It's bad enough gamers are subjected to a Spike TV video game award show every year. However, for all of the nonsense going on at those shows, they at least have a point. Microsoft's Xbox 360 unveiling did not.
It's stunning how a major corporation that launched the second best selling gaming system of the current generation doesn't have a clue how to promote a new system. Why Bill Gates and crew felt the need to feature two song performances by the Killers in an already crammed 30-minute show is baffling. The actual unveiling lasted all of 15 seconds before cutting away.
This seems like the console was an afterthought to the show. Maybe it's the oddball design, featuring both vertical and horizontal alignment that they feared would garner a harsh response. It doesn't look anything like a game system, and if anything, it's a blatant, albeit smoother, rip-off of the Playstation 2. They mentioned wireless controllers but failed to provide a glimpse other than a brief shot of a developer holding one.
The show spent more time explaining how you can change the faceplate (as they continue to push the customization) than they did showing game footage. Even when they did that it was mostly replay cameras or cinematics. In other words, it was useless. Perfect Dark Zero was the only game to receive ample screen time, and then, they showed off no-name gamers competing in a death match. Actual, rather unimpressive, game footage was subjected to quick, nauseating cuts.
There are only two things we actually learned from this: They're serious about HDTV support and online play will be huge. A snippet of an interview briefly explained how users would be able to purchase items (with real money) to customize their characters in a game via the Xbox Live Marketplace. What happened to the days of developers implementing a create-a-character feature free?
The show ended with host Elijah Wood proclaiming the Xbox 360 is amazing. How would we know? There was no price set, no release date, and absolutely no technical specs referred too. This was a complete, total, and worthless hype-fest, also ruined by leaked pictures on the Internet days before. Getting the jump on the competition has completely backfired.