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Movies, Music, Friends, Games

Microsoft XBox 360 can do it all at E3 in LA

By Anthony Balcorta
Published on LatinoLA: June 15, 2009


Movies, Music, Friends, Games


The Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, was here again. The annual show went back to its roots, hosting thousands of videogame industry insiders and letting them take sneak peeks at what is to come in the months ahead. The "big three" console makers, Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, were in fine form, showing off their most anticipated upcoming games and new devices. As usual, there were surprises galore and amazing playable games that we still have to wait months for. E3 can be so bittersweet.

Microsoft had quite a few tricks up its sleeve this year. A first for video game consoles, Facebook and Last.fm, two very popular social networking sites, are being made to fit seamlessly through Xbox Live. Now your online friends and your favorite music bands can connect with you through your TV.

Have you ever wanted to watch a movie with your friends or family, but were too far away to do so? Now with Xbox LIVE Party, you can watch any supported movie on demand at the same time as anyone else, complete with voice chat.

Microsoft also announced "Project Natal," which is basically a way to play games without having to use a controller. "Project Natal" is the code name for a device that is placed in front of your TV, which combines a camera, depth sensor, and a microphone, and allows users to play games and issue commands by moving your body and speaking. Need to find a movie or song in your Xbox 360 library? Just say it. Need to kickoff a ball in a football game? Stand up and kick. These are just some of the potential uses for "Project Natal."

Next, beginning soon full 1080p movies and TV shows, complete with 5.1 surround sound, will be available to watch instantly on your Xbox 360 through the Zune video marketplace. If you have a 1080p HD TV, an Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and a fast internet connection, then you will be ready to stream the highest quality movies and shows. No waiting, no discs, no hassle.

And not to forget why E3 is such a hit in the first place, Microsoft has some upcoming games that should sell quite a few pre-orders this summer. A new "Halo" game called "Halo 3: ODST" grabbed much attention. Instead of playing as the "Halo" saga's main character, in "ODST" you play the part of an infantry soldier in the days leading up to the blockbuster "Halo 3." " Forza Motorsport 3," an intense racing game with real cars that can be played over Xbox Live in stunning HD. "Alan Wake," a psychological thriller from the creators of "Max Payne," which later became a hit film. "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction," another long awaited sequel from Ubisoft which takes the beloved "Splinter Cell" franchise and turns up the pace of the stealth action game play to eye-widening levels. "Gears of War 2: Dark Corners" is an expansion pack to the groundbreaking franchise, which has already sold over 5 million copies, and will be available to download this July 28th. "1 vs. 100," a game based on the hit show, where players can be part of "the mob," "the crowd," or even "the one," and can win real prizes. And finally, in a surprise announcement, the team at Bungie Studios revealed that they are working on "Halo: Reach," a prequel to the Halo universe which takes place before the very first "Halo" for the Xbox. These exciting new games are a sample of those coming exclusively to the Xbox 360. Throw in non-exclusives like "Modern Warfare 2," "The Beatles: Rock Band," "Final Fantasy XIII," and "Tony Hawk: RIDE," and I might never see the sun again!

Movies, music, friends, games. The Xbox 360 combines all of this and it is doing so with tenacity. To be the king of all video game consoles takes hard work, and so far Microsoft and its Xbox 360 have quite an impressive body of work, and have their best yet to come.

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