Minecraft on 360 with Kinect integration
Easily the biggest surprise of the Conference. The little indie game that could, and then did, is headed to the living room. It's a game that could work really well with Kinect and means that creator Notch is about to get even more stupidly rich. The big hat-wearing genius that he is.
On-rails hand-waving frivolity
Yes, the young (and perhaps the weak of mind) will enjoy them - but from a hardcore perspective it was hard to imagine us stomping around our living rooms playing either Fable Journey or Kinect Star Wars. It's like the FMV on-rails PC games of the late nineties have come back with a vengeance.
All this said, we will be big enough to admit that it's nice to see Molyneux return to the physical spell-casting concept he first explored with mouse-waving in Black & White. We'd also be awful fibbers if we said that Ryse, formerly Codename: Kingdoms, didn't make us want to throw knives in Roman faces.
Aquatic derring-do with Gears 3 and Modern Warfare 3
Neither stole the show, but together the gigantic yellow mouth of the infected sea beast biting chunks out of Marcus Fenix's boat and the Frost/Sandman boat chase while a nuclear stockpile fired off from a submarine floating next to Manhattan island were suitably epic. It can't go unmentioned, either, that the moment Creative Strategist Robert Bowling's 360 pad ran out of batteries was priceless...
American Child Actors
Children are the future, of course, and they can have their own games. That's fine. The Disneyland game probably doesn't make those under ten want to retch, perhaps not even stab out their own eyes with the box it came in. What children, real children, would certainly not do is spout inane marketing-thought platitudes as they play. "We were so close!" "Get those coins!" "Fistbump!" "Get that big one!" God, give us strength. What's more - it's not just the kids. The guys playing American Football on Kinect Sports Season Two caused us to die inside a little. Usually the phrase "Boo 22! Hit me! Hit me!" is reserved for entirely different party games.
Okay, we'll drop the cynicism a notch. Funlabs Avatar creation, scanning facilities and finger tracking looked engaging - and surprisingly are free to use as of now. Originally we wrote 'Ginger tracking' in our notes though, and we can't help but feel that this could be the next service to society that Kinect provides.
Some words should never be used in conjunction ever again
They are as follows: "Visceral combat experience", "Valuable life lessons through the power of Kinect" and "Fistbump!"