Live Blog: E3 2009 Microsoft Conference
18:28: Now just waiting for the show to begin.
18:30: The show begins. It's opened with a trailer of The Beatles: Rock Band, and now people are playing the game - 'Day Tripper' - live on stage.
18:33: The instruments are all Beatles-themed, mainly with black and white trimming. The game's background visuals are cartoon-y and stylised.
18:32: Giles Morton is introduced on the stage. He says that the game will all be master tracks and include "never heard before studio chat" from the fab four. Nine of the 45 songs will now be announced.
18:35: A trailer shows gameplay and those nine songs - 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'I Feel Fine', 'Day Tripper', 'I Am The Walrus', 'Back In The USSR.', 'Octopus's Garden', 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Get Back'.
18:37: Abbey Road will be DLC after launch.
18:38: 'All You Need Is Love' will be available as DLC soon on Rock Band, with proceeds going to charity.
18:40: Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison take to the stage, followed by Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
18:41: Paul says, "I love it, but I can't play it. I like the way I walk." After chatting between themselves about how much they like the game, they leave.
18:42: Marketing director John Schappert now appears. He lets everyone know that there will be "no charts, graphics or attach rates" today. The crowd cheers. There will also be ten world premieres too.
18:43: "Now, less telling and more showing." He leaves and Tony Hawk comes on, clutching the skateboard motion controller.
18:45: Hawk talks about Tony Hawk Ride. He says players can grab and move the controller to play it. He also says it's easy to use.
18:47: After the trailer, he says that he hopes everyone has the chance to ride the skateboard on the show floor. He then makes an exit.
18:48: The lights dim and a Modern Warfare 2 trailer plays. It's the same one that was released last week, confirming the November 10 release date.
18:50: Two members of Infinity Ward take to the stage. "We know you just want to see the game," one says. "So here it is."
18:50: The other whips out a controller and plays on the big screen. It's the snowy mountain stages from the trailer, first shimmying across a tight ledge, then going first-person up a steep cliff face using pick axes.
18:51: The graphics are fantastic - the ice breaking away with every axe, while a teammate above grabs on for dear life. After reaching the top and leaping across a crevice, the player himself slips before being rescued.
18:53: The demo says, "In the interest of time...", and cuts forward to some actual gunplay in a snowy village. After knifing a sentry by a parked car, he scopes out a few buildings and avoids a patrolling Jeep. The screen has frosting around the edges to emphasise the cold.
18:53: Now an airbase is in sight, and the trailer cuts away again to fast forward to a firefight inside the airport. Planes explode as enemies cover. Gameplay-wise it looks the same as before, including cover and ironside mechanics. Now the player retreats, sliding down a hill and firing on enemies coming over behind them.
18:54: Snowmobiles appear over the hill - which is then used to escape, going through a dense forest, avoiding fire and falling trees. A helicopter appears over head, then the demo ends. The crowd applauds.
18:55: "Activision will release two map packs exclusive to 360 first," says one of the developers.
18:57: Square Enix bring on the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIII, with a translator.
18:58: Now here comes the first look of the game for 360. It features a boss battle, and the translator explains that there will be four active time gauges - the more available, the better attacks are available - and the first showing of summon Odin.
19:00: "We hope you enjoyed the demo." They say the game will be released spring 2010.
19:00: Every game from now on will be Xbox 360 exclusives. With that comes Cliffy B from Epic Games.
19:01: It's an Xbox Live Arcade title called Shadow Complex, a game in the vein of Metroid and Castlevania, powered with Unreal 3.
19:02: Now it's being played - it's in 3D but from a side-on perspective, with a cartoon visual style and heavy on combat, as well as a very typical Metroid map. There will be 120 hidden items to be found, it'll be ten-hours long, with lots of exploration. "Oh and by the way, some pretty cool boss battles as well." It will be out this summer.
