04 Jun

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.”

One thought on “Microsoft E3 Conference: ‘South Park’, SmartGlass, and Sports”

  1. The conference was unimpressive. Halo was cool, but it felt like Metroid Prime. Gears is a prequel and won’t change anything. Then there was all the Kinect stuff and the Usher concert was bad. Xbox Glass was interesting, but that is not what E3 is about. E3 is about the games, and MS didn’t show the games.

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