It's been an insane week, even besides the passing of the King of Pop. There were major restructures announced at several of the game studios. Which makes sense -- due to the high production costs of video games (currently at about $25 million for an Xbox 360/PS3 title), many publishers and developers aggregated into giant corporations that resemble the Hollywood studio system. This helps offset the costs of diversified development, and prevents "betting the farm" on a single release.
Adding a social-networking functionality to Zbox Live could solve a significant problem facing console multiplayer gaming -- the current matchmaking system.
This year's E3 paved the way for a revolution in digital content. As my fellow columnist Shankar Gupta pointed out last week, Microsoft's press conference stole the show. But while Natal is very interesting, a lot more is going on with Microsoft's strategy than just motion-controlled gaming. In essence, Microsoft is going to kill off the "gaming console" to pave the way for a broader "media console." The Xbox 360 is getting several enhancements, each of which are groundbreaking -- but combined, they indicate an amazing future on the horizon.
E3 rolled around again this week. It's generally pretty tough to sift through the manifold hype around the event and pick out the coolest, most innovative demo at the show. Except this year, of course -- Microsoft made it pretty easy, with Project Natal.