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Microsoft: 5 best E3 moments

Our favourites from the Xbox platform holder...

E3 is just there, right on the other side of the weekend. And who knows what wonders it's bringing? We have a few inklings but anticipation outweighs any sense of certainty one hundred to one....

Every year, though, we come away with at least a handful of memories worth holding onto, some of them weighty, some of them absolutely earth-shattering.

Big moments have been brought to the stage by publishers right across the board. Some of the biggest though - predictably - have come from the ones that hold the machines we love so dearly.

We're expecting big things from E3 2011 and our minds are going to need warming up if we want to keep them from being blown.

To that end, we want to relive some of what we think have been Microsoft's greatest E3 moments with you, our loyal viewers. Don't forget to send us yours.

360 SLIM REVEAL

A recent one for the archives, it was only last year that the world was introduced to the slimline Xbox 360, we'll admit, in a kind of understated way.

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Afterall, this was the same old Xbox 360 that'd been around for years - it had just had a couple of sessions in the body shop, hadn't it? Not so fast. For some reason though the new Xbox 360 felt like a brand new console.

Obviously the fact that it was a relatively surprising reveal has something to do with it; there had been hopes and rumours surrounding the machine for ages, but Microsoft managed to keep it under wraps until a leak the night before. When its official arrival came, then, we were geared up for it rather than tired of its shiny face.

But what really made the arrival of the new Xbox 360 such a nice surprise was the way that all the little things came together to have a big effect overall - The built-in WiFi, the quiet whirring compared to its predecessor's extractor fan-like din, the luxurious touch-sensitive buttons compared to that 'barely moves' power button we were used to.

You might say that these should have all been implemented from the off but we didn't care, we loved the little black box.

HALO 2 INK

We're cheating a bit here, but we're sticking the Halo 2 reveal and the release date announcement (from E3 03 and 04 respectively) into one because we feel they complete a nice little bundle of memorable E3 excitement.

Remember the impact Halo: Combat Evolved had on Xbox gamers and you'll understand the amount of anticipation that surrounded the second coming of what would be Microsoft's most famous franchise.

Hence why there were whoops from the crowd at E3 2003 when Halo 2 first faded onto the big screen and further cheers for the inclusion of duel-wielding (us gamers ey? Doesn't take much).

Then, in 2004 the release date for the long awaited sequel was set in stone, or rather ink, on Peter Moore's arm. It was a low-budget spectacle but one that stands out in our mind and one that definitely got the crowd going.

The biggest contributor to the excitement of the masses was probably the coming of Halo 2, but we like to think there was a large section of tattoo enthusiasts mixed in there as well.

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PROJECT NATAL ANNOUNCED

Kinect is a device that really splits the gaming community. Is it a shallow cash-in on the casual market or an impressive bit of tech with bundles of potential for the hardcore?

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It's probably both, but either way you can't deny the significance of Project Natal's arrival on the Microsoft stage at E3 in 2009.

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