18:00: Frustrating news: the conference has been delayed until 18:30.
18:01: While we wait for the conference to begin, read up on what was announced last year. Can Microsoft top appearances by Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Steven Spielberg? Add your comments below!
18:25: It has been confirmed that we have five minutes to go.
18:30: And we begin with a trailer for Call Of Duty: Black Ops. It was the same as the one released earlier this month.
18:35: The studio head from Treyarch comes on stage and introduces a live demo for Black Ops. It's set in Vietnam, with the player heading down an underground tunnel filled with bodies and rats. It's surprisingly eerie. A team member ahead turns a corner and is stabbed in the chest by an enemy, and left to die.
18:37: The demo then cuts with the familiar 'In the interest of time…' message to a clearing in a forest with a Hind-D ahead. After clearing out the patrols, it showers the player climbing into the cockpit and taking off. The helicopter isn't an on-rails section but is actually controlled by the player, taking out a dam and an enemy stronghold with a series of rockets.
18:40: The demo ends and Don Mattrick takes to the stage.
18:41: Starting with Black Ops, map packs will be a timed exclusive to Xbox 360 for the next three years, up to 2012. We imagine it'll be exclusive for one month as seen with Modern Warfare 2.
18:43: Hideo Kojima takes to the stage. He prepares a live demonstration of Metal Gear Solid: Rising. The concept of the game will be around Zan-Datsu, or "cut take" in English.
18:47: A video of the game plays. Raiden appears, jumps over a mech and slices him into three. A short gameplay trailer shows that you can slice anything - columns, cars and people - in any way you chose. It ends with Raiden standing before a table and slicing open a watermelon into smaller and smaller pieces. The crowd really like it, and it looks seriously impressive.
18:51: Cliff Bleszinski takes to the stage to demonstrate a live four-player co-op session from Gears Of War 3's campaign. One of the new features is mutating enemies. The tentacle-like Lambert can take over the Locust to give them powerful swinging arms and fire-breathing attacks. Imagine Resident Evil 4 but with mutations that are three times in size.
18:55: Massive tentacles emerge from the ground which the team must avoid. The demo ends with the Hammer of Dawn wiping out the Lambert and the players reach a safe zone. Bleszinski announces that there will be a new mode called 'Beast' on the show floor. "We think you're going to like it."
18:56: Lionhead's Peter Molyneux comes on stage and introduces a trailer for Fable III. Visually it looks very similar to II and a little dated at this point, but it's nonetheless an impressive clip. It's scheduled for October 26.
18:57: Now for something new. The teaser shows a Roman warrior standing on a foggy path, dripping in blood. A Crytek logo appears in one of the stones. It's called Codename Kingdoms. No other details are given.
19:01: After heading into a complex at the top of a hill and fighting through corridors, the Spartan enters a cockpit and he takes off in a rocket. Layers fall away to reveal a ship, by which time we're in space. The player takes back control and starts blasting rockets at opposing enemies. It looks amazing. The demo ends.
19:10: Now a live demo of Kinect. With a wave, the demonstrator is logged in, and another takes him to a menu with six panels - his favourite content. Each panel has a name underneath, which are initiated with voice control. From there, he moves his hand to reveal a curser, and holding over a panel will start it. Controlling films is prefaced by saying "Xbox Play", "Xbox Stop" and so on. You can also say "Xbox Music" to take the player away from the current screen to the Zune player. It works flawlessly.
19:11: The device will be sold in every country where Xbox 360 is available. Xbox Live will be coming to Windows Phone 7 by the end of the year.
19:15: A new service called Video Kinect will come with the device, which will interface with both Xbox Live and Windows Messenger users. Starting a video conversation, the videos are in the centre of the screen with locational and weather data above them. You can play a video by selecting one of the options below which will slot in between the two. The system has a motorised sensor so it will follow the user as they move around the room. Saying "Xbox End Chat" will end the conversation.
