Tuesday 9 May 2006
Microsoft didn't pull any punches in its pre-E3 press conference today, as it announced that GTA IV would appear on 360 next year, showed footage of Halo 3 and announced a new multi-platform online service called Live Anywhere.
Microsoft chose the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard for its conference and Peter Moore, Microsoft's corporate vice president of interactive business gave most of the presentation.
The biggest revelation came half way through the presentation when Peter Moore revealed a tattoo of GTA IV and then confirmed that the hugely successful Rockstar action series is on its way to 360. He even set the date for US release as 16 October 2007.
The reason Moore used a tattoo to reveal the news is due to the fact he had the much delayed Halo 2's released date tattooed on his arm in 2004 to signify that the game wouldn't be slipping any further. Before he revealed the GTA IV he had a pop at Sony's 2005 PS3 demo saying "some guys do rubber ducks, some guys do tattoos".
Above: Grand Theft Auto is no longer loyal to Sony consoles - GTA IV is coming to 360 in 2007
While the news of GTA IV was a surprise, what Moore was keen to stress was that an exclusive deal had been struck with Rockstar to offer episodic content for the game content via the Live Marketplace. Even though no firm details were given, this could mean new missions, costumes, vehicles and maybe even radio stations.
The rolling footage of Halo 3 was left right to the end of the presentation but, before then, Microsoft big chief Bill Gates took to the stage to announce Live Anywhere, a new online service that allows users to access Microsoft's Live service from a number of different platforms.
Microsoft's big idea is to bring together the whole gaming community - be it console gamers, PC gamers or mobile phone owners. As one of the few companies in the world to provide software for all three of these platforms, Microsoft is in a unique position in to integrate these three different user bases.