E3 Xbox 360 roundup: Halo 3 console, new big-button controller, cross-platform Gears Of War, and more…

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xbox360-halo3.jpgE3 isn’t the glitzy gamefest it used to be, this year. For some reason, the organisers have tried to turn it into some kind of backroom networking beano. Right now, hundreds of out-of-work LA booth babes are weeping into their hotpants as a result.

That hasn’t stopped the big guns of the gaming world from announcing new stuff. Microsoft had its E3 press conference last night, and had plenty to show. Most interesting was news of a Halo 3 branded Xbox 360 console, which’ll be available this September with a matching wireless controller and headset.

However, there was also good news for us Europeans: Microsoft’s beefed-up Xbox 360 Elite will finally go on sale here on 24th August, with a 120GB hard drive and proper HD outputs.

xbox360-bigbutton.jpgWhat else? Microsoft unveiled a new ‘Big Button Pad’ controller that’ll be bundled with the ‘Scene It?’ movie game later this year. It bears a striking resemblance to the ones that come with PS2 quiz series Buzz, mind.

Meanwhile, Gears Of War is coming out for PC, and will be properly cross-platform, allowing mouse’n’keyboard geeks to shoot seven bells out of their joypad-toting rivals. Talking of online play, Microsoft has now signed up more than seven million players on Xbox Live, and is predicting 10 million by the end of the year.

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Stuart Dredge

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