Microsoft’s E3 Presser: The Games, With Beatles

By  |  Monday, June 1, 2009 at 5:20 pm

xbox360If fancy gimmickry’s a ways off and social console networking doesn’t catch on, at least Microsoft’s E3 press event had some good old-fashioned games to fall back on.

And yes, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were there to lend a hand. More on that later.

Maybe it’s because I’m green on the E3 battlefield, but it seems that Microsoft is making a big push for exclusivity in its line-up. Of the dozen video games announced at the presser, more than half will only be released on the Xbox 360, and in some cases the PC. All of the games had some element of bragging rights for Microsoft.

That started with The Beatles: Rock Band, which will be released for all consoles. Xbox 360 owners, however, will get to download “All You Need is Love,” with the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. To mark the announcement, Sir Paul and Ringo indeed showed up, even if their one-liners and lack of musical performance was a letdown.

Additionally, the much-anticipated Modern Warfare 2 will release two map packs that will go to Xbox Live before reaching the Playstation Network.

In another slap in the face to Sony, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima took the stage to announce Metal Gear Solid Rising for the Xbox 360. The series has long given preferential treatment to the Playstation brand, with Metal Gear Solid 4 considered a PS3 system seller.

The other exclusives weren’t surprising. Left 4 Dead 2, Crackdown 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Halo 3: ODST and yet another Halo game called Halo Reach all have Xbox 360 predecessors. And we already knew that Microsoft had locked up Splinter Cell: Conviction and Alan Wake.

But as a whole, the games segment of Microsoft’s press event is a testament to the console wars. Exclusivity has little benefit to gamers, but it’s not going away.

One last thing: Microsoft apparently didn’t have time to announce this during the press conference, but it will offer full-length games for digital download. You know it was a monstrous E3 briefing when news of that caliber didn’t make the first cut.

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