The Electronic Entertainment Expo is finally here and Microsoft is the company to start the first press conference of day one. Unlike E3 2011, this year we didn’t start this conference with a lot of rumors that began spreading a few minutes it started. Nevertheless, expect a lot of DLC to be released first on the Xbox 360. These are all the announcements that took place at the Microsoft Press conference:
Halo 4: The presentation began with a live-action trailer of Halo 4. Then, actual gameplay was shown. We could see Master Chief (and his faithful companion Cortana) going through a jungle and fighting some unknown enemies. We get a glimpse of some new weapons. The video finishes with the phrase: “An ancient evil awakens.”
The president of interactive entertainment stated that the Xbox 360 went on to become the number one selling console worldwide this year. He then promises that from now on the 360 will offer better entertainment.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist: Ubisoft presented a new entry in the popular series. The demo took place in Iraq and the main protagonist is still Sam Fisher. Time slows down at specific moments (a bullet time of sorts) and Sam is now able to quickly move through the environment. Kinect voice recognition may be used to distract nearby enemies. Some multiplayer modes were mentioned, including competitive, cooperative and “Spy vs. Mercs.”
EA Sports (Madden 13 and FIFA 13): Both games will use Kinect. For FIFA 13 players will be able to change formations on the fly without entering cumbersome menues. Commands can also be provided to attack or defend. The game will be available this fall. Madden 13 was presented by football legend Joe Montana. When asked what he thought about the game Montana said: “This is actually pretty sweet.” The game is coming on August 28.
Fable: The Journey: A new trailer was shown. This new iteration of Fable will be available on Holiday 2012.
Head of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer went on to present two upcoming games: Gears of War: Judgment and Forza Horizon (available October 23, 2012.)
From an entertainment standpoint there have been multiple announcements that are coming this fall. Kinect will allow users to search movies by genre, making it easier to find and watch films. Various providers that are coming to the service were announced, including Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Machinima (someone in the audience was really excited about this) and Televisa. In addition, the NBA and NHL are coming to Xbox 360 along with ESPN (ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U.) The ESPN programming will be available live and in HD. A new music service (which was one of the rumors for the past few weeks) was also announced. This music service is called Xbox Music (quite original name by the way.)
Nike + Kinect Training: New game as part of the partnership between Microsoft and Nike. Described as the “future of fitness,” this is basically a game that will allow players to see how well they are performing against their friends and athletes at the same time they stay fit. The title is coming Holiday 2012.
Xbox SmartGlass: This is a new project that will allow Xbox users to connect their consoles to other Windows, Windows phone, iOS and Android devices. The first example shown was resuming on an Xbox, a movie that someone started watching on a phone. Furthermore, some games will make use of SmartGlass such as Madden (to plan strategies) and Halo 4 (to prepare a multiplayer match.) Smartphones can be also used as TV remotes.
Internet Explorer is coming to the Xbox 360 which is actually not that great, especially taking into account that nobody uses IE anymore. For web browsing, the smartphone can be used to scroll content, pinch, zoom and so on. Xbox SmartGlass is launching this fall and will apparently change the way in which some people experience web browsing, watch films, play games and listen to music.
Tomb Raider: Crystal Dynamics presented a new dramatic demo in the upcoming action-packed title. The demo looked spectacular and it has been confirmed that the first piece of DLC will be available first on the Xbox 360.
Three exclusive titles were announced: Signal Studios (creators of Toy Soldiers) presented Ascend: New Gods, Twisted Pixel presented LocoCycle (coming 2013) and a Kinect-only title called Matter (also coming on 2013) was presented.
Resident Evil 6: A demo where Leon kills zombies was shown. There were some quick time events. The first piece of downloadable content will be available first on the Xbox 360.
Wreckateer: An upcoming XBLA game in which you shoot projectiles using your body (the game was designed for Kinect) to destroy nearby castles. Maybe this description seems to complex, let me paraphrase it: it’s Angry Birds on Kinect. The game will be part of the Summer of Arcade initiative.
South Park: The Stick of Truth: The spirit and look of the series seems to have been captured in the trailer that was shown. Then, the creators of South Park went onstage and explained what the title is going to be about. Obsidian is developing The Stick of Truth.
Dance Central 3: Yep, Harmonix is totally going to release a new Dance Central. Some of the choreographies were apparently created by Usher. The popular artist performed live and told the press to get up. I don’t think anybody got up… As usual with most of the games shown at this press conference, DLC will launch first on the Xbox 360 of the game.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Everybody knew this was going to be the last game Microsoft was going to show at their press conference. The game is coming out in 11-13-12.
And that was Microsoft’s Press conference. Be sure to stay tuned for more articles about upcoming press conferences.