E3 2012: Microsoft Press Conference Wrap-Up
Microsoft came in this year’s E3 with very few new things under its belt: Halo 4, Forza: Horizon, Fable: The Journey, as well as a bunch of rumours about a new Touch interface as well as a new Gears of War game. Here is what Microsoft really had in stores for their pre-E3 press conference.
The presentation began with a live demo of Halo 4’s campaign. First starting with a live-action intro (a first for the franchise), this demo showed the game’s beautiful-looking graphics and gameplay which look like more Halo for the fans. We were also shown new weapons (including the Light Rifle) and moves that the players will have at their disposal when the game launches on November 12th.
Then, the first gameplay demonstration of the new Splinter Cell: Blacklist was shown. The action took place in an Irak-looking setting and in broad daylight. We saw the return of the Execute system which looks even more powerful than it was in Splinter Cell: Conviction. The game will also make use of the Kinect voice command feature, enabling players to distract guards by yelling at them (feature that was included in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory with regular microphones, by the way). The game will be released in Spring 2013.
EA Sports games were then presented. It was confirmed that both Madden 13 and FIFA 13 will make use of the Kinect voice command feature, allowing players to make play changes on-the-fly without interrupting gameplay. Madden’s voice command support looks specifically good, allowing you to call plays like a real quarterback does.
Multiple trailers were then shown for multiple games: Fable: The Journey, Gears of War: Judgement (launching next year), and Forza: Horizon (launching on October 23rd).
The press conference then moved on Xbox Entertainment. It was confirmed that several new languages would be added to work with Xbox’s Bing Search function. Multiple new Apps were also confirmed for the Xbox 360, including NBA, NHL CenterIce, TwitchTV, Machinima, and many others. Xbox Music was also unveiled, which acts as a sort of iTunes service for Windows LIVE users (and will work on the Xbox 360). The new Nike+ Kinect Training App will also hit the Xbox 360 later this year during the 2012 Holiday season.
Previously rumoured this week, Microsoft announced Xbox SmartGlass. This new feature for the Xbox 360 will allow gamers to control applications and even games with the use of their Windows Phones, iOS and Android devices. This goes from creating specific running routes in a football game to accepting game invites in Halo 4 without bringing a menu on your TV. To accommodate this new feature, it was also announced that the Xbox Dashboard would get a slight redesign this Fall, working with regular controllers, Kinect sensors and touch devices. Better late than never, Microsoft also announced that Internet Explorer would make its way to Xbox 360 and that touch devices can be used to control it.
Eidos then jumped on stage to show some gameplay for the new Tomb Raider. Using a bow very precisely, Lara Croft was taking down multiple enemies and moving through rough terrain, taking quite a beating from Mother Nature along the way. The game is launching next year and the first DLC will be time-exclusive for the Xbox 360.
A few other trailers were then shown for a small batch of games: Ascend: New Gods from the makers of Toy Soldiers (coming in 2013), LucoCycle from the people over at Twisted Pixels (The Maw, Splosion Man, The Gunstringer), and Matter, a game made for Kinect coming in 2013.
It was then Capcom’s turn with a live demo of the new Resident Evil 6. We were shown a bit of the Leon Kennedy/Claire Redfield Coop campaign. We witnessed the return of the brain-dead zombies as well as new moves such as tactical door-opening, diving and new types of Quick-Time Events. The game will release on October 2nd and a demo will be available about a month prior to release.
Then there was another small round of a few games reveals. First, a kind of Angry Birds looking game working with Kinect body controls called Wrecketeer, in which players must destroy castles by shooting cannon balls with a catapult. This game will be launching on Xbox LIVE this summer. Matt Stone and Trey Parker then jumped on stage for a quick showing of the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth RPG game being developed by Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas). Usher also danced a bit as Harmonix’s Dance Central 3 was revealed.
Don Mattrick finally ended the press conference by bringing Treyarch on stage to show some single player footage of Black Ops II. Set in a more or less near future, the game looks like pretty much everything you would expect from the Call of Duty franchise but with this new time era twist. The game will launch on November 13th.
That’s it! Stay tuned to That Gamer Hub for more of our E3 coverage this week!