E3 is the event which all gamers avidly await for. It is the event where we get to see what the industry has planned for us in the coming time. Today’s festivities started off with Microsoft’s E3 Conference.
Xbox Lovers and haters alike wanted to see what Microsoft had in store for them.
This year Microsoft focused on games, and a better multimedia experience. There was no mentions of an upcoming sequel to the Xbox 360, but we do have some juicy news for you, but that is for another post.
Microsoft kicked of the conference with none other than its most famous franchise. You guessed it, Halo 4.
First, an introductory video was shown which got us into the feel of the game. Master Chief is back, and we predict he will be around for a long time. We thought that the video would be all we would be getting this E3, but Microsoft also showed off some actual game play. We control Master Chief, and get to fight off everything from standard “Halo-ey” life forms, to new creatures who warp upto you and perform melee attacks. New weapons are also introduced (as expected), and it should be noted that Master Chiefs visor is now visible along the perimeters of your display, giving the feeling that you are really controlling the character.
Later, Ubisoft was on stage to show off its new “Splinter Cell: Blacklist” It was what we expect from the series, with the twist of Kinect. You could sneak up on characters and perform a stealth kill, or you could call out, and by using Kinect’s Voice tracking technology, you would be able to distract your enemies.
Later Microsoft, along with EA began to talk about the upcoming Madden 13 and FIFA 13, which, as we expected, were enhanced by Kinect. You could call out for player changes and replacements with your voice, you could make penalty calls, and foul calls, and if correct, your call would be mimicked in the commentary. Pretty good Kinect implementation without being too “in the face”.
Microsoft also told that they would be adding NBA GameTime League Pass, as well as NHL GameCentre too Xbox Live.
Microsoft also showed off their new music subscription ans music streaming service, called Xbox Music. More on this later.
Later, Microsoft showed off something which we thought was pretty cool. They showed off their new “SmartGlass” technology.
The SmartGlass Technology is basically a way in which you can integrate your gaming, television, tablets and smartphones to create a unified experience. To make this clearer, imagine watching a movie on your tablet, pausing it, and when a TV is available, being able to watch it from where you left off. Another cool implementation of this technology is as follows. Imagine watching a football game on your television, and through the SmartGlass Technology, being able to check out additional stats and team strategies on your tablet. This technology has great future.
Micosoft also showed off the latest iterations of its two popular franchises, Forza and Gears of War. Forza Horizon is the latest addition to the series, and will feature, for the first time, off-road racing. A new version of Gears of War was also demoed.
An enhanced Bing Voice Search, and addition of Internet Explorer (finally) was also seen to the Xbox Dashboard.
Usher performed a short dance routine at the show, which eventually lead to some new moves which could be performed in Dance Central 3.
A “Nike Plus Kinect Training” game was also shown, which if propaganda is to be believed, will be able to monitor your fitness, and help you remain in shape. Not something which we think is impossible, but when it comes to Kinect, its better tried than only seen.
A South Park Game was also shown off, along with Resident Evil 6. They both looked good, but we noticed some lag in the Resident Evil 6 gameplay. This will probably be rectified by the time the game is out. Fable: The Journey was also shown, and will be released in 2013.
Our favourite female videogame character, Lara Croft is back , in Tomb Raider, which was also shown off at the conference. The Game looked interesting, but we do not want to further comment until we get to check it out ourselves.
Microsoft ended the conference with a BAM, by showing Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The game is more futuristic than what we have seen in previous Call of Duty games, with drones buzzing around the city, looking like a war zone. Visually, the game looked quite striking. The backdrop was a departure from the standard Call of Duty style. The game had deeper focus on strategy this time around instead of just in-your-face shooting.
With this game, Microsoft’s Conference ended.
All in all, we thought that the Microsoft Conference was okay, but could have been much better. No new IPs were shown, and we are yet to see a game for Kinect which makes us go WOW. No new hardware was shown, or even mentioned of. But, for what it was, we enjoyed the conference. Now its time to see what the competition has in store for us.
What are your views about Microsoft’s E3 conference? Was it good enough for you guys, or do you think it could have been better? Leave your comments in the comment section below.