E3 2011: The Microsoft press conference - Everything you need to know

So, Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference has quite literally just finished. Commiserations if you missed it (We even streamed it for you. Where the hell were you?), but fret not. We have every important fact and announcement for you right here, all written up and ready to go. No guff, no fluff. Just the important stuff you're going to care about.

Was Microsoft's E3 2011 show better than the Kinect-fuelled misery of last year? Does MS have a raft of sexy new Xbox 360 exclusives set up for the coming years? Were there any more tigers? Was there any more Beiber? Read on, and we shall tell all in handy bullet-point form.

  • The conference opened with a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 live demo,  showing an underwater level featuring a small squad of marines using mini-subs. Tense stuff, a bit like an sub-aquatic All Ghillied Up. Demo culminated in an on-foot infiltration of a Russian sub, missile launch, and hectic boat chase. As cinematic as anything you've seen in the series so far.
  • Early on, Don Mattrick described games as "what you love best".
  • There was a live Tomb Raider demo. "Brutal" does not cover Lara's treatment. Strung up in a cave, forced to burn her bonds to escape, she then encountered crucified bodies, was beaten several times, half-drowned her way through flooded passageways. Stunning lighting and kinetic environments. Breakneck cinematic pacing. Very, very, very Uncharted.

  • EA Sports' Peter Moore turned up to announce Kinect support for Tiger Woods, NFL, and FIFA. And one more he didn't mention.
  • BioWare's Ray Muzyka appeared to introduce Mass Effect 3. And Kinect support. Demoed voice-controlled conversational decisions and voice-controlled squad-commands in combat. You know, like in EndWar. EndWar, yeah?

  • Speaking of Tom Clancy, this was followed with a bullet-time-tastic trailer for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Ubisoft's Yves Guillermot then appeared to discuss Kinect features. Which by this point, no-one was surprised by. Weapon customisation can be done with arm gestures and voice commands. A man took a gun apart by opening his arms. Opening his arms! And only quite a bit slower than using a pad. He then test-fired his guns using playground gun-firing gestures. With all the excessive lag required by a tight tactical shooter.

  • All future Tom Clancy's titles will use Kinect. Yay!
  • Kinect functionality with TV content was demoed, alongside another New Xbox Experience. New Kinect-ccentric dashboard update coming, folks. Content now seems to be grouped by entertainment media.
  • YouTube was announced for Xbox Live.

  • Microsoft's Bing search engine was demoed on 360 using Kinect voice-searches. Only seems to search available Xbox Live media though, rather than working as a web browser.
  • Live TV was announced for the Xbox 360, via international deals with TV providers. Apparently "TV is more amazing when you are the controller". The new dashboard is coming this autumn. Get ready to be amazed by TV.
  • Dana White, president of the UFC, then took to the stage. Nathan got visibly excited. Air was punched. Showed off live UFC streaming on Xbox 360, with interactive, connective features like ordering matches and (seemingly) betting on fights.
  • Following that, it was time for the exclusive games. Things kicked off with Gears of War 3. Cliff Bleszinski appeared to introduce a new campaign demo, played in co-op with Ice-T. Impressive opening as a huge sea monster hurled crawly things at the Gears while destroying the hull of their ship around them. Once back on-deck, the squad fired up a Silverback mech and proceeded to shoot the glowing bits in the customary fashion. Cole then dumped a shipping crate full of Tickers on the beast from a higher level. Epic stuff, no pun intended.
  • Then we got a trailer from Crytek, Remember Codename: Kingdoms? It's now called Ryse. And it's a first-person Kinect fighter.
  • To help us dry our tears, we then got a trailer for Halo: Combat Evolved Tenth Anniversary. More than an HD remake, it's a full graphical overhaul of the first game in the series.


E3 Microsoft

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  • ZiltoidTheOmniscient - June 7, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    I do think it's pretty dumb how they're coming out with another Halo though, after stressing the Halo 3 would be the LAST one ever.
  • ZiltoidTheOmniscient - June 7, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    It started off pretty awesome aside from the dragging on about the fucking voice activation thing...really? Is it that special? Has anyone considered that this has been possible for years without the help of Kinect? Went awesome again with Gears and then descended into a Kinect nightmare...Disneyland Adventures was the most horrifying thing I've ever seen. Halo 4's announcement made it worth the agony of having to witness it all though.
  • Rhymenocerous - June 7, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    I hope Tomb Raider gets a subtitle.
  • BigBobbins - June 7, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    I got to say, there was absolutely nothing that interested me about the xbox show at all. I am really dissapointed can i just ask why exactly they always have to dull us with yet another Halo, another forza and feed us this kinect shit? I'm not really speaking to anyone that cares about Kinect, no one seems to care about the games that are coming out for it either. Why haven't they tried to push out anything truly original? the console is coming closer to the end of its life and there seems to be nothing more then more generic FPS games and sequels...Rant over..Sorry everyone, needed to get that out. I love my xbox, but nothing, not one game has really excited me about it for the past year now.
  • J-spit - June 7, 2011 5:26 a.m.

