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Xboxic’s E3 2010 Expectations

With E3 2010 almost upon us, gamers’ expectations are no doubt ramping up with each coming day, all the while publishers and developers from all over the globe are working around the clock to showcase the latest they have to offer early next week. Before the internet is set ablaze with wave after wave of new media content, we decided to share with you our expectations of what’s going down from June 13, the day Microsoft’s Natal conference is to take place, until June 17, the last day of E3 2010.

Jason Andrews

With the E3 2010 event literally just days away now, I can’t help but feel the focus of “Project Natal” from Microsoft is going to overshadow the more important aspect of the event for me – being new games! Sure I’m interested in a camera I can wave at, but what will we learn this year that we don’t already know from last years E3, all this fuss for a “name”?

Considering the point has been made in the past that “Project Natal” is designed and developed using cheap technology, I would be very disappointed to discover that a rumoured price of $149.99 was set in stone because as far as we know to date, it is only supported by Yoga and a small handful of childlike arcade games. Whilst I am blown away by the futuristic controller-less style of using it, unless there is anything decent and worthwhile to use it on, it’s a pointless accessory - I wouldn’t want to spend all that money just to wave at the dashboard.

Being an absolute mega Call of Duty fan is an understatement, so it is fair to say that I am biased regardless of the story, the gameplay and any new features – if it’s Call of Duty on the box, I’m buying it! However I am hoping that E3 this year is one of Treyarch’s memorable moments for Call of Duty, where they can step up for once as developers with more credibility against the crumbling Infinity Ward studio who didn’t quite deliver what I was expecting with Modern Warfare 2. For Treyarch’s ‘Black Op’s I am secretly (well not so secretly now) hoping for a full co-op Zombie campaign mode. It’s doubtful to that extent, but I do at the very least hope there is some form of progression with the Zombie parts. It would also be beneficial if they have learnt anything from the mistakes of Infinity Ward and announce the release of a beta where glitchers, cheaters and killstreak boosters can rip it apart for the greater good.

Although not everyone is likely to be excited about this as I am, but John Daly’s ProStroke Golf I hope gets a good deal of coverage at E3 too. Since I believe TigerWoods PGA has dominated the Xbox 360 golf genre for far too long because it hasn’t had any decent competition. I’m tired of all the EA gimmicks with PGA now as it feels more like a focus on how flashy they can make the in-game menus, plus with the constant stream of in-game advertising it had put me off buying another version again. Fingers and toes crossed that John Daly’s ProStroke Golf is a fun, classic enjoyable golf game without all the gimmicks and over-the-top effects. I am at the very least expecting details of multiplayer elements, course content and curious if there will be a course designer since ProStroke for the Xbox Original had that feature.

Finally, I couldn’t care less if there was an Xbox 360, fat, tall or slim model – do we need it, not really! I’m more interested in next-gen technology now we are 5yrs on from the release of the Xbox 360, but with the main focus from Microsoft being “Project Natal” maybe next year we’ll start seeing some hints towards the 360’s successor?

Stephen Lilley

Microsoft can live happily in the knowledge that, regardless of what they announce at this year’s E3, I’m going nowhere. The Xbox360 is my console of choice, and I’ve no intention of changing that anytime soon. With exclusives such as Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3 looking to blow the roof off the Los Angeles Convention Centre, I firmly believe that it’s a great time to be a Xbox player.

However, I can’t shake the feeling that everyone is going to walk away from E3 feeling hugely deflated by Natal. The Eye Toy failed in part because you could only be physical for so long… that and you looked like a tit. So far, nothing Microsoft has announced has made it a must have for me; I simply like the functionality of a controller too much.

Oh and WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011. I may lose all sense of credibility for admitting it, but I can’t wait for its unveiling at E3; any game where you can create you mom-in-law and beat her with a chair is alright in my books.

Zan Toplisek

In the same way Microsoft is to kick off E3 2010 with a Natal-centered conference on Sunday, followed by another one focused on all other things Xbox 360 on Monday, I’ll start off by talking about the much-touted “revolutionary” device that appears to be all the rage in the days leading up to the big event. And it’s pretty reasonable too, what with the name, pricing details and game line-up still shrouded in mystery. I hope that the peripheral (assuming there’s no pack-ins) will be priced below $100, despite what the recent rumours have led us to believe, because I don’t see myself buying the thing come Fall if it’s going to be any higher. But that’s not the only requirement the big M has to make me tick off on my list.

Another big deciding factor that can tip the balance in Microsoft’s favour is what it all comes down to at the end of the day. That’s right, the games. It’s a given that the publisher will try its damnedest to get a nice slice of that casual market Nintendo has been dominating for the last four years, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft will simply ignore its core audience. The question is how far the company will go in wooing us to the store shelves when Natal becomes available for purchase later this year. Will they release a couple of games just for the sake of it or will they put out a hardcore title or two that will defy our imagination as to what Natal is capable of? I sincerely hope it’s the latter.

