E3 2012 Microsoft keynote wrapup

first_imgMicrosoft kicked off this year’s E3 keynotes this morning, and although they didn’t drop so much as a hint about their next console, they announced a number of new titles and future enhancements to the Xbox 360. Here is our lighting-quick, TL;DR version of the lengthy press conference…Most notable among the game reveals were new entries into the Halo and Gears of War franchises, both synonymous with the 360 platform, as well as Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Forza Horizon, and Ascend: New Gods.Microsoft continued to push hard on their Kinect peripheral during the keynote, both as a motion control solution and a voice input device. Improved Bing voice search is coming to 12 different countries in 6 languages later this year, and will let users search movies and television episodes by genre across all the installed media apps. Voice control will also be a part of Madden 13, where players call audibles, choose plays, hike the ball, and call out individual players, as well as FIFA 13, for making substitutions and formation changes.The company also announced Xbox SmartGlass, a technology for connecting smartphones and tablets to the console for a variety of purposes — drawing plays in Madden, viewing stats and waypoints in Halo, and viewing extra information on a Game of Thrones episode, for example. Fortunately, the SmartGlass functionality won’t be limited to Microsoft platforms, as the company plans to support iOS and Android devices as well.The company showed off various ways that a connected touchscreen device could be used for game interaction, juggling video between the big and small screens, and navigating around Internet Explorer 10 — that’s right, Microsoft’s browser is coming to the 360.As rumored, the press conference also included the debut of the Xbox Music service on Microsoft’s console, which will also be coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phones. Though Microsoft had no new hardware to show off this time around, Xbox SmartGlass is a pretty intriguing answer to the 2-screen tech Nintendo talked about in their pre-E3 video last night.last_img

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