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MS Keynote at GDC: Lots of Stuff

Right now, I’m sitting in the press room of GDC.

Let me give you a mental image of what it was like leaving this morning’s Microsoft keynote presentation.

Remember in the movie "Airplane!" when all the reporters run into the bank of payphones?

Yeah. Like that.

Bottom line: It’s a very good time to be a 360 owner right now.

If you haven’t already heard, MS has some big news for the next year. First and foremost, XNA is going to finally completely open up to the little people. Games will soon be easily accessible to homebrew developers like you and me, and they will be downloadable to not only the XBox, but also the Zune. All you will need is a peer-review process to give it a thumbs-up and it goes on Live to download it. Theoretically, there are four games up right now for you to download.

And no, Hawkes, there was no mention of how developers will get paid, how much MS will keep or any monitization info. That will apparently be filled in later.

Second, yes…. Ninja Gaiden II looks freaking amazing. Although I see a potential problem with it. And I will go into that in detail on my special GameHounds episode tonight. Yes. Tonight.

Third, the interwebs sometimes do not lie. Gears of War 2 coming November 2008 as an XBox exclusive. Cliffy B. said nothing else, and although there was a trailer, I really don’t put much credence behind trailers. I can make a trailer of my mom’s cellulite thighs and make it look good. Doesn’t mean I want to play with them.

Fourth, looks like you’ll be playing Fable2 a couple of weeks before the game comes out. The gambling mini-game, which allows you to increase your wealth in-game, is actually a separate XBox Live game and your coin is migrated into your Fable2 world. Peter "I Love You, You Crazy Bastard" Molyneux announced that the mini-game will be released to the XBox Live Marketplace a few weeks before Fable2 comes out, so be ready to start the game day one and find everyone is richer than you and completely tricked out in super-leet gear. Groan.

Keep yourself tuned today to GH, as I will be uploading a discussion between me and Joe Chagan of SPOnG talking about what happened this morning with Microsoft.

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