[Image via cdn1.gamepro.com]
Lots of stuff was announced, revealed, or teased at E3 2011 this year. I've been talking about it with various people throughout the last 10 days, but to me, the biggest piece of news wasn't Halo 4, the PlayStation Vita, or even Nintendo's Wii U controller. In all the gaming press, the one game changer that no one's talking about is the UFC on Xbox Live.
Whatever you think of Dana White and his tight-fisted influence over MMA media, you can't argue against his results in getting UFC events and pay-per-views in as many houses as possible.
With UFC on Xbox Live, I think that Microsoft has garnered one piece of a crucial partnership that will put their online service miles ahead of the PlayStation Network — as well as other entertainment companies. If Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu put cable and network television on their deathbeds, streaming those services through Xbox 360 and PS3 is practically hacking apart the life support cables. Earlier today, I highlighted this opinion over at GamePro:
Not only is this exclusive contract a huge coup for Microsoft, but this is the UFC's first major opportunity to change how MMA (mixed martial arts) fans watch fights, along with cashing in on the vast crowd of UFC Undisputed gamers. Xbox Live's interface helps the UFC combine leaderboards, fight predictions, and PPV broadcasts into one streamlined package, and that's an enticing list of features. Perhaps the only thing that would make this better is the implementation of UFC TV's multi-angle camera features into the various menu options.
Emphasis, naturally, mine.
Personally, I can't wait until winter. Sure, I'll always want to hit up a bar now and then for the heated ambiance, but watching UFC on Xbox Live sounds too simple and innovative to be true. Cable remains dead to me.
[McKinley Noble is a staff editor at GamePro and an MMA conspiracy theorist. Follow his Twitter account for crazy talk, 1990s movie references, and general weirdness. Or you could just stalk him on Google.]