i thought MS's conference was decent. you can disagree with the the content, but the presentation was done well. they cut out the horseshit, moved it along pretty quickly, and showed stuff then moved on to the next thing.
correct me if im wrong, but my thoughts on thsi is that this is microsoft's conference, and not a platform for 3rd parties. sure they can show some stuff from 3rd parties, but this is about what microsoft is bringing to the table.
If they truly cut out the horseshit, there would have been no Usher performance. And you're right that their thing shouldn't be about third parties, which is why I can't stand when they show off COD every. single. year. like it's exclusive to them. I guess those stupid map packs are.
MS conference was weak. The Kinect stuff you mention is cool, but they've been talking this shit up for years. Again, you comment on the stuff with HBOGo, but this is what MS has been doing for the last few years. No one cares because they've covered this ground already for two years in a row. Also, Kinect games took a back seat... which is good and bad. Good because that shit sucks, bad because it was successful and now there aint shit for it game wise.
So far both this conference and EA's conference are showing that the industry is about to hit its transitional phase. No one is showing anything truly unique because no one is going to launch unique shit at the tail end of a console generation. This is a year of just getting shit out the door to sustain the consoles while they toil away on the new ones.