Microsoft Takes Fight to Sony, Nintendo with Motion Controls, Instant 1080p Movies

From DailyTech: Microsoft kicked off its E3 tour with a bang and announced a slew of new additions for its Xbox 360 platform -- a platform which just recently surpassed the 30 million mark in sales. Microsoft was the first out of the gate with its keynote today while rivals Nintendo and Sony will get their chance tomorrow.

Given that the Xbox 360 is first and foremost a gaming platform, there was no shortage of new game announcements including Halo 3: ODST, Alan Wake, Forza Motorsport 3, Crackdown 2, and Metal Gear Solid Rising. In addition, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were on hand to promote The Beatles: Rock Band.

"Today with cultural visionaries at our side and controller-free gaming on our horizon, Xbox 360 authored a new page in home entertainment history," exclaimed Don Mattrick, Microsoft's senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business. "For us, this E3 is about breaking down barriers -- between generations, between games and entertainment, and most important, between video game players and everyone else -- in a way that only Xbox 360 can."

Microsoft went on to announce updates to its popular Netflix support on the Xbox 360 platform. Users will be able to queue movies directly from the Netflix interface on the Xbox 360 without the need of a PC. Also new is the ability to share movies with up to seven friends via Xbox Live Party.

Other changes/additions include the renaming of the Xbox Video Marketplace to the Zune Marketplace to coincide with the upcoming Zune HD. All pay-per-view movies will also get a nice upgrade from 720p to 1080p with the change. These movies and TV shows will be available for viewing instantly.

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