Places To Do – Xbox 360 Central: Toronto
When Victoria told me about the location of the Disney event that she went to last week, I had to see this for myself. Nestled in amongst the shops at 330 Queen Street, Toronto, about a block away from the Silver Snail (a phenomenal haunt for the comic aficionado), was a little nook emblazoned with the Xbox 360 logo. Microsoft had set up shop with some of the latest titles available, and a few that weren’t, for the public to feast upon and try out.
As you walked in, you were immediately greeted by cheerful workers behind the counter who were ready to assist you with any of the games on display. Beside them was a small area that had some chips, soft drinks and popcorn to sate a gamer’s appetite while they were playing. To the left was a DJ spinning tunes with a sign proudly displaying, “Today’s beats provided by Zune Pass”.
Among the titles were the recently released Dance Central 2 and Kinect Sports: Season 2. Kinect Sports was taking center stage, as the organizers were running a daily tournament for players to get a chance to win a copy of this new title. Visitors were also treated to the upcoming Disneyland Adventures for Kinect as well as Star Wars Kinect; however, fear not core gamers! Forza Motorsport 4 was also available to play (with a controller or without) along with EA Sports’ FIFA 12. For our more mature gamers, a back area of private booths had Gears of War 3 available to play on stereoscopic 3D televisions by LG, with sound provided by Turtle Beach headphones.
There was another area in the far back with couches and two large LED TVs featuring movies being streamed from Xbox Live’s Zune Movie service. This was presumably to show off to parents and non-gamers that the Xbox 360 was more of a home entertainment device rather than just a videogame console. Microsoft’s people did a fantastic job of giving this area a personal touch with wood paneling, shelves that were adorned with items from Collector’s Edition games such as the Master Chief’s helmet and the little remote controlled car from CoD. There was even a goldfish in a bowl, which seemed to happily greet passers-by who stopped to take notice.
This isn’t a permanent home for Microsoft to display their Xbox wares, but it will be around for a while. I talked to the manager who informed me that they’ll be in the building until March 2012. Entry is free and open to the public. As an added bonus, the coordinators are planning future tournaments to be held at this location. Most notably, they will be having a Modern Warfare 3 tournament on November 7th to coincide with the game’s release at Midnight on November 8th.
If you’re in the area and can’t wait to see what Microsoft has brewing for the holidays, I highly recommend taking the side trip to check this place out. In the meantime, feel free to take a look around in the photostream below.
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