E3 2012: Microsoft E3 Press Conference Report Card
E3 has finally arrived, Microsoft kicked off the highly anticipated annual event with their press conference. For the first time in 2 years, Kinect was not the main focus of their conference.
Instead the company focused on games for the Xbox 360 core audience and revealed The Xbox Smart Glass. Was this enough to give Microsoft’s press conference a high grade?
Last year, Microsoft’s E3 conference was very low on (controller based) exclusives. Gears of War 3, Forza 4, and a CGI Halo 4 trailer were the only (controller based) exclusive games at the conference.
At E3 Halo 4 was finally revealed to the world, this was one of the better demos shown at the conference. It is reassuring to see that 343 is taking great care of Microsoft’s most important franchise. The demo shows how impressive the game will look. A setting along with new enemies is sure to keep the franchise fresh.
The highest rated racing franchise ever Forza, also made it to the conference. Although only a trailer and no live demo were shown at the conference, we know what to expect from Turn 10’s stellar franchise.
It’s always great to see Gears of War make it on Microsoft’s press conferences. The Gears of War franchise helped Microsoft become the juggernaut gaming company it is this generation. Gears of War Judgment was revealed to the world. As expected it is a prequel, an Epic trailer showed Baird in handcuffs and locust doing what they know best.
Ascend New Gods is a new IP Signal Studios is working on. This is the same company behind Toy Soldiers. The game is an action RPG. Little is known of the game, but hey it’s an exclusive.
Loco Cycle is Twisted Pixel’s 6th original game. A trailer was shown at the conference; what we know thus far is that, you play as a biker named I.R.I.S, who also happens to be an Assassin. Twisted Pixel has delivered amazing XBLA games before. As a 1st party developer now, there are high expectations for there first Triple A game.
All in all, the conference had more (controller based) exclusives than expected. It’s great to know that Microsoft is once again investing in new IPs. It would have been nicer to see these games played live at the conference.
Surprisingly Kinect was not the main focused of Microsoft’s E3 this year. That doesn’t mean the motion sensing device didn’t make an overall impact on the show however.
Splinter Cell: Black List was showcased for the first time ever at the conference. Sam Fisher has never looked more badass. The show stealer of the demo however, was when the man playing the live demo used Kinect’s enhanced voice recognition to call a man over and throw him off a ledge.
EA the company behind Madden NFL and Fifa 13 also showed how using the technology of Kinect personalizes the experience of the games played on Xbox 360.
Unfortunately Fable the Journey was not shown live at the E3 conference. What we got was a trailer with a kid using special effect powers and bits of gameplay on screen. This made me wonder why Microsoft chose not to have a live demo present at the conference.
Wrekateer is a Kinect game scheduled to come out as one the five XBLA games for Summer of Arcades. With it you can use your arms to throw boulders at castles and destroy them. Nothing new here, more of the same stuff we come to expect from Kinect motion games; if you like destroying stuff and you’re a fan of the Kinect motion games, then you might have a blast with this title.
Dance Central 3 was unsurprisingly announced and who better to announce the game than mega pop star Usher.
Another fitness program is headed to Kinect; this time Nike is giving a go at it. This was one of the low points of the conference. The way Nike presented it was very boring.
Microsoft also revealed that you can now speak to Kinect in multiple languages; this will allow the device to be more accessible to others you have in the family who don’t speak English.
This was probably the best we’ve seen Kinect at a Microsoft Press Conference.
- 3rd Party Games
Microsoft relies heavily on 3rd party games during their conferences. A huge chunk of they’re sales comes from these games.
Tomb Raider, Call of Duty, and Resident Evil 6 looked amazing on the Xbox 360. Even more impressive, all these games will release DLC on Xbox first.
Splinter Cell: Black List, Madden, and Fifa showed how you can play games differently only on Xbox 360.
Microsoft might not have as many exclusives as Sony, but they really try to make up for it with 3rd party exclusive content. In addition they are showing how more 3rd party publishers are jumping on Kinect.
Microsoft is still looking to make the Xbox 360 the ultimate entertainment machine. As usual the company never fails to announce new partnerships and media content headed to the console.
At the conference Microsoft announced that more than 35 new partnerships will be coming to the console within a year. 4 new partners were highlighted Nickelodeon, Paramount Movies, Machinima , and Univision. Here we have 4 impressive new partners for Microsoft’s already massive entertainment library. Each of these partners targets a different audience. Nickelodian for kids, Paramount for movie lovers, Machinima for core gamers, and Univision for Spanish speaking families.
At the conference Microsoft also announced that Internet Explorer is heading to the console. Finally owners who own an Xbox 360 can search the web.
Microsoft also managed to impress sports lovers with NBA and Hockey joining their soon to be upgraded ESPN channel.
Xbox Music is also coming to Xbox 360, this means that now there are about 3 or more music channels on the console. Need a song, Xbox 360 has it.
Microsoft never fails to bring great Media content to the Xbox 360 year-round.
Surprises are always great in any press conference, throughout the years Microsoft has had their fare shares of surprises at E3. This year there weren’t too many surprises at their conference but the ones that managed to surprise us weren’t bad at all.
Sure the celebrity appearences were fun. NFL hall of famer Joe Montana looked great and Usher had a great performance. But im’m more interestd in game related surprises. Which is why when Microsoft announced 3 new IPs (2 of which are controller based) they showed that they haven’t forgotten about exclusives.
In my opinion the Xbox Smart Glass segment was one of the highest points of Microsoft’s conference. With the Xbox Smart Glass app you can watch movies on the go. If you’re heading home and you’re not done watching the film, you have the option to resume the film on your Xbox 360. The app also connects with games you are currently playing. As you are playing Halo 4 you can activate Halo Way Point on your tablet or smart phones and check out cool stats and upgrades to further enhance your experience. The app comes with Windows 8 installed and is compatible with your TV, phone, PC, and Xbox 360.
The Surprises were cool, nothing like the surprise Microsoft had in 2009 when Kojima announced the Metal Gear Solid franchise was heading to Xbox 360 but, overall they were cool.
- Overall Grade Average
Overall This was one of Microsoft’s better conferences. Kinect didn’t take over, many exclusive games were revealed, and the Xbox Smart Glass app looked promising. Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference gets a
I just want them to finish the Too Human Trilogy!!! Love that game. And Mike It was very only Xbox, when you did an E3 review.
Michael, Xbox fanboy much? This is really unbalanced and you lose all credibility. Pretty much all SERIOUS E3 games critics have marked this down as one of Microsoft's worst E3, yet you almost give them full marks? "A's" all over the shop. Most of the game demos were third-party. The first-party stuff was tired reliance on old franchises. Hardly any new ip's (an Angry Birds and God of War clone). Then loads of time wasted on Smart Glass and casual BS, a blatant attempt to jump on Nintendo Wii U tablet. Also lol at you praising IE on Xbox. Seriously? The world's worst internet browser and you are excited?
A well written report card, the journalist defends his grade well in this article. Personally, I would have given them a B. I am not a big fan of their COD Black Ops 2 ending.