CES 2011 – Microsoft Report

Microsoft was the first company to send me a variety of press releases this morning detailing their CES 2011 announcements.  Instead of taking the typical Jarrod-way out and posting a series of boring press releases I figured I’d do you all a solid and sum up all the announcements.  Aren’t I so nice?  Yeah, didn’t think so ;)

The Megaton/s (Take your pick)

– Netflix and Hulu Plus will become Kinect-enabled sometime this Spring.

– While old news, Steve Ballmer showcased ESPN on Xbox Live and how wickedly cool it is.  Ok so it wasn’t really all that cool seeing him try it out, but whatever.

– The big announcement was Avatar Kinect and no this has nothing to do with tall blue creatures that look simply amazing in 3D.  Avatar Kinect is a new game/feature which will be added through Live, for free, later this Spring.  We’re not entirely sure what this is, but it looks like chatting software where you control not only the movements of your avatar, but also its facial expressions.

– Microsoft announced Xbox Live House Party, which kicks off February 16th and lasts for five weeks.  Every week one big new Xbox Live Arcade game will be released starting with Hard Corps Uprising, the direct prequel to Contra: Hard Corps.  You already know Steven and I will be all over that.  Here’s the details Microsoft sent over for the games.

  • “Full House Poker”(Microsoft Game Studios – Xbox/Krome Studios – Windows Phone 7): In the world’s capital for card playing, Microsoft is unveiling “Full House Poker.” Compete against your Xbox LIVE friends on Xbox 360 and build your bank roll on the go with a companion game on Windows Phone 7. Play a quick two-player game for some lightning action, join a big 30-player tournament, or play a round of Texas Heat, our live poker game show where you play with thousands of players worldwide and have 30 minutes to bluff, bet, and raise your way to the final table!
  • “Bejeweled Blitz Live”(PopCap Games): Take on friends in the brilliant gem-matching action of Bejeweled® Blitz Live! Choose your favourite playing style – Classic or Twist – and rocket up the leaderboards! Battle your way to the top in the all-new 16-player Party mode over Xbox LIVE.
  • “Beyond Good & Evil”(Ubisoft): Now you can experience the thrill of the fan-favourite “Beyond Good & Evil ®” on Xbox LIVE in full HD. Enter the futuristic world of year 2435, a world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and exposing the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom. Play as action-reporter Jade and capture the truth using stealth, force, and wits against a government that deceived you in this action-adventure game with elements of puzzle-solving and stealth-based games.
  • “Hard Corps Uprising” (KONAMI): Thrilling retro run-and-gun action is back with a vengeance in “Hard Corps: Uprising,” a new 2D side scroller developed by ARC System Works that pays homage to classic Konami action series. Play as the soldier Bahamut as he begins to write his legend in this prequel to “Contra: Hard Corps.”
  • “Torchlight”(Runic Games/Microsoft): A highly-regarded PC game with over 800,000 units sold to date, “Torchlight” is now coming to Xbox LIVE! Combat is more exciting with revamped controls and mechanics, new armor and quests! There’s even an exclusive new pet for your character.  Send a select goodie or two to your friends on LIVE to share the fun for the first time.
  • – Microsoft also announced that Fable III would arrive on PC later this year, as will Age of Empires Online.

    – Finally the company took a little time to showcase their mobile offering.  There’s even a Fable in the mix, but not exactly what you have in mind.  Take a look at all the details.

  • “Fable III: Coin Golf”(Microsoft Game Studios): The best-selling “Fable” franchise is coming exclusively to Windows Phone 7. “Fable: Coin Golf” combines the fun of traditional British pub games with the logic of modern puzzle games to create a rich and entertaining “Fable III” companion experience, allowing players to earn gold and unlock new skills and abilities that can be transferred back to “Fable III” for Xbox 360 and the PC.
  • “Game Room” (Microsoft Game Studios): Relive the glory days of the arcade with six classic coin-op games in “Game Room” – “Centipede,” “Asteroids Deluxe,” “Shao-Lin’s Road,” “Time Pilot,” “Lunar Lander” and “Pitfall.” A shared “Game Room” profile and global leaderboards let you track your medals and top scores across the phone, PC and Xbox 360.
  • “Full House Poker”(Microsoft Game Studios): The mobile companion to the Xbox LIVE Arcade game, “Full House Poker” on Windows Phone 7 lets you build your bankroll and unlock awards on the go. Enjoy Single Player Pro takedown, standard and tournament-style single player games against up to five virtual opponents in the first Windows Phone 7 title to let you play as your actual Avatar.
  • “PAC-MAN”(NAMCO Bandai Games Inc.): The world famous arcade classic returns in this faithful rendition for Windows Phone 7! Direct PAC-MAN using the standard flick-to-change-directions method, or try out the virtual-analog “PAC-PAD” controls, new for Windows Phone 7. Munch fruits, chomp dots, and earn Achievements while avoiding capture by Blinky and his fellow ghosts.
  • “Pro Evolution Soccer”(KONAMI): The unrivalled and award-winning soccer simulation is entering its first season on Windows Phone 7! Experience incredible gameplay, stunning graphics and the most advanced team and player AI on the market, all while comparing your skills with friends and rivals around the world on Xbox LIVE leaderboards.
  • “Pocket God”(ngmoco): In this absolutely adorable and slightly twisted game, you rule a small island nation inhabited by itty bitty pygmies. Now, you can let the little pygmies live happily ever after, OR you can kill them in a countless number of hysterical and entertaining ways, boosting your Gamerscore with exclusive Achievements along the way.
  • So there you have it.  Did you enjoy all the omega news?

    12 thoughts on “CES 2011 – Microsoft Report”

    1. So…. is it just me or was CES pretty boring? I’m still waiting for a news article with some super cool new tech.

    2. Oh come on guys what are you talking about? This article features the biggest gaming news ever! How can you say this is a boring CES. For shame! Anyways, coming back down to reality here, yeah I really thought the PlayStation Phone was going to become a reality but instead we got more leaked videos and pictures of the device with no confirmation of its existence in sight. Talk about disappointing.

      The glasses-free 3D isn’t ready just yet, but it looks promising. Blu-ray had a strong showing, but clearly 3D is here to stay. I like the new 3D Blu-ray cases though they look sexy in clear lol. I’m still not convinced about home 3D because of the glasses though. I’m holding out for as long as I can, but I know eventually I’ll cave.

    3. Yeah it really wasn’t a good show this year. I felt like it was much more of the same. 3D showed some evolution, Blu-ray has become the standard so outside of the release window for Star Wars there was nothing too surprising there. Even cameras and the like were nothing too extravagant.

    4. Don’t know where in the schedule it is Steven, but since we know the launch is the middle of Feb and these are back to back releases we can guess that it will be either late February or sometime in March.

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