Microsoft Halo

Microsoft Halo
Microsoft Halo

The E3 2010 Primer: Microsoft

Written by Podunker:Number 905

Last time, we took a look at what Sony’s likely to be bringing to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo next month. Now it’s time to look at what Microsoft has planned for the Xbox 360’s fifth year.

Project Natal Opens for E3

Last year, Microsoft debuted Project Natal, a control scheme that aimed to eliminate the need for a conventional controller and add a new level of interactivity to gaming. Instead of being shown off at the traditional press conference, Microsoft is holding a special event, complete with a performance by Cirque du Soleil, the day before their conference exclusively to show off Natal. This is where we’ll find out the big information that everyone’s been waiting for since last year: launch date, pricing, and initial titles. We might not get to see every Natal title that Microsoft has up their sleeves, but we should get a nice idea on what we’ll be able to buy this holiday season and how much of our wallet will be disappearing.

Your Usual Stats

Like every other company holding a conference at E3, Microsoft is going to have a collection of numbers to throw at the press, ranging from system sales, to Xbox LIVE subscribers, to individual title sales. With the console on its fifth year, expect Microsoft to be especially nostalgic and reflective. Thankfully, these numbers are usually kept to the beginning of the show, so don’t feel bad if you tune in late.

The 360 Goes on a Diet?

There’ve been all sorts of rumors surrounding a slimmed-down Xbox 360 debuting at E3. Personally, I’m not sure how the 360 can be slimmed down while still using the same proprietary hard drives. If it does happen, though, it will most likely be bundled with Project Natal to offset any potential losses on hardware. We definitely will be seeing some sort of 360 with Natal, and a redesigned model with Natal and a flash drive could be a nice replacement for the Arcade, or a middle ground between the Arcade ($200) and Elite ($300).

New Xbox LIVE Features

Practically every year something new gets laid out for Xbox LIVE, making that Gold subscription just a bit more justifiable. This year, the big rumor is for some sort of television channel or streaming service. Given that Microsoft has made deals with Canal+ in France, Sky in the United Kingdom, and Foxtel in Australia to provide streaming content, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see America getting a content provider as well. Whether it will come with a Gold subscription or cost extra is the big question.

Xbox LIVE Primetime Expands

A couple of years ago, Microsoft took the stage at E3 to announce the Primetime Channel, a hub for virtual game shows to be played for real prizes. So far, the only programming we’ve seen is 1 vs. 100, which has enjoyed popularity during its two seasons. With any luck, we’ll see that Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about Primetime, and hear about some new game shows to hit the service.

The Arcade Highlight Reel

Microsoft always shows off a stockpile of Xbox LIVE Arcade titles that are in development. Not everything we see makes it to us that year, but it’s a nice look at what’s ahead. Given E3’s later date this year, Microsoft may also integrate their Summer of Arcade promotion into their conference, showing off high-profile titles like Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, Quake III Arena, Crazy Taxi, and more.

Return to Pacific City in Crackdown 2

With a July release date and a good deal of info out already, there’s a chance that we might not see much of Crackdown 2 come June. Considering that the original existed largely as a promotion for the Halo 3 multiplayer beta, though, Microsoft probably wants to talk the title up, and it’s always nice to see something shown off at E3 that we’ll be able to buy in a month as opposed to a year’s time.

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Bungie Reassures Us about Halo Reach

In case you’ve missed the news, Bungie is no longer a second-party company to Microsoft. While they may be publishing future titles under Activision, they’ve said that they are committed to Halo Reach, and E3 is where we’re going to see that commitment, as well as a ton of media. Most of what we see will probably pertain to the single player, but there will be stats from the recent multiplayer beta, and possibly even a look at what they’ve changed based on that feedback. What we won’t see, though, is who will be taking up the Halo series after Bungie is gone.

The Stars Come Out for Fable III

Even if you try to ignore everything that gets said about Fable 3, it’s hard to ignore that it’s got quite the cast behind it. While we’re likely to see the game’s mastermind, Peter Molyneux, talk about the game, we might also see some of that talent come out to give a boost to the presentation. We’ll hear a lot more about Fable 3, regardless of who is saying it, including a release date and if it really is coming to Windows computers. If it is, hopefully we’ll hear about a Fable 2 port as well.

Epic Concludes Gears of War

With an April release date, this year is the only E3 that Epic will have to show off Gears of War 3, and you can bet that they’re going to have some playable footage, most likely showing off some of the more striking changes to the series, mechs and underwater combat included. We may also hear what surprises the multiplayer component has in store to keep the title competitive with Call of Duty and Halo.

Something New from Rare?

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard of any big retail games coming from Rare, so it’s very likely that we’ll get to see something from them at E3. Being that they are owned by Microsoft, it will most likely be a title for Natal. This could mean that there will be a new franchise debuted, or we’ll see an existing franchise brought into a world without controllers. If the controls were done right, a sequel to Kameo: Elements of Power would make a nice companion to Natal’s family-friendly marketing, though so would a more traditional Banjo-Kazooie title.

With Natal on the horizon, Microsoft might not be taking many gambles at this year’s E3 conference, but the content they’re likely to show off should be more than enough to keep 360 owners interested even if they don’t feel ready to trade in their controllers. Next time, we’ll take a look at the final member of the big three: Nintendo.

About the Author

Game Podunk is an avid game community boosting positive gaming while helping gamers make informed decisions related to the changes of the industry.  What does positive gaming mean to you? Join our community to discuss now.

Is Microsoft’s Halo Series just a better graphics version of Blizzard’s Starcraft Series?

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first off this is the dumbest idea i have ever heard have you played either of these games there completely different you cant be a alien in halo

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