Technology and Games

Microsoft's Xbox 360 at E3

By Anthony Balcorta
Published on LatinoLA: July 18, 2007

Technology and Games

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it's commonly called, is the annual gathering of all things related to video games. Major game companies, such as Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, show off their latest games, hardware, and plans to the world. This years E3, located in Santa Monica, was closed to the public, allowing only those who were invited to attend press conferences and walk the show floor where industry insiders could get their hands on upcoming games.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Microsoft Hispanic Media Reception and the Microsoft Press Conference. The Hispanic Media Reception was hosted by Aaron Greenburg, a Group Project Manager for the Xbox 360. It was a very informative presentation where I was joined by other members of Hispanic media including those from Telemundo, LATV, and Univision. Greenburg basically gave us a rundown of what the Xbox 360 was capable of, showed its many features, and displayed a few games. I was able to take part in a demo of the game Guitar Hero 2 with host from LATV. It's a game where you take on the role of a guitar player, using a guitar controller to play the notes scrolling down the screen, and is extremely popular. This Hispanic Media Reception was the first one that Microsoft has ever hosted, and it did a great job to inform the community on why the Xbox 360 is so popular and successful.

Shortly after the reception, we walked over to Santa Monica High School where the Microsoft Press Conference was being held. Taking place in an amphitheatre, hundreds of people made their way in to where the hour and a half presentation was about to begin. Peter Moore, the Vice President of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, hosted the event, where he discussed what would come out for the Xbox 360 between now and the end of the year. Games demos were unveiled amid cheers from the crowd of excited journalists and fans, and the huge high definition screen they were shown on was the perfect avatar to do so. Some of the biggest new announcements took place during this conference. Although there were some important announcements, there really weren't any breaking news or unexpected surprises as their often are in these highly anticipated meetings.

Some of the bits included that all games shown, with the exception of Resident Evil 5, was coming out before this year is over. The new game Scene It, based on the popular board game of the same name, would be exclusive to the Xbox 360, and would come with four wireless buzzer-like controllers for up to four players to "buzz" in when they have the correct answer. The much hyped Rock Band, a game much like Guitar Hero that comes with two guitar controllers, a drumming controller, and a microphone was unveiled and played by Peter Moore and three developers of the game. Many games were briefly shown while others enjoyed a longer demo by developers. Reggie Bush, the running back for the New Orleans Saints, was also on hand to display his Madden 08 skills to the crowd. One piece of hardware news that came out was that a limited edition Halo 3 themed Xbox 360 console would be available around the same time the game came out. Xbox Live, the consoles online service, would begin to make available Disney movies to be downloaded directly into the consoles hard drive for rent, along with the already robust library of high definition movies.

The main theme of this year's press conference was that the Xbox 360 has the technology and the games to back up its popularity. Millions of Xbox 360s have been sold making it the leader when compared to the Nintendo Wii and Sony's Playstation 3. With a superior online network, powerful hardware, and amazing games coming out in the near future, the Xbox 360s lead on the video game wars won't be diminishing any time soon.

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