    Yo dawg, we heard you like T.V......
  • YoshiMan10 - June 7, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    I started listening as soon as the Tomb Raider demo played, and without looking at the screen at first, I thought I turned on a rape video by mistake. I give the whole conference a B-.
  • cheezitmonster - June 7, 2011 3:16 a.m.

    Has anybody noticed how the new Xbox dashboard completely rip offs the Ps3 menu?
  • happydude007 - June 7, 2011 1:28 a.m.

    Lets just stick every game that we can with Kinect features! Pointless Kinect will be the death of XBOX.
  • GrandmaSlayer - June 7, 2011 12:42 a.m.

    Hey I don't like the feeling of being a spammer but this guy I know has just started a new webpage called geekmedia and I want to spread the word about it cos its actually quite good and are covering E3! :)
  • SausageLozenge - June 6, 2011 11:51 p.m.

    Halo+Yay! Kinect=Yuck!
  • Yeager1122 - June 6, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    Tomb Raider really seemed like the only good thing out of the whole thing.
  • FVHound - June 6, 2011 11:27 p.m.

    TBH Minecraft, although not built for the kinect, could be fun and user friendly. Or it could wonderfully fail. Either way, i'll have my pc.
  • flare149 - June 6, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    So once again more Halo, Gears, and nothing else. Did anyone actually expect this to go differently?
  • Kethmach - June 6, 2011 11 p.m.

    That was a very, very solid outing for MS this year. Last year, they were laughable. It was SO bad last year I wanted to cry for them. This year- a great show. Two amazing titles to start out with (and I am NOT a MW fan, but that trailer was kick ass). They never resorted to graphs or numbers or boring jabber with bosses or any bullsh*T like that. They honestly had TOO much content. Everything felt rushed for 2 hours of stage time. Halo's 10th needed more time- the Halo 4 trailer was...well... only a trailer. Forza looked AWESOME and the Kinect stuff looked like it'll be a lot of fun. That Ghost Recon demo- if it wasn't fake- was COOL as HELL. The only bad part of MS's show was those terrible kid actors for Disneyland. To be honest, I hate kids on stage for anything so they were pretty much par for the course, but still- that was MS's one weak part of their show. Biggest wows for me were Halo remake/Forza/Tomb Raider/Mass Effect's voice integration and the Halo 4 trailer. But there's plenty else to get excited for.
  • Bobo93 - June 6, 2011 10:35 p.m.

    God i hope you can play minecraft without kinect im tired of sayin this but im really getin sick of this motion controlled crap i almost had a heart attack when they said ME3 and kinect in the same sentence thank fuck its just for commands and dialogue
  • Chaoscoolperson - June 6, 2011 10:31 p.m.

    OHMIGODHALO4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!IT'SREAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it doesn't have Kinect or if kinect is optional, and as long as it does not have many changes in gameplay from Halo 3 I'll be SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) (: (: (: (: WOOT!!!!
  • StuntzMcKenzy - June 6, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    Stop crying there was plenty of stuff for the hardcore crowd it just all has Kinect "support" (optional). I traded in my Kinect a week after getting it because everything that used it was too Wii-ish but, I would love to try Kinect with ME3 being able to actually yell at someone whos pissing me off sounds immersive. There not making you buy one and there giving you the option to use it or not and at least Microsoft doesn't seem to want abandon its core fans.
  • Azralph13 - June 6, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Poor little hardcore Microsoft making games for someone else, are we all a little embarrassed that 6yr olds can play the same console as us! Honestly don't be dicks! Kinect is a great for family and kids, yeah when they have gone to bed I can play COD and Red Dead, a few years ago I looked for stuff they could play on Xbox and in short there was nothing...unless a bought a Wii! But thats the point isn't it! When kids and families played Wii hardcore gamers could still feel superior!
  • Sjoeki - June 6, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Tomb Raider's got my attention, it's looking awesome, but damn there is way to much kinect in the list! Also, is that UFC deal also coming to europe, or is that america only?
  • BladedFalcon - June 6, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    Fewer Third party support... needless and tacked on game play features to justify gimmicky motion controls... Groan inducing causal kiddie games... Obvious reliance on the same first party franchises instead of exploring new IPs... basically, Microsoft has turned into Nintendo.... *sighs* If Sony doesn't take this chance to rise up and dominate the show, I'm gonna be very disappointed... Microsoft has made it waaaay too easy for them.