Since its inception in 2001, the 'X' series of events has traditionally been, basically, a huge show-off for all the best of what is coming soon from Microsoft, giving a look into the future of gaming on the Xbox (and now 360). Last year for instance we got to take a sneak peak at the now infamous Bioshock of which Gordon sadly failed to predict the imminent success.
Sadly, Microsoft announced earlier this year that no X07 would be taking place, causing a huge uproar in the gaming community and leading many to predict that this was 'the end' for the Xbox. Recently, however, I received an invite to what was being called the Microsoft Xbox 360 Xmas Showcase, which promised to display all the best of the consoles upcoming titles for the 2007 holiday season. Indeed, so similar sounding were the events that this was being referred to, in our office at least, as X07 and my excitement grew as the fateful day grew ever closer.
So, on the 20th of September, I hauled myself out of bed, somehow made my way into London and found myself around the corner from Waterloo station at a venue called The Violin Factory which in case, like me, you aren't an avid viewer of Channel 4's Grand Designs, was recently featured on the program.
The reason the venue is worth mentioning was because it is by far and away the most awe inspiring house I have ever been in and a perfect setting for Microsoft to show off the latest and greatest in the world of console gaming. The format for the display was elegant in its simplicity. Each of the house's many rooms was given over to demoing a selection of games so, for example, we had one room dedicated to a little-known title called Halo 3, another for family-oriented games and yet another for several upcoming triple-A titles.
After the guided tour I managed to grab a reasonable amount of time to wander about the building and, of course, get some hands-on time with more games than I could shake a stick at. The worst thing about the whole event was having to leave in order to return back here to write this article and relay my thoughts and insights over to you, our beloved readers.
It's a good job, then, that I am a professional (... really?... ed) and can be relied on to tear the Xbox 360 controller out of my hands and replace it with a keyboard while suffering only mild withdrawal symptoms. So, if your wondering just what Christmas 2007 is going to be like for current or budding Xbox 360 owners, whether this really is the end and just how many times I'm going to use the phrase "must-have game" over the following pages, read on.