Microsoft Spring Showcase Wrap
Yesterday, in an unassuming warehouse in beautiful San Francisco, Microsoft brought out the big guns that will be carrying the Xbox 360 platform through to the end of the year at it’s annual Spring Showcase. Along with the Press, we were invited to take a look at the stunning games, but more importantly, discuss the titles with the developers themselves. (For write-ups on each particular title, follow the links at the end of this post).
So under one roof, ready to talk were, Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War 2), Dennis Dyack (Too Human), Peter Molyneux (Fable 2), Tomonobu Itagaki-San (Ninja Gaiden 2), and the minds who are bringing us Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, and Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. The upcoming Penny Arcade title was also represented.
In addition to these great developers, Shane Kim, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Game Studios was also on hand to talk shop. Microsoft’s Community Program Managers Tony Hynes, and Chris Paladino were there with us every step of the way to answer any questions we might have.
In the aforementioned warehouse, there were four stations with eight consoles in each station. Each station featured either Ninja Gaiden 2, Too Human, Banjo Kazooie, or Viva Pinata. A smaller station for Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness was there as well. Also on the main floor of the warehouse were separate lounge sections and a refreshment bar filled with snacks and drinks.
After the international Press went through each station in the first part of the day, the US press was ushered in to go through the rounds with each game. We were broken up into groups of ten, and each group rotated through each section. Our group’s first stop was with Shane Kim, who withstood the battery of tough questions from us, and even gave us a few nuggets of information to chew on.
From our talk with Shane Kim, we moved from gaming station to gaming station, playing the games and chatting with the developers. And for you astute readers, you’ll notice that the two blockbusters, Fable 2 and Gears of War 2 were not on the floor with the other titles. For these two games, we were ushered upstairs to a presentation room where while we were not able to get hands-on time with the games, the developers walked through a play of the game, and spent some time with us in discussing the titles.
The Showcase wrapped up with a great reception that let everyone spend more time with the games, enjoy some refreshments, but more importantly, rub elbows with other industry folks as well as the developers.
We are extremely appreciative of Microsoft’s invitation, and are very excited about these upcoming titles. The entire Microsoft team who put the event together did a tremendous job making everything go smoothly, and we absolutely must commend the developers for working non-stop going through the games with hundreds of members of the Press.
Now, for details on each individual station, click on the following links:
Also be sure to check out 2opgaming.com for excellent audio and impressions from the event!