are up to demo Kinect Sports Season Two. “Another extraordinary game from the top selling franchise on Kinect to date.”

18:49 – “Kinect Fun Labs goes live today.”

18:48 – “You can scan in the things you love and bring them to life in a whole new way”. Uh oh. The lady scans in a purple monster thing (…) and it’s on the screen within a few seconds. WOAH. “Scan in your favourite car and drive it around a track.” Again, minimal clapping.

18:46 – Bit awkward. No one claps. It’s quite impressive but er, maybe some more games?

18:46 – Kinect finger tracking now. This guy’s taking pictures of himself with Kinect, now he’s drawing with his finger in full 3D. He’s not drawing a penis on his head though. What a waste of time.

18:44 – Kinect is making avatars by simply looking at you. Cool.

18:42 – Now here’s some Kinect guy. He’s wearing glasses inside but he’s not Ice T so it’s not okay. He’s announcing Kinect Fun Labs.

18:39 – Cookie Monster and co. look great. I can get behind this. Daddy and munchkin are waving hands and growling at the screen. Now there’s some stomping and more growling and some jumping too. This is how you do window washing.

18:38 – Tim Schafer’s rocked up on stage and he’s talking about Double Fine’s upcoming Sesame Street title.

18:37 – Not really sure why this hasn’t ended yet.

18:36 – Now we’ve got some turkey pretending he’s a Jedi on screen. Seems to be a bit of lag here. Unconvincing use of the force.

18:33 – The Star Wars music echoes around the room followed by loud cheers. Evidently no one played The Force Unleashed 2 then. It’s a trailer for the Star Wars Kinect game: podracing, lightsabers, X-Wings. You know the drill.

18:32 – Microsoft did well to make it this far but we have two American kids on stage pretending to fly with Kinect and reeling off cheesy as fuck one-liners. Arms are flapping everywhere, invisible windows are being washed, there’s jumping too. Microsoft paying by the smile apparently because it doesn’t look like much fun.

18:32 – Kinect Disneyland Adventures – no need to take the Eurostar, explore Disneyland on a TV screen. What about Space Mountain?

18:30 – Minecraft coming to Xbox 360 this winter. Supported by Kinect.

18:26 – They’ve got someone on stage controlling a horse and cart in game with Kinect. He gets off the cart and casually fires magic with his hand. Then he slaps a goblin.

18:25 – There’s a woman being chased by some smoke, is this Lost? Talk about no more heroes and doom. “Albion’s end is coming. All that matters now is… The Journey.”

18:24 – “How can we connect you to the world of Albion more than before.” I see what you did there Peter. Cue the trailer for Fable: The Journey.

18:24 – Everyone’s favorite developer Peter Molyneux is up.

18:22 – Turn 10 are demoing Forza 4. Shiny cars, Kinect integration – voice and headtracking apparently. 16 player online supported. Looks like Forza.

18:20 – Halo music “ten years ago Halo changed the way we played videogames yada yada…” HD remake, looks like Halo but pretty.

18:19 – It’s not. It’s Ryse, a swordplaying Kinect game. Trailer makes it look good but it isn’t live.

18:18 – Crytek are playing a medieval trailer here. Talk of fallen empires and rising heroes. A dog sniffs a bloody hand, a man gets stabbed, the dog growls. Please let this be a game about the dog’s quest for vengeance.

18:17 – The Mummy monster is down, Ice T says some stuff.

18:17 – This monster’s bigger than Ice T’s frown but luckily it’s sporting a healthy selection of glowing orange weak spots.

18:16 – Fenix et al. are on a ship in the ocean, they’re under attack by a big tentacle monster. Ice T is wearing glasses inside, can he even see what he’s shooting at?

18:14 – Ice T is on stage now too and him and Cliffy B are playing Gears of War together. Amazing.

18:12 – Gears of War 3 time. Cliff Bleszinski takes to the stage “What’s up guys.” Hi Cliff.

18:11 – ‘from here on every single game, every single demo, and every single experience is available only on Xbox 360.’

18:10 – Phil Spencer emerges to talk about UFC a bit more. Bet he’s never been punched in the face.

18:08 – Dana White, president of UFC is up to show some UFC footage: lots of men hugging and sitting on each other’s faces. I don’t understand.

18:08 – They’re really playing up this Kinect voice stuff. Classic Microsoft trailer, massive houses and happy, beautiful people on big sofas. This isn’t real life.

