E3 brought a lot of exciting news for Xbox 360 fans this year. Possibly the biggest announcement was the unveiling of Kinect (formerly Project Natal). Many have picked on Kinect for several reasons but I think most of those complaints are unfounded. In it's current state, I don't think anyone had hardcore gamers in mind, yet the only people complaining are the hardcore gamers. Let them perfect the technology with casual games, it will be in everyone's best interest in the end. It's kind of funny because I bet if there was a hardcore game being released with Kinect compatibility, gamers would be complaining that they have to buy Kinect or that gamers with Kinect would have an unfair advantage, etc. etc. In the end, the implementation would not be perfect and there'd be millions of complaints about that. I think Microsoft is making the right move by focusing on casual games first. There won't be much of a backlash when things aren't perfect. Personally, I'm looking forward to Kinect since it will have some fun games for kids and the control it will offer in the dashboard will be very cool as well. I'm not counting on playing any hardcore games with it any time soon.
Another huge announcement was the new slim Xbox 360. This had a "meh" reaction from me. Yes, the integrated wireless is nice, but I wouldn't use it. The smaller form factor is pretty minimal, the current model is small enough in my book. The best part about it is that all the current Xbox 360's got a $50 drop in price and stores are pushing to clear out their stock. I just picked up an Xbox 360 Arcade for $130 and got a $50 gift card! Basically, I got a brand new Xbox 360 Arcade for $80. I'll be selling the two games and controller that came with it so that will sweeten the deal even more. It will be nice to have another Xbox for those games that don't offer split screen. So I guess the new 360 is cool in some respect ;).
For me, I think I got more excited about the game announcements. Bungie announced Firefight for Halo Reach which is insanely customizable and has some cool new features. I figured it was coming but actually seeing the trailer and hearing about all the new features was very exciting. The little bit of space battles they showed was pretty cool but I'm a little bit weary about it. I hope it is included in multiplayer and I really hope it is not over-done in the campaign. I also hope it is not too generic. I would be very excited if it has a Star Wars Battlefront feel to it where you can land inside a station or large ship and attack or go after some sort of objective.
Another set of game announcement I am very excited about is everything Epic announced for Gears of War 3. Beast Mode (basically the inverse of Horde mode) sounds absolutely fantastic. I can't wait to get my hands on that mode. The new weapons and enemies are looking awesome and Epic has really seemed to hit the mark with female gears. They're not too fragile and they're not too buff. They look tough while still retaining their womanhood. They found a good balance.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is looking good. That will be a fun game to tackle with my wife. I'm also looking forward to Dungeon Siege 3 and Hunted: Demon's Forge. I've been keeping an eye on Crackdown 2, although since there's no couch co-op, I'm on the fence. There are so many games out there and not enough time to play them all.
All links point to Co-Optimus, because I'm a whore like that.