Microsoft at E3 Expo 2008

E3 expo official logo
The 2008 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Media and Business Summir in Los Angeles began its week long debut with Microsofts press conference on Monday. Some of the biggest announcements from the conference are the changes (in terms of look and functionality) of Xbox Live. Coming this fall, Microsoft will totally revamp the Xbox dashboard and this will enable live subscribers to share photos, music, certain games and even movies. It's called "Xbox Live Party" and will also come with "avatars" which are similar to the Nintendo Mii's in order to help us express our "individual style as gamers online".

The movie and games rental king, Netflix, will partner with Microsoft to allow "Live" subscribers access to the Netflix library of movies at no addition fee beyond the regular Netflix subscription cost. This is great news, a win-win for both companies and for 360 owners. The ability to watch movies or TV shows via Xbox Live Party with my friends sounds very cool.

Also making waves at the conference is the announcement of Final Fantasy XIII for Xbox 360. This was truly a surprise and it's a huge plus for Microsoft as well as for the game developer, Square Enix. Surely the question on everyone's mind is how many discs will it come with? Lost Odyssey clocked in at four. Hopefully, Final Fantasy XIII will not require any more discs than that.

Rock Band's promise of over 500 songs in total by the end of 2008 has rendered us at GameCore, speechless. In case you were wondering, here are a few song titles for Rock Band 2

  • AC/DC "Let There Be Rock" 1970s
  • AFI "Girl's Gone Grey" 2000's
  • Alanis Morissette "You Oughta Know" 1990's
  • Alice in Chains "Man in the Box" 1990's
  • Allman Brothers "Ramblin' Man" 1970's
  • Avenged Sevenfold "Almost Easy" 2000's
  • Bad Company "Shooting Star" 1970's
  • Beastie Boys "So Whatcha Want" 1990's

    The press event also provided some insight on some tentative release dates for some key titles. Resident Evil 5 to be released March 13th 2009, Gears of War 2 to be released November 7th 2008, and Fallout 3 has been announced to release on October 7th 2008. Also 'Fable 2', according to Peter Moyleneux, is complete but we will still have to wait until October to play.

    Wrapping things up, it looks like Microsoft is making all the right moves, appealing to the hardcore gamer with titles like 'Gears of War 2' and 'Portal: Still Alive' set to hit the Xbox live arcade, as well as casual gamers with titles like 'Lips' and 'Viva Piñata 2'.

    Their game line up looks very strong and with the securing of the Netflix partnership, Microsoft is making sure that they will remain the console of choice in 2008 and beyond.
    Jeremiah Wallace