Monday, July 14, 2008

E3 Console Post #3: Microsoft Press Conference

I think most of this press conference can be summed up like this: "we're introducing a hundred new features in Xbox Live that nobody cares about so we can claim the 360 is a bargain at $349."

Here's the stuff that more than ten people will care about:
--a new Portal game (Portal: Still Alive) will be on Xbox Live this fall
--Fallout 3 will have exclusive downloadable content
--Square's The Last Remnant will be released sometime this fall.

The big announcement was that Final Fantasy XIII is no longer a PS3 exclusive and will be released for the 360 and PS3 on the same date in North America and Europe. That would be huge news if anyone had any freaking idea when Final Fantasy XIII was actually going to be released.

If Microsoft had cut the price to $299 (with the 60GB) AND announced that Final Fantasy XIII was no longer a PS3 exclusive, I think they would have been perceived as having momentum. Without a price cut, I think this is more moving sideways than forward.

Here's the problem: anyone who likes what Xbox Live has to offer has already purchased a 360, and the new features aren't going to attract some huge new customer base. Microsoft seems to be catering solely to the people who have already bought the 360 instead of trying to reach all the people who haven't.

Detailed reports available from Wired and Gamsutra.

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