On the other end of the Xbox 360 front, Microsoft will very likely devote the most time in the lime light to its flagship darlings Halo: Reach, Fable III and, last but not certainly least, Gears of War 3. Personally, I want Epic Games to show off a build that will blow me away and announce features that will put the third installment on the very top of my most wanted list. The same goes for Bungie. It’s 99% likely they will show something from the single-player campaign and I hope that part of the conference on Monday rocks my socks off. Since Reach is their last Halo effort before handing the reins over to Microsoft’s own Industries 343, going out on a high note is not an option, but a necessity.

For me to walk away from my computer screen smiling from ear to ear on Monday, Microsoft has to pull a rabbit out of their hat – something along the lines of last year’s Final Fantasy XIII announcement would be splendid. Maybe Rare will finally take the wraps off the game we’ve been waiting to play ever since they switched sides, who knows?

Ross Hayward

Microsoft need to have a big year this year. With Apple encroaching on the gaming sphere at an ever increasing rate with the iPhone and more recently the iPad, it means the competition is really heating up. The Wii continues to dominate as it has done since its launch, and Sony have really upped their game after their disastrous entrance to the HD gaming era. 2009 was a relatively quiet year by MS’ standards, who seemed to focus more on the social networking side of things last year. Not necessarily a bad thing, but also not something that is going to get people really excited about (Facebook on your console. Really?). So what have they got to offer in 2010? Motion control is likely going to be the big focus this year and Project Natal will finally get a proper name and some proper hands on time. But is that enough? Nintendo set the gaming world on fire with motion control and the competition has been slow to act. Natal doesn’t really come across as the answer. When MS launched the dreadful gimmick that was the 360 Vision Camera with games like Totemball to support it, unsurprisingly it never really caught on. They need to show a killer app in the same vein as Wii Sports, something universal that even your nan could enjoy. So far there’s been little evidence of that type of game. And unless it’s amazing, this lethargic gamer won’t be buying into it. What would be nice to see is a slimmed down 360, ala Sony. Sure it’s copying the competition but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Launch it with Natal as a bundle and make everyone happy.

Software wise, they have Halo: Reach to get all the fanboys pumped. Not really my kind of game and not something I’ll be getting excited about, but it’s exactly what MS need to generate some more buzz around their hardware. Crackdown 2 is the most exciting exclusive, since the first one was so unexpectedly good. Everything shown thus far on number two looks bigger and better, so the sooner that launches the better. The sound of collecting orbs was so satisfying on its own. Gears of War 3 will technically be within a year of the next E3, though sadly won’t make 2010. Another exclusive that will no doubt make a huge splash when it eventually arrives. Having loved the other two, I’m hoping for much more information, in particular on the four way co-op which more games definitely should have. Call of Duty: Black Ops is of course another title that is hotly anticipated and one that has already got one colleague salivating.

I just hope Microsoft focus on what they were doing best in years gone by. Cut the crap with the social networking side of things and get back to focusing on the awesome exclusives that keep us playing our 360s and remind us why we prefer gaming with a controller in hand rather than with the key presses of our fingers.

Wade Hinkle

The biggest item coming out of Microsoft’s camp at E3 2010 will be the Natal. Speculation is that it might even have a new name, and after conversations with sources, this very well could be the case. Since it’s been announced it will be available this holiday season, we know it is already complete. It will be demonstrated, price point will finally be known (around the $150 mark), and it will be available for hands on. Not one game has been announced up to this point that will be using the Natal. We do already know however there are a slew of games and publishers have been very vocal about some of them not being launch titles. Microsoft has played its cards very close to its chest. Expect to see a long list of games that will be available though.

The games that will make the biggest noise will be Gears of War 3, Halo Reach, Fable III, and Call of Duty: Black Ops. None of these are a surprise, and should be all highly regarded. There will be at least one new IP announced and several sequels in the mix.

If the Natal is as successful as Microsoft says it will be, this will be their year.

Enough about what we think! Sound off your expectations in the comments below!

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12 comments on 'Xboxic’s E3 2010 Expectations'

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Comment by mezzo on 2010-06-07 22:46:43 | Reply

HA, what century did Wade Hinkle write that as everyone knows natal has been getting a new name since last years E3!

“we know it is already complete. It will be demonstrated, price point will finally be known (around the $150 mark), and it will be available for hands on. Not one game has been announced up to this point that will be using the Nata”

What a load of shit talk, not one bit in that makes any logical sense? and plenty of games have been confirmed to use natal:

EA Sports Active
Brunswick Pro Bowling
Milo & Kate
Yoga

Everyone else is talking sense, but Wade Hinkle seems to contradict his own words.

I also dont agree with Jason Andrews with Call of Duty Black Ops. If you’re that much of a fan you wouldn’t want a zombie campaign, play Left 4 Dead instead!

