Get Kinected

Paul Cohen

Microsoft needed to deliver not just to the casual social base it has amassed, but also to the hardcore element who made the Xbox 360 the largest selling console in North America. Microsoft covered the spectrum of its base through a series of impressive titles and features attempting to make the Xbox more than just a game console.

Last year, the Microsoft press conference opened up with a demo of the Call Of Duty series’ newest chapter: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The demo featured the opening of a battle known as “Black Tuesday,” in which Russia ignites the entire Eastern Seaboard. The demo set the tone for the rest of the conference and got the crowd riled up.

A line of big titles was released, including Gears of War 3 and the new Tomb Raider. Both displayed demos of what is to come with the console.

What was presented next confirmed from big name developer EA that the big 3 sports titles (Fifa, Madden and Tigerwoods) would all feature Kinect support and interaction. EA also displayed the new interactive voice command features for EA’s Mass Effect 3, which, based on the crowds reaction to the trailer and demo, seems to be one of the most anticipated games of next year.

Other big titles that displayed Kinect’s efforts to make game play more interactive included Fable: The Journey and the next title from Tom Clancy, Ghost Recon: Future Solider. Both offer highly active and involved game play through Kinect.

While the big titles are expected and welcomed, Xbox also displayed their new partnerships with the announcement of “Youtube” and “UFC” on Xbox Live. In addition, the Xbox Kinect features web activated “Bing” for full search ability. But the real kicker was the demo, which showed how you can now watch live TV on your Xbox.

A new catalog of Kinect games was also announced with titles such as Kinect Sports, Fun Lab, Disney Land Adventures and much more.

Microsoft did a good job showcasing games for both the hardcore and the social gamer. Of course, they saved the title that defined Xbox for last. On the closing note a trilogy was promised and a teaser was shown. Only two words were used: Halo 4.