The Microsoft presentation was all about the Xbox and its Media Center capabilities. There were many games shown throughout the Keynote, both in game play form and through trailers. Throughout the presentation, the abilities of the Kinect were highlighted, making it a true Microsoft presentation. The Keynote was not all about gaming, Microsoft also debuted Smart Glass, a feature that will synchronize all of a person’s mobile devices. There were three games that excited me based on game play footage, I was also excited by a partnership that was announced.
There were a lot of games that showed game play footage. Halo 4, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Fifa 13, Madden NFL 13, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil 6, Wreckateer, Dance Central 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 all showed game play. The only game that is not new to gamers would be Wreckateer, it is a new title that uses the Kinect. Halo 4, Splinter Cell, and Call of Duty looked so good and are the ones that have my hopes the highest. Halo 4 showed off new weapons and enemies, during the demonstration, Kortana also alluded to forerunners being a factor in the game. Splinter Cell: Blacklist looks to be more fast paced then previous games in the franchise, but it looks like the Splinter Cell franchise is back. Call of Duty: Black ops 2 looks like it is promising advanced weapons, as well as an intriguing story line.
The trailers that were shown at the Keynote, all had sufficient impact as to make almost any person curious. Halo 4 had a trailer to go along with the game play that they showed off. Other games that Microsoft showed were; Fable: The Journey, Gears of War: Judgment, Forza Horizon, Ascend: New Gods, LocoCycle, Matter, and for flavor South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Microsoft as usual put a lot of emphisis on the Kinect, they used its voice recognition capabilities throughout the entire presentation. Fifa 13 and Madden NFL 13 both allow the player to make adjustments on the fly without having to open a menu and slowing down the play of the game. I think this shows that more games that don’t necessarily need the kinect to be good games, will be integrating it to make the games great.
The other big thing relating to Kinect that Microsoft announced was the partnership with Nike. The Nike+ system is being introduced to the Xbox and this will allow people to compete with other people both at home on their Xbox, and when training outdoors. This partnership gives me some hope that there will be a high level training “game” coming to consoles.
The largest announcement of the presentation was that of Smart Glass. Smart Glass is a function that synchronizes all mobile devices, tablets and smart phones, with your Xbox. The example that was showed at the presentation was a movie, it started on a tablet, and then the presenter paused the tablet, went to the Xbox, unpaused the movie, and it resumed as if nothing had happened. The Smart Glass function also allows gamers to use their smart phones and tablets while playing games. Gamers can now get information relating to the part of the game they are, or get invites from friends, and from the smart phone accept the invite. This is all part of the push to make the Xbox a media center that everyone can use. Along with Smart Glass, Microsoft showed off the many features non gamers would use. Hulu, Netflix, and the Zune Market place, along with being able to watch the ESPN family of channels are some of the things that non gamers would use the Xbox for.
I was encouraged very much by what Microsoft showed at their E3 presentation. The games looked crisp and I am intrigued by all of the trailers that were shown. Since Microsoft emphasized the Xbox as a media center, means that non gamers can get into the system. I was not disappointed at all by the presentations; I am looking forward to this upcoming year and what it has to offer.