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Editorial: Notes Scribbled in the Dark While Watching a Really Long Xbox Commercial
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posted by: Shawn Rider
publisher: Microsoft
developer: Microsoft
date posted: 12:00 AM Thu May 12th, 2005
last revision: 12:00 AM Thu May 12th, 2005

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Careful: Here there be spoilers. Lots of 'em. And this is going up before the show airs on the West Coast of the USA. So take care of yourself.

These are notes scribbled in the dark while watching a really long Xbox commercial (aka the Xbox 360 Special, The Next Generation Xbox Revealed, on MTV).

They're animated! They just showed us animated footage that looked so real, The Killers playing some crappy swoop-do song. But that's balls: Lots of folks won't realize they just watched some computer animation. But then The Killers finally do show up for real -- AND THEY'RE WEARING THE SAME CLOTHES. Or maybe they were just on a blue-screen before. It's so hard to tell these days. *yawn*

Computer animation used to be so cool.

Tony Hawk American Wasteland will support Xbox LIVE for the first time in series history. It will be a single large city, "all of LA," as Mr. Hawk mentions. No load times.

Samsung made Xbox 360 in High Definition. Or something. They're in it together.

Sitting through commercials just to see more commercial really sucks. They could have at least forked out for the whole 30 minutes.

Customizable face plates? That's, like, so retarded. And other stupid crap you can buy for your character. "Like a Marc Ecko t-shirt? Buy it on Live Marketplace." Please...

People are playing with some kind of Mine Control -style projected interactive graphics. Trippy.

Why did everything become white? My R2D2 was white when I was a kid, and before long it just looked all scummy like a mall trash can. Why not bright orange? Or yellow?

Wireless controllers: Check. Eyetoy-like peripheral (still mostly a mystery, although it is strongly implied that this might turn your dorm room into the most popular one on the hall): Check. Headset: Actually not shown much, but a given. Hard drive: Unknown. Media features: Unknown.

Wow, that customized Xbox is the lamest looking thing I've seen all day. Actually, there's something very THX1138 about the Xbox 360, don't you think?

A bunch of sports games I don't care about... (The graphics are pretty, I guess.)

I hope Elijah Wood gets a free one. What a shill.

Perfect Dark Zero. Mmmm... Perfect Dark Zero. Looks great. I'm not sure about the whole re-treatment of Joanna Dark. But whatever -- it's an FPS...

Did that guy just say up to 50 people in online Perfect Dark Zero play?

Some kind of destructable environments in Perfect Dark Zero.

I wonder when we'll get a Joanna Dark and Master Chief slash fiction?

This whole thing feels like a press conference. What is it for exactly? Why not just make people love Xboxes a lot? I guess so we can save up over summer for it. How much will it cost? Who knows. Free weekends on Xbox Live? Well... Something free on Xbox Live for sure, but who knows exactly what.

Oops, I was reading the MS press release, too. And Reuters has scooped me.

It's over?!? That seemed short, but I guess if you edited out all the agonizing dead spots in the real press conferences, those would be real short, too...

Have the corporations finally made a move to take us out of the loop? If they can speak directly to the readers, without us filtering or mediating the news, without any analysis or critical inspection, then what are we doing? What's the point of the games journalism? Why go to E3? Why not just give the companies our passwords and go eat our Ramen noodles in silence? Is it all ego? Or can we do something different?

Whoa. Heavy. I gotta go post the MS press release in the News Pipe. Nobody's going to get this joke anyway...