Microsoft seems to have found it's niche and is settling into it. When it's not pushing the brunt of first and third person shooters, the xbox seems to be forcing it's kinect peripheral on the public. whether you want it or not.
From what i did see of Microsoft's conference (technically i missed the first fifteen minutes because I was watching Ladyhawke... yes I know. I should have kept watching it lol) it went like this. Shooter shooter shooter racing game, shooter shooter Kinect. Kinect shooter, Kinect game on rails, another kinect game on rails, shooter shooter Halo 4. I can go further in depth and I will, but Gamasutra has already went farther than I care to.
First of all I want to address something. if the world's greatest storytellers are redefining the industry why aren't they working their magic on games other than heavy rain esque dramatizations about Laura Croft's rough childhood? Or telling us stories other than how America isn't letting the terrorists win? .
Secondly - I seriously believe without a shadow of a doubt that Microsoft has no bloody idea what they're doing with the Kinect brand. First it's meant to draw in the expanded audience from Nintendo and Sony's offerings. Now we're seeing Mass Effect 3 and Tom Clancy games supporting it (and Yves Guillemot stating that all future iterations of Clancy games supporting Kinect), then we're watching kids swaying and body waggling to Disney theme park games. Then we're seeing it being used as the go-between program for Microsoft's entertainment package which uses Bing, because everybody uses bing... I didn't even start on the kinect labs deal which is basically Kudo Tsunoda capitalizing on the kinect hacks that people were doing (which may or may not have been viral marketing ploys). Facial recognition to make avatars... hmm never saw that before...
|I have a PHD in douchebaggery..|
The best comment I've heard in the IRC was that Microsoft wasn't showing Halo 4 they were showing 4 Halos. Sure we knew about the HD remake of Halo: CE in the works, but I guess the rumors of the 4th Halo didn't prepair us for the news that this game is the start of a trilogy of Halo games.. which is basically Microsoft beating the dead horse that is Bungie.
So what have we learned so far? It's easy to push the big sequels rather than to see more than two new IPs? That Kinect is really meant to be played by everybody, except for the fact that not everyone wants to play it? I don't even know what this conference is teaching us. Gamasutra says this was a powerful showing of titles. I feel like the conference was boring as hell, and the only entertaining aspect was watching kids pretend to be excited about a game that has you free-falling through disney themed areas on rails
If there's any redeeming quality about this year's conference it's that I'm looking forward to both the animated gifs and the memes.