Microsoft pre-E3 press conference report

Several new games were announced, including Forza Motorsport 2 which will have over 300 cars to race will support up to 12 gamer in each online race. Accompanying Forza 2's release this winter will be a new wireless ForceFeedback steering wheel.

Other wireless accessories due for release are a wireless headset and a 360 camera called Xbox Live Vision, which will allow gamers to change their gamertags and scan their faces into certain games.

The big non-gaming accessory news comes in the form of Microsoft's HD DVD Player, due for release this winter. This is a box-shaped peripheral that will enable 360 owners to watch HD-DVD movies.

On Xbox Live, Moore described how Microsoft intends to expand the extremely popular Arcade service. Loads of new titles were announced including Pac-Man, Contra Frogger Galaga, Sonic the Hedgehog, Defender, SF2: Hyper Fighting, Time Pilot Good, Root Beer Tapper and Time Pilot.

Lumines Live will also be available and a deal with Warner Music will enable users to download new music to accompany the action.

The Xbox Live Aracde will also be used for independent studios to launch their games. Microsoft has teamed up with 100 small developers who will be providing new gaming content. The idea is to encourage innovation with a cheap, low risk way of distribution. Moore described this as the Sundance Festival for games in reference to the successful independent film festival that has a reputation for finding new talent.


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