Yesterday I dropped by the Muzik Night Club for the annual Microsoft Canada Xbox 360 Holiday Titles preview. I was somewhat disappointed in that not all of the games being showcased were playable with developer representatives present, but the anticipation of some exciting new games coming to the console this fall was palpable.
There were not many Canadian-made titles on display, but there was much focus on the upcoming NHL 12, complete with pro hockey players demonstrating the title. Some of the other games that were highlighted included Kinect Sports Season 2, which is scheduled for release in October. Advancing on Kinect Sports Season 1, Season 2 introduces Challenge Play, which allows for more family-friendly competition on the virtual sports field.
For the younger set, there is Kinect Disneyland Adventures, which lets the player take a virtual tour through the theme park, interacting with Disney characters in such ways as going on a fun flight with Peter Pan or sneaking through the Haunted Mansion. Players can also look at Bio Cards for their favourite characters to learn more about them.
There was no mistaking though which two titles are at the top of many hardcore gamers’ lists – Gears of War 3 and Halo Evolved garnered much attention from many attendees, but one announcement that I found compelling was that Xbox Canada will be opening Xbox Centralon August 19th.
Located at 330 Queen Street West here in Toronto, Xbox Central will be a place for gamers to come and try out games before they buy them. The front of the storefront will feature family-friendly games, while M-rated games will be placed at the rear of the store. Xbox Central will be open 7 days per week, and has partnered with Toys”R”Us, who will be providing on-site terminals, allowing for free shipping anywhere in Canada when you buy your Xbox 360 essentials at a Xbox 360 Central location.
Additional Xbox 360 Central spaces will also be opened in Vancouver and Montreal. Locations will showcase the breadth of gaming and non-gaming entertainment options available exclusively with Xbox.