18:07 – “Launches this Fall.”

18:07 – “TV is more amazing when you are the controller.” Is it?

18:06 – Xbox Live TV – “Live television comes to Xbox 360”

18:04 – “Bing coming to Xbox” (tumbleweed). Something about “discovery”, TV and being the controller, I’m a bit lost.

18.04 – “youtube coming to Xbox Live… Latest music videos, game tips and so much more.”

18:03 – Marc Whitten from Xbox Live is up to talk about Kinect voice commands and the “new Xbox experience”.

18:02 – ‘all future titles in the Tom Clancy series will support Kinect.’

18:00 – Now he’s using Kinect as the controller in game, shooting weapons and reloading with hand gestures. Guy looks silly but the crowd like it. About time Kinect was put to good use.

17:59 – Bigging up the customisation. Looks ridiculously deep, the guy’s using Kinect to dismantle weapons – 20 million unique weapons apparently. This is impressive. “Gas system – next – select” – new gun. Very slick.

17: 57 – Pretty good teaser this, all slow motion bullet cam, dramatic music and explosions. Just what Ghost Recon needs.

17: 56 – Ghost Recon: Future Soldier now, they’re smashing through these games. Breathless.

17: 55 – Now commanding Liara and Garras in battle with voice, seems fluid.

17: 53 – Morden and Shepherd conversing, the demo guy is using Kinect to choose his dialogue options. Last time I used voice in a game was Rainbow Six 3. “Open flash and clear.” “Roger, holding.” This seems to work though.

17:52 – “Mass Effect 3 is all about kick-ass action.” Will also support Kinect with voice recognition.

17:51 – FIFA 12 supports Kinect.

17:50 – Lara escapes the cave: ocean vista, ship graveyard, looks gorgeous.

17:49 – A few puzzles, lots of cinematic camera angles, dramatic music, couple of quick time events. Script for this section must have read: ah, oh, ooo, eeee, argh, urgh, ooo, eee, ooo, ah, arr ting ting walla walla bing bang. It’s kind of like watching women’s tennis.

17:46 – Lara on the back foot here, scared, lots of screaming and fleeing from adversaries. Remember that time she killed a T-Rex? Not this Lara. “Survival” is the key word here.

17:45 – Thirty seconds into the demo and Lara Croft has sets herself on fire. Way to announce your return. Looks phenomenal.

17:43 – Tomb Raider demo, excited now.

17:42 – Don Mattrick is up. Just used the words “world’s greatest storytellers” in the same sentence as “Call of Duty”.

17:41 – Underwater! Avoid the mines! Destroy the submarine! Surface! Land of Uncle Sam is under attack! Slow motion door entry! Secure the codes! Escape the submarine! Get in the speedboat! EXPLOSIONS! SHOOT! DODGE! WAVES! SLOW MOTION! JUMP! DRIVE INTO THE BACK OF A CHINOOK! ESCAPE! Yeah, it’s Call of Duty. Looks pretty though, lots of stuff going on in the background.

17:33 – Do the guys who play the games on stage get nervous?

17:32 – Could it be? Modern Warfare 3.

17:30 – Here we go…

17: 23 – Fruit Ninja Kinect? They’re going to have to do something drastic with that to make it worth more than the 59p it costs on the iPhone. Didn’t the Eye Toy basically do that? The line up looks strong though.

17:22 – Xbox Live Summer of Arcade 2011 line up: Bastion, Fruit Ninja Kinect, From Dust, Toy Soldiers: Cold War, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.

17:15 – Moody Resistance 3 trailer doing the old “war is hell” ruse. Kind of works, until you remember it’s a game about murdering giant squid with guns that let you see through walls. Hmm.

17:08 – Footage of Saints Row 3 appearing in between silent interviews on my stream. Character wailing on civilians, whacks a woman about the head with an RPG, jumps through a car windshield and into the driving seat and surfs a man along the pavement. Good start.

17:00 – Who remembers last year’s E3? Brushing aside the 3DS it was fucking awful: Kevin Butler, Star Wars Kinect, those PSP ads, THIS tragedy (skip to 7:00). Here’s hoping this year isn’t quite so… insipid.

16:48 – Their 2011 E3 conference doesn’t kick off until 5.30pm but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from inadvertently confirming the existence of a Halo: CE HD remake, Halo 4, Dance Central 2 and a new Kinect Sports title. Who would have guessed?

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