Live From E3

Maybe that title’s a bit misleading because I’m not actually at the event on which I’m writing as I was last time I used that syntax, but this time it’s a far more clever Xbox Live pun.

The Internet has made E3 much more of a public event than it used to be when we had to rely on magazine coverage the next month which made audacious (though ineffectual in the following example) stunts like the Saturn launch possible, but from what I’ve seen so far Microsoft should be commended for opening it up more than I’ve seen before. We’ve always relied on third-parties for coverage but this is the first time that I can remember a console manufacturer providing fast access to new show content themselves. Certainly the first time it’s come direct to the console.

Microsoft’s conference isn’t until tomorrow but already Live subscribers (most of them, if my friends list is any indication) have a dozen or so HD trailers to download and a demo of Test Drive Unlimited. The demo is nothing special and Sonic The Hedgehog is the only trailer which struck me immediately, but with any luck we’ll be able to download trailers for the likes of Halo 3 and Gears of War tomorrow, and we already know that we’re getting demos of Lost Planet and Moto GP 06 over the next couple of days. Not to mention that Live Gold is free for the duration of the show and that some of the trailers aren’t even on IGN or GameSpot.

Admittedly some of the stuff is eliciting disinterested reactions, but being able to watch this stuff in HD with 5.1 sound on your own TV instead of a Quicktime window is a nice boon. How much it’s going to do depends a lot on what Sony shows in a bit under three hours, but I hope for Sony’s sake that it looks better than this.

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