E3: Day 1

There’s a certain feeling you get when you enter California.  It’s a feeling that’s very difficult to describe, things just seem to go a bit more slowly, you’re able to look around and appreciate things more.  There’s a distinct enforced lethargy, not altogether unpleasant, as you find yourself going from 70 to 45 to 20. Then, finally, you stop completely and a goateed man with enough piercings to fashion a nice chainmail shirt from his various rings and loops asks you if you have any fruit.

Yup, at the entrance to California on Interstate 5, there’s a full stop checkpoint to ask you one simple question: “Got any plants or fruit?”

“ASK HIM IF HE HAS THE SAME PROBLEM MICHAEL PALIN DID IN TIME BANDITS” my brain fairly screamed to me as my mouth simply said “Nope.” I counted five lanes of traffic stopped in such a way, each manned, as it were, by a fruit checker.  Just a thought to budget broke California, how many times do people say “yes”, and of those times, how often do the plants or fruit have whatever contagion or infestation you are looking for?  I’m just sayin’ you might be trying to solve for the 001% case.

Anyways I arrived in LA yesterday.  It’s certainly an interesting city and I can’t help but drive around it thinking of Steve Martin’s wonderful LA Story.  On 101 heading towards downtown I swear I saw several of the unique houses from that movie perched along some hillsides. 

But the big highlight was this morning.  I watched with glee as we finally got to spill the details on some really kick ass stuff that it’s been really hard not to scream with about how cool it all is.

I was brought into project Natal several months ago, as with any camera based system there’s always the potential for abuse.  My feeling when it was first described to me was a lot along the way of motion games that currently use the vision camera.  But once I saw it in action I was astounded. Using controller-less…controls in games isn’t going to be for everyone.  But the learning curve to use and enjoy a high end console just got a whole lot lower. 

Facebook and Twitter integration are both really well done. And to keep it just a bit removed from your gaming so as to not be too intrusive it’s implementation respects that you might be focused on other things on your console.

We had such a wealth of things to announce today that we actually had too much and had to cut a bunch of stuff.  Stuff you might have missed are the new Xbox 360 Games on Demand and a number of performance enhancements to the guide and friends lists that people have given us feedback on.

So far between everyone working to get ready for the briefing and the crush of announcements and press I’ve not had a lot of time to catch up with various folks on their impressions of our announcements.  But today was a great kick off.

Tomorrow I’ll be hitting the expo and hopefully blogging from the floor.

Oh and I have not forgotten about those who entered my contest!  While the contest entry is now closed, I’ll have some cool stuff to announce about some addition prizes, I got so many good entries.

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