E3 2013: Microsoft Press Briefing Rundown

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  • The lights go down and...
  • Surprise! Konami is first up with gameplay footage Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
  • Don Mattrick takes the stage.
  • A new Xbox 360 design is announced with Xbox One design ques that is available today.  Two free games per month for Xbox Live Gold Members.
  • World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition is shown and announced for Xbox 360 via a trailer. Free-to-Play for Gold members.
  • Press Play is next up with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood .
  • Bandai Namco follows With a gameplay montage of Dark Souls II .
  • Phil Spencer takes the stage to talk Microsoft Studios.
  • Crytek's Ryse: Son of Rome is first up with a trailer followed by gameplay. To be available exclusively at launch on Xbox One.
  • Killer Instinct is announced with a trailer! It's back on Xbox One.
  • Ted Price from Insomniac Games is up next to announce their next game Sunset Overdrive with a trailer. It's to be exclusive to Xbox One.
  • A trailer for Forza Motorsport 5 is shown with a focus on McClaren ( a real life McClaren car is on stage as well). A brief gameplay demo along with a trailer of all in-game footage is shown.
  • Phil Harrison is next up on stage to talk Indie Games. 
  • Minecraft is announced to be coming to Xbox One with a trailer.
  • Sam Lake from Remedy is bright on stage to show off more of Quantum Break
  • Swery65 gets a quick trailer for a murder mystery titled D4 .
  • Project Spark is announced. A heavy use of SmartGlass is demoed. A game demo and trailer are followed.
  • Marc Whitten is next up on stage to talk more Smart Glass.  Upload Studio is demoed. TwitchTV is announced to be partnering with Xbox One. Xbox Live Gold sharing is highlighted.
  • Crimson Dragon is shown next. to be exclusive on Xbox One.
  • Dead Rising 3 is officially announced accompanied by a lengthy gameplay demo. It is announced to be exclusive to the Xbox One.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be coming to Xbox One. First ever gameplay footage is shown of the game.
  • Battlefield 4 gameplay is next (Technical difficulties plague the start) First map pack to be launched on Xbox Live first on Xbox One.
  • Phil Spencer is brought back out to announce an Indie title called Below.
  • Black Tusk's ( Microsoft Studio first party developer) first game is shown of. (Untitled)
  • The next game trailer shown is for 343's Halo 5 with a trailer.  
  • The Xbox One will be launching in 21 markets this November at $499.00 in the US, 499.00 in Europe and in the UK at £421.00.
  • Respawn Entertainment's Titan Fall is up last with a the first ever trailer of the game with gameplay, with an actual gameplay demo that follows up.


Thor Coming to Pinball FX2!

As part of the Marvel Vengence & Virtue DLC coming to Zen Studios' excellent Pinball FX2, Thor will be battling the usual gods, demons, and pinballs.  At least the pinballs will be electrified by the God of Thunder's super powers!

Check out the video below.


Review: Sorcerer's Lair for Pinball FX2


In the name of full disclosure, Pinball FX2 is currently my second favorite game on Xbox Live Arcade at the moment (second only to Burnout Crash… for now).  This admission puts me in the convenient position to be both easily excited but difficult to impress.  Is it not true that the hardest people to impress are the biggest fans?

So I can say this with my unique perspective: Sorcerer’s Lair is amazing.  Game. Set. Match. You can stop reading.  Lucky PS3 pinballers have had this table for quite a while. Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of exclusive tables so I’m glad to see Zen Studios sharing their purple gloomy citadel table with Xbox Fans. 


One of my favorite bits of this new table is is the use of mini-games (without flippers) when you gain access to the secret areas.  It really changes things up for you.  Also, there are a few new effects that add some eye candy to the mix like a spectrally charged pinball.  Truth be told, if you liked the other Pinball FX2 tables, you’ll love this one.


However, there one issue that made me want to throw my controller.  It is far too easy to lose a ball down the left return.  On multiple occasions I would lose a ball between the center flippers only to have it saved.  When the saved ball fired back into the bumpers, it immediately went down the left return and it was game over without me even touching the ball.  I hope they can fix that tiny flaw.


If you can over look that one annoyance, I recommend you pick up Sorcerer’s Lair on Xbox Live Marketplace for 240 MSP.

Master Chief is more recognizable than Nelson Mandela? GTFO


Remember that Master Chief fellow from those first three Halo titles? Yeah, that Master Chief. He's a swell guy isn't he. He's so swell millions upon millions of people know who he is from this thing we've come to know and sometimes love called Xbox. But how well has Master Chief's exploits against the Covenant propelled him into the lexicon of today's society? There's no way John 117 would be more recognized over an important NON-FICTIONAL person like Nelson Mandela, would he? Well, get prepared to lose a little bit of faith in humanity as you watch several people fail to know who Nelson Mandela is, yet Master Chief rolls off the tongue like there's no tomorrow. 

Being one of the single greatest reason's for the eventual abolishment of Apartheid in South Africa is most definitely a good way to get yourself some fame. Unfortunately that pales in comparison to sticking it some aliens. Or is it the massive crushing feeling we all felt when Halo 2 didn't have an ending that we can't shake to this day? Can that really propel Master Chief to stardom beyond that of a living hero? I don't know what that says about our society today, but it most certainly confirms that this thing that we call videogames must be pretty damn awesome.


Vanquish demo now available on XBLM


Following up Bayonetta from Platinum Games comes Vanquish. An over the top third person shooter from a Japanese company. Can you believe it? Sure, it's not a first. That Final Fantasy shooter ( I can't bring myself to mention the actual title) was so well received, wasn't it? Anyway, lets hope Platinum Games has figured out how to crack that Western Market that seems so elusive for eastern developers that aren't Nintendo. A demo for Vanquish is now on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Enjoy?

*Click here to add the Vanquish demo to your download queue.

New Controller with Improved D-Pad Unveiled


Amidst the outrage over the Xbox Live price increase, Microsoft seems like perhaps they wanted to show their fans that they do, in fact, listen to their needs. They're doing this by not only revamping the Play-and-Charge kit, but also the most complaine-about issue regarding the controller itself.

There's no denying that the first-party controllers to this point have had absolutely terrible D-Pads. While it's particularly noticeable in fighting games, like Super Street Fighter IV, the inaccuracies are obvious on platforming titles as well.


As shown in the picture above (taken from Major Nelson's official blog), the D-Pad will be reinforced with matte silver and can actually transform from a flat design to an outwardly-extended design by simply twisting your wrist. The controller will also feature a sleek new monotone color scheme in the buttons that goes well with the rest of the look.

Now for the downside. You cannot buy this new and improved controller separately. Instead, you must purchase the new Play-and-Charge kit, which will retail for $64.99 and will hit store shelves on November 9th. Check out the new packaging below and be sure to tell us what you think about the new controller in the comments section!


Purchase Through RockBandRelief.org, Help Donate Money to Nashville Flooding

Helping victims of the Nashville flooding has never been easier - or beneficial to you as well.

RockBandRelief.org, a website created for the purpose of releasing songs for download through Rock Band's Rock Band Network, has partnered with Amazon.com to donate 100% of the money you spend if you shop for certain Xbox 360 accessories through the site. A lot of good stuff is available, such as Rock Band games, microsoft points, and even the sleek new 250GB Xbox 360, in case you were considering a brand new 360 model. Again, all money you spend by shopping through RockBandRelief.org will be donated to the Red Cross for Nashville flooding, so it's an extra opportunity to reach out and help somebody.

I don't know about you, but I know for sure where I'll be getting my points cards for the next few weeks! I encourage you to shop through the site if you're in the market for any of these items.