Microsoft came out swinging at its press conference today. For a complete recap, check out Joystiq’s liveblog of the event. The boys from Weblogs Inc. prove once again why they are the standard bearers for blog networks.
1. Halo 3 was officially announced, and the trailer is available on Live as well as via Gamespot and several other places. The trailer is short, devoid of any gameplay elements, but still manages to be majestic. The meat of the story this time around will apparently take place on Earth, and it seems like this version of Halo could be the final chapter in the trilogy that started with the original Halo on the regular XBox. That doesn’t mean that Halo is coming to an end; Bungie is planning a massive multiplayer online shooter set in the world of Master Chief, and it’s too much of a cash cow to just end the franchise. Nobody wants it to end, anyway. Bungie has a good post about it being a “surprise announcement”, but it was no surprise: Peter Moore confirmed early last week that Halo 3 would be unveiled at E3. There is nobody in that room (or watching it via the live feed from Gamespot) that was shocked when it was announced.
2. Grand Theft Auto IV is coming to the Xbox on the day of its release, so it won’t be an exclusive Sony property anymore. Folks, the importance of this announcement cannot be underestimated. GTA has been the only reason a lot of people buy a PS2; it was the reason that I originally bought my PS2 back in the day, and now that Microsoft will get the game at the same time as Sony, most people won’t have a reason to go out and drop half a grand on a system just to play GTA when they can get a great 360 with the game and several others and STILL come out cheaper than you would if you’d bought a PS3. Major kudos to Microsoft for securing this deal.
3. Live Anywhere is a new extension for Live. It allows you to access your XBL stuff anywhere, be it web, cell phone, IM, or others. You can play certain games on your cell using Live Anywhere; start a game on the 360, switch over to the cell when you have to go somewhere. A killer idea, to be sure, but I’m wondering how it’s going to work out in the real world. If it means I can get Geometry Wars on my Blackberry, then more power to them.
4. They also scored the next version of Lumines for Arcade, which was also an exclusive Sony property. I don’t know much about Lumines, but the trailer video looks pretty slick.
All in all, a great showing from the big M. They pulled out the big guns and proved to a lot of people that they will probably be the frontrunner in the upcoming console wars.