Gaming News from E3: Live from the Show

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E3 Bombshell: Metal Gear Solid, "Natal" Motion Control for Xbox 360

Microsoft's E3 2009 press conference is all-systems-go, so what did Redmond, Washington have up its sleeve? Some pretty amazing stuff, actually. Metal Gear Solid for the Xbox 360?

Full-body motion controls that look more responsive, accurate, and open-form than anything the PlayStation Eye or Wii-remote have touted?

Also: Appearances by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to discuss The Beatles: Rock Band? Read on for the complete show breakdown.

The Beatles: Rock Band

Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono appeared at Microsoft's E3 press conference to discuss "The Beatles: Rock Band."
Microsoft got things kicking with a trippy Beatles video montage before segueing to The Beatles: Rock Band (not, you'll notice, Rock Band: The Beatles, which speaks volumes). Launch date? September 9. After Harmonix rocked out onstage demoing "Day Tripper," Microsoft revealed several of the game's 45 total songs, along with the first official trailer of the game.

Stuff I heard:

Taxman
I Am the Walrus
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Octopus's Garden
Here Comes the Sun
Get Back
All You Need is Love

To cap that off, Microsoft trotted out...wait for it...Yoko Ono, Olivia Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr to talk up the game. Hello mega-bucks to get those four (not to mention all on the same stage at the same time, more or less). Nothing special here, just Bunyan-sized buckets of star power. You have to hand it to Microsoft for nabbing McCartney and Starr. Not just anyone can say they've done that.

Tony Hawk Ride

Next up, Tony Hawk (the man himself, that is) talking his next game, Tony Hawk Ride, then demoing a new skateboard with motion control. Was this the long-rumored Xbox 360 motion control part? Not quite, but talk about a teaser. "The best way to experience skateboarding is on a board," said Tony. ("The best way to experience skateboarding is to go skateboarding," quipped some random drive-by commenter in a chat room.)

Modern Warfare 2

After a predictably raucous new trailer for Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2, Activision took the stage to demo some of the shooter's new gameplay. We saw a guy stabbing climbing hooks into the side of an ice wall, climbing up said wall in first person, then flipping over to a shooting sequence in a snowstorm. The protagonist was using a gun with some sort of radar screen hanging off the left side, which looks cool but hideously impractical if you're thinking real-world (then again, what do I know).

The new weather FX were effectively chilly, modeling blinding curtains of billowing snow. Then all hell broke loose on an airfield and lots of stuff went boom. Clearly the emphasis is "superhero" again, i.e. you meting out preposterous amounts of damage while taking relatively little, standing like a giant flag in the middle of no-cover and dropping enemies like tenpins. It looks interesting, but since it was all just standard shooting stuff (okay, the snowmobile chase scene was kinda cool) it's tough to evaluate.

Final Fantasy XIII

Next up, Microsoft trotted out Kitase-san, producer of Final Fantasy XIII, and Toriyama-san, director of Final Fantasy XIII for a first-look at Final Fantasy XIII running on the Xbox 360. It looked good, though also identical to the cutscenes and gameplay trailers you've seen for the PS3. Surprised? Don't be. And don't bother looking for differences. Aside from possible content deals we've yet to hear about, there won't be any.

Reveals? The game will have four active time gauges. Oh, and Odin's a summon.

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