GDC 08: Microsoft Keynote Wrap-up – Games on Zune?
We’ve already covered most of the major announcements and presentations that Microsoft’s GDC keynote featured – the launch of Community Games, Fable 2, Gears of War 2, and Ninja Gaiden 2. But Microsoft also had plenty of other figures and details to unleash.
For starters, the obligatory numbers: more than one billion achievements have been unlocked, $250 million spent on Xbox Live Arcade games, and 30% more people upload Halo 3 videos through Bungie.net than upload videos on YouTube everyday. That’s a pretty astounding number. XNA Architect Chris Satchel dropped a few numbers on us, which I mentioned in our story on the announcement of Xbox Live Community Games. The XNA software has been downloaded more than 800,000 times and Microsoft is currently working with more than 400 universities on getting the software into classrooms and the hands of students.
What was clearly the most interesting item to me was when Satchel showed off an overhead shooter. Nothing exciting, to be sure; but, Satchel showed the PC-developed game played on an Xbox 360 – and more interestingly – on a Zune. Could this be the start of games on Zune? I certainly hope so.
During the keynote, Epic Games’ Mike Capps came to the stage to show off some tech demos of the latest version of the Unreal Engine 3. (Watch them over at GameVideos.) The demos showed, among other things, a massive group of locusts on-screen from Gears of War, enhanced water effected, advanced character lighting, “soft body physics” which were shown by having a cube of meat (I never thought I’d type ‘cube of meat’ in my career) roll around. Lastly, an environment was shown where virtually anything could be destroyed, which instantly makes me quite sad that it’s been over a year since I last played Red Faction online.
Stay tuned as we continue our expansive coverage of GDC 08.