We've teamed up with Joystiq for live coverage of E3, and Microsoft's keynote is kicking things off. The event is scheduled to start at around 1:25PM ET / 10:25 PT.


9:48AM PT: We're lined up outside USC's Galen Center, mingling with the rest of the riff-raff (read: media), being herded through a labyrinth of stanchions and fences. Hey, remember that "very special addition"? A PR person just walked into the crowd and called for anyone from "Apple, MTV, or EMI?" So, a Beatles appearance then?

10:12AM PT: We're in, we're seated, and we're impressed. Microsoft dropped some serious cash on this setup. Of course, everything is cast in an unnatural hue of green.


10:20PM PT: The announcer just let us know this party's getting started in just about 5 minutes. They better make good use of that extra five minutes they asked for – practically ruined our entire schedule. Okay, so maybe not "ruined" but we could've used that time for a second coffee stop.

And the standard disclaimer – no flash photography, no running onstage to hug Don Matrick. The usual. But we can hardly resist those boyish good looks. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to teh 2009 Xbox 360 Media Briefing

10:20PM PT: The announcer just let us know this party's getting started in just about 5 minutes. They better make good use of that extra five minutes they asked for – practically ruined our entire schedule. Okay, so maybe not "ruined" but we could've used that time for a second coffee stop.

And the standard disclaimer – no flash photography, no running onstage to hug Don Matrick. The usual. But we can hardly resist those boyish good looks. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to teh 2009 Xbox 360 Media Briefing

10:28PM PT: We're seeing a great animated tour of their career, with a backdrop of Beatles classics
And we've transitioned to the 60s, and so have the visuals. Want to know what a video for "I Am the Walrus" looks like? It's ... trippy. But, yeah – the visuals look incredible. This isn't your Dad's guitar simulator.

10:29PM PT: On stage: Alex Rigopolous and Van Toffler.

10:32PM PT: "In fact the video you just saw is the opening cinematic for the game."

"They launched the tech revolution" launching in black & white into psychedelic color. "They were always always innovating." Rigopoulos is on drums, he's really good, obviously.



10:35PM PT: The infamous Giles Martin on stage (son of George Martin, Beatles producer). They've remastered all the tracks to "give gamers the best experience." The game has "never before" heard studio chat with the entire band.

1) I Saw Her Standing There
2) I Want to Hold Your Hand
3) I Feel Fine
4) Day Tripper
5) Taxman
6) I Am The Walrus
7) Back in the USSR
Octopus's Garden
9) Here Comes The Sun
10) Get Back

10:38PM PT: "Please acknowledge Danny Harrison" – a fan of Beatles, and Harmonix, and a key person in getting this game made. "We were incredibly lucky to have the support, enthusiasm" from these next two individuals. "Yoko Ono Lennon & Olivia Harrison" Oh snap!




10:39PM PT: "All You Need is Love" will be available exclusively through Xbox Live. All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.



10:40PM PT: "Their music will undoubtedly endure long after they're all here." "It's a privilege to introduce Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr"

Wow, the audience is out of their seats!

10:41PM PT: "What do you think of the game?" Ringo asks Paul. "I love it"

"The game is good. The graphics are very good! We look great." -- Ringo



Paul and Ringo are doing their best Vaudeville. Paul takes a moment to do some air guitar as he walks off stage.

10:42PM PT: Paul: "Who'd have thought we wouldn't end up looking like androids."
They send the audience their best and they're off. So, no Beatles performance then? We'll live I think. SOMEHOW.

10:43PM PT: Mr. Jonn Schappert takes the stage. "We're honored to support the work Doctors Without Borders is doing."

"Good morning and welcome to E3!" Hey, he wants to thank everyone out there watching live or reading this here liveblog. So, that's you. Take a bow.

10:44PM PT: "Today, we're going to deliver even more" NXE functionality. "You're not going to see charts and graphs" but "you are going to see 10 world premiers of games that have never before been seen." "Entirely new ways to connect with your friends." Tony saunters on stage with the skate peripheral in his hand.


10:45PM PT: Tony Hawk -- "As you can see, it looks similar to a skateboard. The whole thing responds like a real skateboard. It just felt like the technology wasn't there yet." "The best way to experience skateboarding is like it's meant to be: on a board."


Now he's talking "Skate supremacy." Tony? Really?


10:46PM PT: World exclusive trailer description incoming: Live action video, professional skaters talking about skating. Dude jumping away from an explosion. Pro skaters agree: RIDE is almost just like riding a real skateboard!

10:47PM PT: New Modern Warfare 2 trailer!


10:50PM PT: Spoiler Alert! Modern Warfare 2 is going to be action-packed!

10:51PM PT: Jason West and Vinve Zampella from Infinity Ward take the stage. Gameplay time!