19:06: Next is Joy Ride, another Xbox Live game. It's a Micro Machines style racer in a desert environment, with huge jumps and avatars. It will be free to download and play, with upgrades available to purchase. Tracks can also be shared. Coming this summer.
19:06: Now the next trailer. "The city is infected and you are the cure." It 's Crackdown 2. The shadow of the protagonist transforms into a beast in an alleyway.
19:08: And now another - very gory FMV, with zombies getting their heads blown wide open with guns, as well as chain saws and frying pans. Left 4 Dead 2 is coming November 17.
19:11: Splinter Cell Conviction is now on screen, with Sam Fisher assassinating someone who lands on a piano, taking on a group of SWAT members. All in a bid to revenge his daughter's death.
19:11: Now members of Ubisoft take to the stage, and show off an exclusive demo. "It's changed a lot since you last saw it. Sam's changed, and now he's on a personal mission." A biker is using a urinal, and Sam appears behind him and roughs him up a bit, getting a name. Just a cut-scene so far.
19:13: "The story evolves in real time, as you can see with the environment." He is walking down a street and pulls up to a door. The 'mark and execute' move is pulled off, where he looks through the keyhole, highlights an enemy and takes him out as soon as he gets in. The developer explains each area is like a sandbox, and that the darkness is where Sam shines, allowing the player to plan out his attacks. His objectives appear on the environment to avoid HUD clutter - The words 'Find Sarah's Killer' appear on the wall.
19:16: Gameplay-wise, it looks more action packed. He sneaks outside the building, through a window and finds the killer, but half the room gets taken out as SWAT moves in. The demo ends. It'll be released this year as a 360 exclusive.
19:21: Forza Motorsport 3 is announced. Dan Greenwalt of Turn 10 Studios takes to the stage, and calls it "the most definitive racing game this generation". After a live demo he claims the new engine, running at 60 frames-per-second, is the best-looking game this generation. It will feature over 400 cars, one button driving, gaming rewind, the return of custom paint jobs and also the ability to create and upload high definition videos. It ships this October.
19:23: Bungie take to the stage with a live play through of Halo: ODST. It starts inside a launch pod, with video screens showing rather arrogant teammates. A view outside shows a ship warping away. The game will take place weeks before Halo 3, and you play as 'The Rookie' separated from his team.
19:26: After exploring the city environment and taking out grunts with a pistol, he changes visors as he goes outside. "Great stories are told in original ways," claims the developer, and after picking up a detonator from another ODST member, you play under his last moments. By living through others, you'll find out what happened to the city of New Membosa.
19:30: As for this other ODST member, he runs around a bridge setting charges to columns avoiding fire and eventually detonating them. The demo ends. A co-op mode called Firefight will be playable on the show floor, released September 22.
19:31: Now a second game from Bungie is being shown - Halo: Reach. The teaser shows a planet being torn apart with what looks like nuclear attacks. It will be released at the end of next year, and a multiplayer beta will come with Halo: ODST.
19:31: Remedy come on stage to show hands-on footage of Alan Wake. A TV show-style 'Previously on Alan Wake...' clip shows Alan looking for a man named Rusty. Now in-game, he goes through a house looking for him, with a roaring outside tearing down trees and throwing cars. It is almost like Lost.
19:36: Using his flashlight, he takes to the forest and goes into a cave. Enemies that attack are shown in slow motion before they appear, and can be taken out with Alan's pistol. The enemies are draped in shadow and explode with light, with creepy voices and haunting music playing. After crossing a river, he keeps enemies at bay with a lit flare, while the camera pans around him in slow motion.
19:39: Inside a house the roaring begins again - and the demo cuts. "Alan Wake will see the light of day in Spring 2010," says Remedy.
19:43: Now back to Schappert. Music website last.fm is coming to Xbox Live, "tailor made for the living room" with radio stations through the dashboard, available to Gold members later this year at no cost.
19:44: Netflix is being discussed - those in the US no longer have to go on the PC to queue up movies. For those in the UK and Ireland, he mentions the Sky deal that was announced earlier this week.
