A couple of weeks ago we received an invite to “a spectacular live performance imagined by Cirque Du Soleil” for the world premiere of the “Project Natal for Xbox 360 Experience” at the Galen Center in downtown Los Angeles, California. As an honored attendee I can testify that the stunning event was worth the anticipated wait. And especially after this week’s announcement of the new Xbox 360 “Slim” and Xbox Kinect we certainly hurried to this inaugural E3 event.
As most everyone at the event my goals was to get my hands on the new Xbox and most of all to “experience” Natal, now officially titled “Kinect.” Kinect is Microsoft’s hands-free system that will allow users of the Xbox, and presumably Windows machines, to control much of what they see on their screens simply by their gestures.
We arrived on time only to see a massively long crowd of equivalently excited folks lining up outside of the Galen Center stretching as far as the eye can see. Of course, we should have known, after all it was the “World Premiere” of one of the most anticipated E3 shows in recent memory – but we did not panic, instead we found a nearby restaurant and grabbed a quick bite to eat to ensure we had the necessary energy to jump up and down in front of Xbox Kinect should the opportunity present itself. About one hour later, much to our pleasant surprise when we returned to the Galen Center and the outside crowd entirely disappeared (Kudos to the event organizers). Natal here we come =)
World Premiere of “The Project Natal Experience”,
imagined by Cirque du Soleil
Apologies for our grainy footage, technically we weren’t supposed to take any pictures, yet alone video.
Our “Natal Experience”
Got kick started with us being greeted by friendly Microsoft Xbox staffer, and cohered into wearing a big white sheet with big shoulder pads. In fact, we all looked like football players and still had no clear idea about what lay in store for us.
To summarize, after mingling a little bit, we entered the main stage area where we initially could not help but feel as if we just crash landed on Pandora from the blockbuster movie Avatar. It looked a lot like a James Cameroon film set.
Next we saw a dozen Neanderthal looking dancers revel towards the modern Xbox age represented by giant screens and performed twitchy maneuvers mostly out of sync with their virtual Avatar doppelgangers. A TV shaped hole zoomed into a living room with actors playing a family that is happily engaged and enjoying Xbox Natal, excuse me, I mean “Kinect”. A sofa with two people having a great time dangling in mid-air and the Kinetc games looking a bit like Mario Kart on steroids (with better graphics), Sports related games and oh yeah, Star Wars which did look totally awesome!
Then all of a sudden, we had men riding on top of fake elephants with flat screens inside of them — bet you didn’t see that coming? Neither did we but that was actually pretty cool as well.
At the end of the day, although the presentation had obvious sync issues with the playback and a couple of props that flew off during the performance I can say that we were certainly entertained and had a good time and I think most people would agree.
MTV networks were onsite to record the live performance. The re-broadcasting of the entire Cirque Du Soleil show by MTV, commercial free, on:
- MTV – Tuesday, June 15th @ 3:30PM ET/PT
- Nickelodeon – Tuesday, June 15th @ 9:00PM ET/PT
- mtvU and MTV Hits – Tuesday, June 15th @ 9:00PM ET/PT
The official press release:
MTV Networks and Cirque du Soleil Partner with Microsoft for E3
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom, today announced a broad-ranging, first-of-its-kind programming partnership with Microsoft Corp. for Electronic Entertainment Expo 2010, the video game industry’s leading trade show. For the first time, only MTV Networks will take viewers inside the spectacular controller-free games and entertainment with The World Premiere of Project Natal for Xbox 360 experience, a spectacular live performance imagined by Cirque du Soleil, and live to the Xbox 360 Media Briefing for game announcements, world premieres and breaking news on the future of the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system.
“We look forward to making entertainment history again at E3 Expo 2010 and can’t think of a better partner than MTV Networks to exclusively share our news, experiences and Cirque du Soleil’s amazing creativity with an entirely new audience,” said Don Mattrick, senior vice president, Interactive Entertainment Business, Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.
Cirque du Soleil and Project Natal
Heralded by TIME Magazine as one of the top inventions of 2009, Project Natal is set to forever change the way we interact with entertainment. In the world premiere experience, the creative visionaries at Cirque du Soleil created a stunning production that brings the idea of controller-free gaming and entertainment to life. Witness an original and exclusively created consumer spectacle that pushes the boundaries of live entertainment with cutting-edge technology, pulsating music, amazing puppetry, futuristic video projection, and unbelievable physical dexterity.
The World Premiere Project Natal for Xbox 360 experience, as imagined by Cirque du Soleil airs commercial-free on MTV, Tuesday, June 15 at 3:30 P.M. ET, and on Nick at Nite, mtvU, MTV Hits, and Logo, Tuesday, June 15, at 9 P.M. ET.
SPIKE TV, home to the SPIKE Video Game Awards, the biggest night of the year for the gaming industry, will be the exclusive broadcast home for the Xbox 360 E3 Media Briefing. Set to air live and commercial-free in high-definition on Monday, June 14, at 1:30 P.M. ET, the Xbox 360 Media Briefing is a blockbuster event where the future of the Xbox 360 system is revealed. Last year’s presentation included the debut of Project Natal, and Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono Lennon and Olivia Harrison, came together to reveal MTV Games and Harmonix’s The Beatles: Rock Band. Hosted by SPIKE TV’s Geoff Keighley from the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, viewers won’t want to miss breaking news on Project Natal and Xbox LIVE, surprise new game announcements, and world premiere demos of upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive games, such as Halo®: Reach, Gears of War® 3 and Fable® III.
Xbox 360: The Future Revealed airs live on Monday, June 14, from 1:30–3 P.M. ET.
MTV Networks’ GameTrailers.com will provide live, high-definition video streams on the Internet of both the Xbox 360 Media Briefing and the world premiere of Project Natal, powered by the global Akamai HD Network platform. In addition, GameTrailers.com will present exclusive live pre- and post-shows for the Xbox 360 Media Briefing on June 14 with additional video game world premieres and announcements.
Tune in to MTV, Nick at Nite, mtvU, MTV Hits, Logo, SPIKE TV and GameTrailers.com for all the E3 news