Walking to the subway after work last night 10pm, I noticed the Xbox logo flashing on the Samsung screen in Time square, and I stood waiting for the loop to repeat to find out why Samsung was pushing the xbox. (Although Samsung is Sony's other big rival, so enemy of my enemy....) Duh- the Xbox360 special had just aired. Good thing I set it to record. Well sort of.
Watched the special, and it was even more content lite then usual. Obviously MS threw this together pretty late, to outmaneuver Sony crowding their Keynote. Interestingly the photo smuggled out of the taping of the even told me more then the show did. well, I guess they want to keep the real content for E3, and this was just a 'teaser trailer'. Still, I think that they could have either shown better how people would be playing the game, or gotten more into the nuts and bolts of the system- what they showed felt like the left over bits that didn't make it into the E3 presentation.
Like by having that rap guy 'nab' a prototype from the lab, and then show up at his mates 'crib' and they have a grand time playing before hearing the sirens after him... i.e. demonstrate how you can walk into your friends house where he has a huge nice HD TV and a lame game machine hooked up to it, and blow everyone away wiht the 360 you whip out of your bag. That would resonate with the audiance they are after I think.
So a couple of thoughts. no mention was made of backwards compatibility, which is not surprising. I can't imagine that they are even able to do that with the new machine, what with the new GPU. But I think it matters less then Sony will say it does. No one is going to be throwing their old Xbox out to make room for the new Xbox. It would be cool if that concave shape of the new machine matched the curve of the top of the old Xbox, so your could smoothly stack them. (of course the Xbox 3 would have to have a convex side to fit onto of the 360... Maybe they should just make them snap together like legos instead...)
Until they announce some games, the swappable faceplate is the interesting part for me at this point. It is something I have been interested in for a while. I will be curious to see if there are a lot of 3rd Party faceplates being made. I wonder if next year at Comicon people will be bringing a faceplate and sharpies to their fav artist to work on. Honda took the same approach with their Zoomer bikes, to very cool results. You get the 'naked' scooter, and then are able to add and customize the panels yourself, without needing a crazy machine shop.