19:44: The video service will be relaunched as Zune Video. All movies and TV series showed will be available instantly, no delays and in 1080p, with the list of countries extended to 18. Additionally, Live parties can watch TV and movies in cinema settings, as well as football in stadiums, with avatars sitting in front of a live screen.
19:45: Facebook will also be coming to Xbox 360, custom made for the living room through the dashboard, showing Home, Friends, Photos and Profile. Both Xbox and Facebook friends will be available, so that you can invite one to the other. Photos can be viewed full screen and news feeds are displayed
19:45: Facebook Connect will update game accomplishments to the social networking site. Texts and screenshots can be sent to profile from a game. Tiger Woods PGR Tour will be the first to use this service.
19:48: Twitter will be coming to 360 too, with a more vertical interface not unlike Twitter in a browser, complete with an avatar and clouds showing tweets. Both will be coming this fall.
19:50: Don Matrick, senior VP of Xbox takes to the stage. "This morning's announcements were truly historic...But we are missing one piece of the puzzle." Hideo Kojima appears behind him and taps him on the shoulder, with the guard surprise soundbite playing.
19:51: He says that he is proud to be bringing the Metal Gear Solid franchise to the console, along with the next game, Metal Gear Solid: Rising. A teaser says Raiden will be back but Snake will not, and that it will be "a completely different MGS experience."
19:53: Don Matrick now discusses the evolution of the Xbox, telling that controllers will evolve, asking if we can go behind the controller and make everyone enjoy the game. "Can we make you the controller? We can."
19:56: A video shows a racing game - played with the hands, steering and changing gears, and another family member changing the wheel. A boy stomping through a city, mother and daughter playing keepy-uppy, and a skateboard being scanned in. A girl then chats with her friend, choosing dresses with a flick of her hand.
19:58: A movie is then played via voice, and ended with a "Goodnight". The trailer ends - it's codenamed Project Nadal, a sensor that picks up 3D movement and voice. It will be packed in with each 360 when it releases, and will work with all existing consoles too.
20:00: Director Steven Spielberg takes to the stage and explains how games will only reach the masses when the technology behind it is invisible, not just with thumbs but with everything. He congratulations Matrick with the achievement and says that his teams will be working on the device.
20:02: Matrick welcomes the creative director of Project Nadal Kudo Tsunodo to the stage. "Core games will be a level of control never dreamed possible." And everyone can use it in the "most natural way possible". The Xbox will recognise who is playing via facial recognition and log them in automatically. He is controlling the avatar in real-time, demonstrating this by standing on one leg!
20:05: After going through the dashboard with a flick of his hands, a game called Ricochet is shown - a corridor of balls that can be hit away by moving toward them, all in 3D and in real-time. "We can create games without pre-set waggle commands." The crowd jeers and laughs.
20:07: Now Paint Party is shown. After simply saying the words "Light Blue", the demonstrator throws his hand at the device as it covers a canvas blue. He continues by suggesting more colours, pointing and waving at the screen. Next he says "Pose", which creates an outline of the player, and brings on someone else to form a silhouette of an elephant. Cue audience applause.
20:13: Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios appears on stage and says that his team has played around with the device for the last few months. Now for a video of what they have been working on - a boy named Milo who reacts to voice and commands. Milo shys away from doing his homework and walks to a lake to throw goggles at the screen. "Every player tries to grab them because they have a connection," explains Molyneux. The aim is that the boy and player will become friends and interact as such.
20:16: After the demo, Molyneux says "I hope you agree, this is a landmark in computer entertainment."
20:18: Matrick returns and reiterates that the device will work with all current 360 consoles. He says that today there have been some landmark announcements, including instant access to video and music, as well as a good few exclusive games coming soon to the system.
20:20: And that's it - the conference comes to a close. Thanks for reading, and join us tomorrow at 5pm for Nintendo and 7pm for Sony's offerings!