E3 2012: Microsoft’s Press Conference – The Rundown

Microsoft took to the Galen Center for their annual E3 press conference, beginning on Spike TV where the Summer of Arcade became neglected, pushed to pre-show. There, announced titles included Hybrid, Deadlight, Wreckateer, Tony Hawk, and Dust: An Elysian Tale

The live show begins with a Halo 4 live action trailer, followed with a live gameplay demo. New enemies will clearly change the gameplay pace. Don Mattrick follows with announcement about broadening entertainment options, plus more games.

Splinter Cell Blacklist takes a modern, familiar twist. Action has great fluidity and motion, certainly more so than the series has seen before, with some elements of Assassin’s Creed, shipping in Spring of 2013.

Andrew Wilson takes the stage; he’s the head of EA Sports. Substitutions and plays in FIFA will be changed via voice control with Kinect. Madden 13 will let you make play calls and audibles on the line in the same manner.

Fable follows with a darker Albion, all controlled with Kinect. Looks like a light gun shooter. The head of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer follows on stage. He introduces the latest Gears of War, Judgement, with a date of 2013 attached. This is followed by the latest Forza subtitled Horizon which was previously announced, showcasing some hearty crashes, all due in October of this year.

We’re moving onto entertainment. There’s a demo of Bing Search with access to multiple providers. Bing Search is now becoming available in other languages. There are 35 new entertainment services coming, including Nickelodeon, Paramount movies, Machinima, and Univision. Their sports portfolio is expanding with NBA support, including league pass. NHL is coming too. Watch ESPN will offer 24/7 content, including stuff from four different networks. A promo video highlights social features and Monday Night Football, which seems to be the extent of the NFL offerings.

Xbox Music is coming to PCs, tablets, and phones. This is successor/replacement to Zune, if not officially. Then, it’s back to Kinect with the “future of fitness.” Stephan Orlando, VP of Nike, takes the stage. Kinect Training is a way to get fit with Kinect, followed by a trailer of various features.

Microsoft Smart Glass is up next, a feature which involves cross-platform use across tablets, TVs, PCs, and phones. TV shows can have apps that follow, say, Game of Thrones that pinpoints locations in the show as your watching. Play calling is possible in Madden on your tablet, to connect with the main game. Invites for online play can be completed through the Glass service. Internet Explorer will be coming to the 360 this year, with -of course- Kinect functionality. IE can be controlled with SmartGlass for mouse-like control. It will launch this fall.

Two Crystal Dynamic design leads are out to discuss Tomb Raider. A live gameplay demo showcases a later level in the game. Platforming elements look smooth, and Lara continues to make mistakes, making her fallible. The first DLC will be exclusive to 360.

Phil Spencer returns. He’s debuting three exclusive titles, world premieres. Ascend: New Gods is up first from Signal Studios. Super gory gameplay in this action hack/slash title. LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel is only a teaser. A title by director Gore Verbinski follows, called Matter, meant for Kinect in 2013. It appears as a puzzle game, but the trailer is not specfic.

Capcom heads to the stage. Resident Evil 6 demo is now being featured. Production values are massive. Alex Ruiz from the Xbox Live team comes out to what will surely be a meme-worthly presentation. She’s debuting Wreckateer. Looks like 3D Angry Birds. As stated in pre-show, it comes in 2013.

Up next is the South Park: Stick of Truth game. Customization brings in a kid of your choosing to the fold. Matt Parker and Trey Stone take over the stage to riff on SmartGlass tech, and discuss design.

Harmonix is up next with Dance Central 3. This is the Grammy artist teased: Usher. After a brief concert, Don Mattrick takes the stage to announce Call of Duty: Black Ops II, with exclusive 360 content. Gameplay example closes the show. Fade to black, or an Xbox 360 logo actually.