This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, was a bit of a letdown, with none of the rumored major announcements of next generation gaming consoles from Microsoft or Sony. Even Nintendo was a disappointment, despite the upcoming debut of their next generation console, the Wii U. The event ran from Monday, June 4 through Thursday, June 7, 2012 in and around downtown Los Angeles.
Monday was Press Day, with all of the major players holding their press conferences in large venues. As in years past, Microsoft held their event at the Galen Center, and kicked off this year’s Press Briefing by marking the return of Master Chief and his assistant, Cortana, in Halo 4, with an announced street date of November 6, 2012. The game demo had much of the same look and feel of previous entries in the series, but introduces some new non-biological enemies.
Don Mattrick, President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, announced that in 2012, XBOX became the number one selling game console worldwide, stressing that this year will be XBOX’s best year yet.
Next, we got a quick glimpse of Ubisoft’s latest entry in the Tom Clancy franchise,
Microsoft also announced new voice search features with Kinect (including multiple languages), and new content partners Machinima and Univision. ESPN will be expanding their coverage to 24/7, including content from all four of their major channels, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPN U.
Still trying to break into the music business, Microsoft announced XBOX Music, essentially a rebranding and relaunching of their Zune store, to be available on XBOX and Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and phones. More than 30 milliion music tracks are will be available.
Next up was the announcement of a partnership with Nike.
Marc Whitten of XBOX LIVE introduced XBOX Smart Glass, a downloadable app for iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone, Android devices, and Windows 8 tablets, that allows you to use your smart phone or tablet as a second screen controller for XBOX as well as seamless switching between screens when watching videos. In conjunction with Smart Glass, it was announced that Internet Explorer would be coming to XBOX, and you can use Smart Glass on your phone as your mouse or pointer, or voice commands using Kinect.
Crystal Dynamics introduced a new gameplay demo from their upcoming
Usher surprised the audience by bursting out on stage to perform one of the two routines he choreographed for the upcoming
Not to be outdone, the press briefing ended with a gameplay demo of Activision’s