-Civilians running through the streets
-Explosions, hostages, South American setting?
-Snowmobile controllable
-Scuba sections?
-Ends by a lone soldier being dragged from an exploding crater as a helicopter takes him into the sky.
-Arctic setting, a jet flies overhead as a soldier tosses his cigarette butt. They shimmy over a giant icy canyon's edge.
-Soap McTavish and player scale the side of the chasm with ice climbing gear.
-A jet flies overhead, nearly sending Soap to his death.

No shooting in MW2 confirmed?


10:58PM PT: "Infinity Ward and Activision will release two Modern Warfare 2 map packs on Xbox Live."

10:59PM PT: Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama from Square Enix, working on Final Fantasy XIII.

11:00PM PT: "It has been over 20 years since the first Final Fantasy was released in 1987. Over the last 20 years, Final Fantasy has grown to be one of the most loved RPG series worldwide" – yeah, you could say that.


"Last year at E3, we shocked the world by announcing that Final Fantasy XIII would be coming to the Xbox 360. Today we are excited to premiere the world's first look of FFXIII running on the Xbox 360."


11:01PM PT: Want some eye candy: they're going to show off a summon, Odin in this case. Big swords, summons, and battles on the tops of trains. "We're happy to announce that we're targeting a Spring 2010 release."



11:02PM PT: "From this point on" every game they show off will be available "only" on Xbox 360.

11:03PM PT: Epic games: Donald Mustard from Chair Entertainment and Cliff "Young Clifford" Bleszinski. Exclusives!

11:04PM PT: Shadow Complex is a 2D/3D action game. The game map looks like something right out of Metroid. Later in the game now, main character has power armor, triple jump, hookshot, everything.

11:05PM PT: "The game is called Joyride and it comes to you from ... BigPark" the newest member of the Microsoft Game Studios family. "You can see that Joyride brings a new social experience" to the kart racer. "It will be free to download and free to play so everyone can enjoy it" "you can guy cars" and more to customize the game. Coming "this winter" to Xbox Live.


11:07PM PT: Crackdown 2 ... trailer! "The city is infected, you are the cure." Looks like CG. Super cop chasing a criminal and then shooting him in the head. Oh no, some new kind of super monster enemy explodes out of the sewer! Literally.

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11:10PM PT: Next trailer has a New Orleans vibe. Zombies! Left 4 Dead 2, coming November 17th! Chainsaws! "Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC."


11:11PM PT: Splinter Cell: Conviction gameplay. Sam playing a piano, having flashbacks about his daughter, leaving his old organization. The emo beard is gone, thank heaven. "The man who played by the rules, listened to the voice in his ear. he's gone." Fisher being hunted by his organization.

11:13PM PT: Here's Ubisoft's chance to apologize for the beard thing. Sam Fisher just disarms a thug's gun, takes it apart, breaks his arm and is now shoving him around while choking him. The info that Sam is asking for is projected on the wall like a movie screen.

11:15PM PT: "Driven by his emotions, Sam is now the ultimate predator. And nothing shows this off better than his newest ability: the Mark and Execute." Each environment is a sandbox. Sam is much more nimble than he used to be. The controls don't look nearly as awkward.

11:17PM PT:
That was just a small sample of everything you can expect from Splinter Cell: Conviction, Fall 2009, exclusively on Xbox 360.


11:18PM PT: "Our team at Turn 10 Studios is back with a clear mission: win the racing genre."

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11:21PM PT: Forza 3 confirmed! "Game director Dan Greenawalt
"forza Motorsport is inspired by all things cars." "It's this love of cars that drove my team to create the definitive racing game of this generation." And, again, he repeated "the definitive racing game of this generation." Don't argue with the man!



After a nice crash, Greenawalt says, "Nice." Delivers the action "the competition can't." And there it is AGAIN! "The definitive racing game of this generation."


11:25PM PT: Mr. Grunt voice himself, Joe Staten! OMG, first person ODST drop happening right now. You can see monitors on the pod as the drop happens, communicating. The Prophet of regret's ship is jumping as the player sees the slipspace bubble engulf the sky.


11:27PM PT: The detonator found will flashback to fight as Dutch, another missing ODST "piecing together clues until you solve the mystery of New Mombassa."


11:30PM PT: "Another team at Bungie has been hard at work on a top secret project and today I'd like to show you what they've been up to."

11:32PM PT: Halo Reach Falls 2010 (not "FALL" but "FALLS") Halo Reach falls 2010, but for those of you who can't wait that long, you'll get an invitation to the 'Reach' Xbox LIve multiplayer beta.


11:33PM PT: Sam Lake, lead writer at Remedy: "I'm here today to proudly introduce to you" a dear friend, a writer, someone who he's been working with for a long time. Cute! And, we've got a look at Alan Wake!


