Microsoft/Xbox 360 E3 2008 Briefing

July 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm (Video Games)




Note-I did not copy this idea from James. I confronted him about the idea of us both splitting the three conferences, however he convinced me to just do my thing here. 

Today at about 12:30 my time several affiliates of and within Microsoft came together for a media briefing for all of the big announcements Microsoft had to offer for gaming audiences that was to come in the next year. I have to say, I was impressed. Microsoft had a beyond solid lineup, and provided a great show to kick off E3 this year. Below are some of the main headlines from the press conference. 

  • Todd Howard from Bethesda Games showed up and presented a demo of the highly anticipated game, Fallout 3, he showed off the open world, variety of weapons, and intriguing combat system that looked a little easy to me, as you may see below. Todd also confirmed the game for release later this year.
  • Cliff Besinski showed up and talked a little about Gears of War 2, confirming a new mode “Horde” which allows for up to 5 people playing cooperatively.
  • After that, a Microsoft representative popped up again and ran through the numbers of Xbox 360, how it’s outselling the others (Can’t wait to hear that from the other 2 companies), and how it plans to “unveil a new experience to change the industry.” I KNOW I’ve heard that before.
  • Microsoft announced a new partner with its Xbox Live Marketplace, NBC Universal, which means people will now get to watch Monk on their Xbox 360s.
  • Microsoft then announced its new Xbox Dashboard interface (But not before showing that they had downloaded Dan in Real Life), which kinda looked like the Ipod Touch interface. I personally saw nothing wrong with the old one, however, out with the old, in with the new and shiny things.
  • After that they unveiled the Wii-60s, I mean the “avatars” for the new 360 interface, which look strangely like Miis. Hmmm…….
  • Shortly afterward they announced a few new Xbox Live Arcade titles, from Geometry Wars 2 to Portal: Still Alive. After being haunted by GlaDos, they announced their partnership with Netflix. 
  • They ran down a few stats and trailers for games like Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, Rock Band 2 and its exclusitivity, Guitar Hero World Tour, and Lips, a new Singstar-esque microphone game with wireless microphones.
  • The President of Square Enix came out and talked RPGs. Games like The Last Remnant, the new Star Ocean, and Infinite Undiscovery he slapped with  release dates and confirmed all 3 would be coming to the 360. Directly after that he drops the bomb that was Final Fantasy 13 coming to the 360. 
Overall, Microsoft did a fairly good job at slapping a few titles with release dates, while shocking some with games that were coming now to the 360. Announcing the new interface and features for the 360 dashboard along with all these good looking titles and news of those titles made for a great conference. Coming up tomorrow is Nintendo and Sony’s big shows.What they’re gonna show off, who knows.

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IMAX: The Future of Movies Deafening People

July 14, 2008 at 1:31 pm (Movies, The Way Earl Sees It)


One of film’s innovations that started approximately 20 years ago is IMAX, which stands for Image Maximum, is a type of movie going experience that practically doubles the size of the screen for movie goers that are looking for….. how should I say this? Movie going experiences that nearly kill you. Before you attack me, unless you have seen an IMAX movie, you have NO ROOM to talk. I went to a documentary in IMAX when I was on a 5th Grade Beta Trip about 5 years ago and I felt as if my head was going to explode. It was actually really loud and bright and in your face, however the thing that got me was the size of the theater. When you walk in it’s literally walking straight up to get to your seat. The whole documentary, although very quiet (and boring) came across very loud and in your face. Over the years the number of movies being presented in IMAX has increased, and the format has grown in popularity, the original in Canada. Movies over the years  such as Micheal Jordan to the MAX in 2000, Star Wars Episode 2 in 2002, The Matrix Reloaded in 2003, Spiderman 2 in 2004, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005, Superman Returns in 2006, I Am Legend in 2007, this year’s The Dark Knight and so many more mainstream movies have shown in IMAX theaters across the globe. It kind of frightens me that a movie like a documentary was intense in IMAX, thinking about what a big loud scary action movie would be like. Even though I was younger when I visited that IMAX movie, I still run in fear when I see an IMAX theater in my local mall. Even though IMAX movies have increased in popularity, something tells me these movies won’t go extinct, however will stay just where they are as an INTENSE and LOUD moviegoing experience for years to come, so don’t expect to see your local normal theater over run by IMAX any time soon.

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Rock School is Back in Session!

July 14, 2008 at 12:35 pm (Movies)

One of my favorite movies and the movie that made me a fan of Jack Black was School of Rock, a comedy about one out of work rock and roll loser who poses as a substitute teacher to lead a group of musically talented children to the Battle of the Bands. Now after a few years, school will be back in session. The School of Rock 2: America Rocks will pick up where the last one left off, telling the story of Dewey taking a group of summer school students on a field trip around America teaching them all things rock. Don’t worry sequel cringers, both Jack Black and the director are returning. The new sequel has no scheduled release date at this time.

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