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GTA IV, Halo 3, HD-DVD, and a little Bill Gates

GTA IV, Halo 3, HD-DVD, and a little Bill Gates

Microsoft wasn't supposed to have much to say today. So, it went ahead and pulled out the big guns at its E3 press conference. First, the newly tattooed (and surprisingly muscled) arm of entertainment boss Peter Moore--emblazoned with the shocking words, "Grand Theft Auto IV," which will now be available on Xbox 360, with exclusive online content for Xbox Live. Ouch, Sony. Upon his big reveal, Moore took a verbal swipe, too: "Some guys do rubber ducks. We do tattoos," and it looked like it hurt.

In other news, a slew of new games, mostly franchise sequels, and the widely expected Halo 2 Halo 3 trailer appeared at the end of the conference, tagged only "2007."

Microsoft also announced a stand-alone HD-DVD player accessory, in Xbox white, available "this holiday," plus a wireless steering wheel, a wireless headset, and a Webcam.

Then, after a lot of talk about Windows Vista, Bill Gates made an unexpected appearance--his first at E3--to announce Live Anywhere, an extension of both Xbox Live and Windows Live. The cross-platform initiative will let gamers be connected across Xbox, Windows (via MSN Messenger), and Windows Mobile phones, viewing their stats, customizing cars for later play, and inviting friends to cut out of work. Clever way to sell all Microsoft products? Yes. Cool anyway? Heck yes.

--posted from Hooters on Hollywood Blvd. via Tom Merritt. :)

Editors' note -- Tom Merritt messed up the Halo number, not Molly. He has been sorely beaten.