Largely playing to audience expectations once again, Microsoft’s 2012 E3 Press Conference focused largely on the system’s expanding media license support and Kinect integration. Against trailers for Ascend: New Gods (from Toy Soldiers‘ Signal Studios) Fable: The Journey, Forza Horizon, Gears of War: Judgement, Lococycle (from Twisted Pixel) and the ethereal Matter, were introductions to brand integrations from the NBA and NHL , as well as Nike + training and a Kinect-savvy Internet Explorer 9.
Demonstrations were played for Halo 4 (which opened the show), Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (which closed it), as well as Tomb Raider and Resident Evil 6 (both with timed exclusive DLC down the road). FIFA ’13, Madden ’13, and the newly revealed – and apparently with 100% less Michael Ironside voice – Splinter Cell: Blacklist were also showcased, all supporting Kinect voice command integration for calling plays and initiating orders. Wreckateer, an Angry Birds-esque game of volleying projectiles to destroy enemy fortifications, also debuted as a Kinect exclusive.
The largest part of the media conference went to detailing new media partnerships (Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Machinima, Univision, 24/7 ESPN coverage) and additional 360 + Kinect infrastructure: including the Xbox Music browsing library and the Windows 8-compatible SmartGlass shared screen technology. The latter requires no proprietary devices, and reportedly allows for seamless content sharing between any compatible TV, smartphone, and tablet and the use of a second screen in real time.
Lastly, two major celebrity appearances dominated the after-show buzz (apologies to Madden ’13 and Joe Montana). Trey Parker and Matt Stone were on hand to follow up the debut trailer for Obsidian-developed South: The Stick of Truth with a bit of assurances as to the game’s use of the TV license, and Dance Central 3 was announced via live Usher performance of his new single “Scream.”