Also to Ross Hayward as I already said EA have confirmed that Sports Active will be for natal and that is as close to Wii Sports as you can get.

The only pile of shit up there seems to be what Wade Hinkle wrote was it put in by mistake?

Comment by Gamer on 2010-06-08 03:09:25 | Reply

Wow, calm down dude. The article was much better than your comment.

Up to this point very few have actually gotten their hands on Natal, outside of media of course.

Granted those four games that you named have been announced (which is plenty of games?), but name one hardcore game that has been named directly by a publisher. Maybe I was a bit unclear, but Microsoft and publishers have kept a good job of keeping the list out of the public eye. Which hasn’t always been the case before major expos.

As for the name change, there are plenty who speculate that it may not get changed.

Comment by mezzo on 2010-06-09 14:07:51 | Reply

To answer that would be Fable III but your views on E3 dont make any sense. You dont need to have a conversation with a source to know the natal is getting a new name and it isnt yet complete.

Again, “We do already know however there are a slew of games and publishers have been very vocal about some of them not being launch titles. Microsoft has played its cards very close to its chest. Expect to see a long list of games that will be available though.”

It doesnt make any sense what are you trying to say in that? Bad english dude.

Missing pic alert lolz
http://www.shareimages.co...np.SnKM-wade_mcdonald.jpg

Comment by Swedish Pete on 2010-06-07 23:20:22 | Reply

Please. Let’s call just calm down. It’s the LA Convention Center. You spell it just like you say it. Okay? Let’s all raise our hands and say it out together. One, two, three: LA Convention Center. See? It wasn’t that hard, was it?

centre
n. & v. Chiefly British
Variant of center.

Comment by Gamer on 2010-06-08 03:02:40 | Reply

lol pwnd!

Comment by majg on 2010-06-07 23:31:00 | Reply

I like everything from casual games to hardcore and don’t consider myself too much of a snob. I can enjoy an evening with Peggle, Catan etc as well as p0wning n00bs in teh ha10z as well as everything in between. Suffice to say, I’m glad MS is going after the casual gamer as I feel that will bear fruit for the xbox platform (and LIVE) overall. We all beneifit with a vibrant market.

If they were dumping all other games but casual.. I’d have a problem with that. But they didn’t say they’d ONLY make casual games. Don’t quite understand why so many folks have their panties in a bunch.

With the social networking and other features, I feel like that adds value to the living room experience. Hopefully with Live V.1 now defunct, they can add some really cool enhancements to what’s there.

Natal is really interesting to me. Wii, Move or eyetoy couldn’t tell that I was leaning up against a wall.. whereas Natal will. Voice recognition may be enhance here as well. Natal and Netflix (or Zune) would be cool.

Regarding price. I’ll accept 150 or less if it gets a few games bundled. I’ll be ok with a $300 bundle for Natal and console.

With that said, I think Natal will go down quickly in price over 12 months. The first gen games won’t be as remarkable as what we can expect next E3. I really think there’s a good amount of gameplay/experience innovation that can come over time with Natal.

For casual folks, no need for a controller. But I expect some crazy controller/Natal combos over time too.

I expect:

GoW 3 trailer
Halo Reach (single player camapaign) trailer
Fable III footage
Milo and Kate
I think there will be a surprise in IP.
Maybe a couple new IPs.

Natal name, pricing, launch data and games
Natal “extra” functionality (with LIVE for instance)

RARE will show off Avatar stuff (which I think is cool) and Natal Games

More features for Xbox LIVE like tv
More tiered subscription model. ($35/yr. isn’t bad, but what would they add say. $10/mo).
Hulu would be nice.
Zune music would be cool.

Plus, all the 3rd party and multiplatform stuff for Xbox/PC and Natal.

I would say that it should be a decent showing for all Xbox fans… core or casual.

Comment by TK Chillin on 2010-06-08 00:03:48 | Reply

I’m just pissed I wont be there, why can’t it be in July….oh well. I agree on most of what you guy’s are saying above. I’m on the fence with Natal. Price point and something to make me go “Wow that’s Cool” needs to happen. As for games, other than what has already been said, Epics Bulletstorm has got my attention. I would also like to see a part of the show devoted to the Indie game developers not just the big dogs. No matter what, I know you guy’s are on top of things and will bring it all to my computer screen.

Comment by majg on 2010-06-08 04:59:29 | Reply

Don’t forget Games for Windows Live and games for Windows Phone.

I desperately want to know more details about how Xbox LIVE is evolving following the cut off of Xbox LIVE for Originals - surely an E3 announcement must be due on that?

I also wonder if Project Natal could work on my laptop or if they will release a Windows PC version.

Comment by Josh on 2010-06-10 13:44:02 | Reply

Natal stays Natal, yes it plays on all versions of Windows as so on Laptops… The hardware is not developed by MS by the way… It can do a lot more as just playing games… It won’t be exclusively for the Xbox only ;-)

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