Microsoft “fueling” industry growth, rips off Nintendo at E3 press conference

After showcasing spectacular games like Fallout 3, Resident Evil 5, Fable 2 and Gears of War 2, things took an abrupt turn toward the casual during the Microsoft E3 press conference.

Much to our surprise, the company spent the majority of its time introducing new Wii-inspired 360 features. We expected to see Microsoft rip-off Nintendo, to be frank, but not to this extent.

“Our games are everywhere. The hardcore are devouring our biggest blockbusters. Fathers and sons are playing their favorite sports games. Rock-star grandmas are taking over our living rooms…and fun-to-play games are inspiring the new family game night. Today, our industry belongs to everyone.”

That statement, soaked with the “blue ocean” rhetoric one would expect to hear from Nintendo at E3, came from Microsoft’s Don Mattrick. But it gets better. He followed that up by talking about industry growth and “how Xbox 360 is fueling it.”

Come on, Donnie. I love the 360, but “fueling” industry growth?

Microsoft also revealed a new home screen for the 360. Eliminating the classic 360 tabbed interface in favor of a simplified aesthetic based on channels and avatars, the new 360 interface will be available on all new consoles in the fall. Existing users will be able to update their consoles via a software update.

Speaking of the avatars, Microsoft finally pulled back the curtain on the retarded little cousins of the Mii. The avatars were designed, according to the developers, “not to look like a toy,” but to be a “stylized” take on reality. Like Mii characters, avatars will also be available for gameplay and community features.

I was hoping for something exciting, but Microsoft’s press conference was a disappointing flop. I can only hope Nintendo delivers a far better press conference. We’re only 20 minutes away.