11:35PM PT: Previously on Alan Wake" it says. Will this be episodic a la Alone in the Dark? "Tonight on Alan Wake" it says. Looks that way! Wake is running through a cabin, chasing Rusty. The game is narrated by Wake as the game is played, as though you're playing through the novel. Nice touch.

11:37PM PT: Big horde of monsters, it looks like to much for Wake to handle. He runs to a nearby generator and starts it up. Creating a safe zone of light. Bullet time mode, Wake kills a monster with a flare gun. Big explosion. nice pyrotechnics.


11:39PM PT: Schappert: "You've just seen an incredible lineup of exclusive games on Xbox 360. Today I'm proud to announce that music is coming to Xbox Live" thanks to a partnership with Last.fm. And best of all Last.fm will be available to Xbox Live gold members later this year for no additional charge."


11:42PM PT: "Netflix has been a huge hit for our US members" and now they're going to make it even better. Notably, by adding movies to your queue straight from the NXE – no computer required. Not in the US? They're bringing Sky to the UK. "Live television delivered to a gaming console with no additional hardware needed."


11:44PM PT: So, upgrading to 1080p; every movie and TV show is available instantly; and they're more than doubling the number of countries the service is available in, from 8 to 18! "InstantOn" 1080p HD ... that's really the brand.


11:46PM PT: It looks like Schappert expected more applause from the Netflix simultaneous viewing ...but hey! Felicia Day! Felicia quickly plugs The Guild season three. The 20 or so people that applauded sound thrilled.


11:47PM PT: And now ... Facebook? The XBL Facebook app meshes very well with NXE. Imagine if Facebook were run by NXE, that's exactly what it looks like.

11:49PM PST: Don Mattrick takes the stage and ... OMGS4!!

11:50PM PST: Metal Gear Solid! "It's my honor to introduce the creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima"


11:51PM PST: "It's great to be finally standing here on teh Xbox 360 stage. I'm bringing the Metal Gear Solid franchise to Xbox 360. I can confirm that next major release will be called Metal Gear Solid Rising and that development is currently underway for Xbox 360. We can't wait to see what the next game holds for Solid Snake. But I didn't say anything about Solid Snake."


11:53PM PST: "Unfortunately, I can't say more now, but I can promise you it's a completely new Metal Gear experience." Schappert: "Kojima-san, with Metal Gear on Xbox 360, we can finally say our platform is complete."

11:55PM PST: People ask me, can you add a motion controller? I tell them, of course we can. Indeed, controllers will continue to evolve, as we've seen with guitars, wands, and nunchucks." For many people, the controller is a barrier. "Can we go beyond the controller?" "Can we make you the controller?"


"We can."





11:56PM PST: And we've got a motion-sensing camera, folks. Surprise surprise, it looks an awful lot like the rumor images! It's called "Project Natal."



11:59PM PST: They called it "Project Natal" – when it launches, Natal will work with every Xbox 360 we've sold, and every Xbox 360 we sell in the future.


12:01PM PST: "I'd like to welcome one of those creators to the stage. He has been pushing us to go beyond. He's a visionary director, a humanitarian, and yes, also a gamer. Please welcome, Steven Spielberg."

12:03PM PST: Yes, the controller is very daunting. Now give us Boom Blox!




12:04PM PST: Creative director Kudo Tsunoda takes the stage: "Don challenged us to think beyond."

Looks like we might get an actual demo after all! The avatar moves the same way Kudo does. It's actually very reactive, though it is a little stilted.



12:05PM PST: Abby is on stage playing a game. "She's free to move around in 3D space."

12:06PM PST: Kudo's talking smack on Wii: "This isn't the kind of game you end up on the sofa using some kind of preset waggle commands." Ooooh! Burn!




12:08PM PST: The camera even recognizes open hands vs closed fist. Impressive!


12:09PM PST: They're onto Paint Party. He's making a pool splashing motion to "throw" paint onto the canvas. He can change colors by simply "saying" the color. "White" "Dark Brown"

12:12PM PST: Peter Molyneux, folks! "We've been playing around with it at Lionhead for a few months now."





12:15PM PST: Molyneux talking about "a boy called milo" A woman walks up and talks to Milo on screen. he talks back, recognizing her voice, responding to her questions. He reacts with emotion, not robotic voices. Milo shies away as Claire asks if Milo has finished his homework. Milo gives Clair goggles and she 'catches' them. She simply reacts and 'puts them on," now she's putting her hands in the water, as though it were real. Waving the water about, swirling it, trying to touch fish.



12:20PM PST: "The future of games and entertainmetn is happening now, only on Xbox 360." And that's it! We're signing off, eager to get to our meeting with Xbox Live's Mark Whitten. Thanks for reading along, everybody.

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Engadget & Joystiq live from Microsoft's E3 2009 keynote