Microsoft opened their E3 2012 press conference where they left off last year, with Halo 4 first in a line of titles shown off in front of an audience at the University of Southern California’s Galen Centre.
Announcements for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Forza Horizon, Gears of War: Judgement and this year’s lineup of Kinect titles, including Nike+ Kinect Training followed.
Rumors were proved true with the unveiling of Xbox SmartGlass, a companion application for Windows 8, tablets and smartphones which Microsoft made a big play out of during their presentation.
SmartGlass is presented as a compliment to the Xbox 360′s multimedia capabilities, launching media like Apple’s AirPlay and displaying additional game details on a secondary screen akin to Nintendo’s WiiU. Shown on stage were HBO’s Game of Thrones and an accompanying interactive map of Westeros, showing the location of characters as the episode progresses. Halo 4′s SmartGlass support was also shown with Halo Waypoint displaying statistics and game fiction.Microsoft also announced Internet Explorer for Xbox 360, coming later this year, using SmartGlass to scroll, pinch and zoom. All of this is part of an extended effort to further expand the media lineup on the Xbox 360 with Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Machinima and Univision, bringing expanded connectivity to Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, iOS and Android.
The revealing of Xbox Smartglass is definitely an exciting look into the future, despite the lesser impact on Europe, which is without the likes of HBO GO.
Back with games, EA demoed it’s lineup of “better with Kinect” sports titles including Madden NFL 13 and FIFA 13, with the latter introducing voice commands towards players and referees. Kinect titles Nike+ Kinect Training and Just Dance aim to get you moving, with the former blending in with Nike’s mobile app. Lara Croft and Resident Evil 6 were both demonstrated live, with downloadable content coming first to Xbox 360.
Xbox Live Arcade titles were also announced, including Signal Studio’s Ascend: New Gods and Twisted Pixel’s LocoCycle and Wrekateer, a Kinect avatar title in the vein of Angry Birds.
Microsoft ended their press conference with an expected look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and the confirmation that yet more content will be coming first to Xbox 360.
The finish wasn’t as exciting as E3 2011, which saw the reveal of Halo 4, but Microsoft rounded off their presentation on a high. As expected, no new hardware, no big surprises but plenty of bankable games.