19:17: Microsoft announces a new and exclusive video streaming partner, ESPN. It will include access to 3,500 live and recorded events, including college football, college basketball, NBA, MLB and soccer.
19:20: An American Football match plays on screen. You will be able to replay, fast forward and pause without a controller. You can switch between streams without leaving the currently shown event. "Most" events will be in HD, and it'll be available to all Gold subscribers for free. (We have to assume this is North America only.)
19:26:Kinect will launch later this year with six exclusive titles. The first live demo is Kinectimals and shows a girl playing with a tiger cub, allowing her to scratch the cub, jump and play dead. After telling the cub to go find a toy, the girl hides around the corner to confuse the cub. Saying "jump rope" allows the player to hold one end and swing the rope around in circles, which the cub will jump over, slow-motion Matrix dives included. The full game will offer 40 animals and 30 unique activities.
19:30: Kinect Sports will allow players to 'warm up' a crowd by starting Mexican waves and shooting fireworks. Two demonstrators then try out the 200m hurdles by running on the spot and jumping to complete a race. Other sports include football, bowling, long jump, table tennis, volleyball and boxing.
19:33: Kinect Joyride is a cartoon-y racer played by holding an imaginary steering wheel and swaying to the side. Shoving the wheel forward will perform a boost. It's very Mario Kart-inspired, with powerups and shortcuts in bright environments. The full game will have a variety of features, including a "unique" stunt mode.
19:36: Next up is Kinect Adventures. Two players stand on moving platforms and collect icons arranged in horizontal and vertical lines, as well as duck to dodge low-hanging obstacles. It'll also occasionally offer photo moments. The following demo from the game is two players heading down a river on a raft. Pictures and videos can be shared on Facebook.
19:38: A series of third-party partners are revealed. Ubisoft is working on a fitness game called Your Shape Fitness Evolved, which will be an Xbox 360 exclusive. On stage, a demonstration shows the game can detect whenever the player removes clothing, including a sweater, and scans the player's exact size, shape and height.
19:42: The next third-party partner is Harmonix with Dance Central. It's easily the most strenuous and active dance game we've seen: dancers in the centre of the screen show the moves you should be performing, with a row of panels on the right displaying a breakdown of each current and upcoming move. The crowd love it.
19:46: Harmonix's Alex Rigopulos says it has wanted to develop a dance game for years but the technology was yet to match its ambition. Downloadable content will be available after launch. The full game will include 600 moves and 90 routines, including those from the original music videos of certain songs in the game. It's an Xbox 360 exclusive.
19:51: Out of all the games shown for Kinect, it's Your Shape Fitness Evolved and Dance Central that have the most potential. LucasArts will also be working on a Star Wars title, allowing the player to handle a lightsaber to deflect oncoming projectiles.
19:53: The device will launch on November 4 in North America with 15 titles available.
19:55: Turn 10 studios takes to the stage, showing off Forza controlled with an imaginary steering wheel, running in high definition and 60fps. It also offers head-tracking.
19:57: Next it shows that you can "experience" cars by walking around them in 3D space and investigating elements by hovering your hand over certain elements. The demonstrator walks around the car, opens the door and steps inside. It's not as fluid as it sounds; each movement point is scripted and then control is resumed. It is coming 2011.
20:00: Just as it looks like the conference is rounding up, Don Mattrick takes to the stage and removes a sheet to reveal a slim Xbox 360. "It's sleeker, smaller and whisper quiet." It'll offer built-in WiFi 802.11N and 250GB HDD, and will launch at the same price as existing Elite systems. It will ship to retailers today and be available in stores by the end of the week. This is for North America, by the way, but we assume Europe will receive the same treatment.
20:02: Mattick then announces that each member of the audience will get a console to take home today. The crowd understandably go nuts. That's one way to ensure the press leave on a high.
20:04: And that's it. Join us at 10pm for EA's conference, and again at 1am for what Ubisoft has to offer. See you then!