Microsoft E3 Expo 2012 Press Conference Comes up Light in the New Releases Department
Microsoft(CBS News)- Microsoft continued to push Kinect during its Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing, but instead of motion controls Microsoft focused on voice recognition and debuted a new system that plans to further the gaming and entertainment experiences. Demoing a wide-range of titles, Microsoft showed off myriad ways voice actions can enhance a gaming experience. After unveiling a new chapter in the Splinter Cell universe -- Splinter Cell Blacklist -- members of the development team revealed how Kinect would play a part in Ubisoft's upcoming title (scheduled for Spring 2013 release for Xbox 360, PS3, PC). Playing as returning protagonist Sam Fisher, the player called out to an enemy soldier, drawing his attention in order to eliminate the foe. Another sequence showed how a player can call in an airstrike with the use of his voice, eliminating the need for additional button presses. Microsoft then revealed how EA Sports is planning on implementing voice controls in its titles. FIFA 13, the next iteration of EA's award-winning soccer simulation, will allow players to make substitutions, call plays and even argue with referees all by voice. The game even detected the use of vulgarity toward the official, who promptly issued a yellow-card penalty. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana then took the stage to demo Kinect integration for Madden 13 (Aug. 28 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC). Montana shouted commands to specific players -- changing routes for individual receivers -- during his pre-snap adjustments and the players followed his orders, prompting the football great to say, "Brings back great memories." Microsoft also announced that Internet Explorer will be coming to the Xbox 360. Redesigned for the living room, Microsoft has tweaked the interface to be more compatible for the big screen. You can navigate between websites using your voice or swipe gestures or control your experiences using your phone or tablet. Microsoft then revealed a new program dubbed Xbox SmartGlass. This application, scheduled for release this holiday season, will allow players to use their smart-phones and tablets to enhance their gaming and entertainment experiences. Compatible with IOS, Android and Window phones and tablets, this application allows users to control what you're seeing on TV, explore the internet or start playing one of your favorite shows, songs or games on one device and then move it to your TV screen. SmartGlass also offers a deeper way to enjoy your entertainment. While watching a movie or show on your TV, the application will give you additional information about what you're watching -- location, trivia, etc. Then they showed how SmartGlass can affect gaming. While playing Madden, users can call plays using a tablet, which keeps the user in the action. Microsoft also showed an array of games. Its flagship title -- Halo -- is preparing to release a new iteration to its genre-defining franchise, Halo 4 (Nov. 6 on Xbox 360). The demo revealed improved textures and lighting effects, providing some evidence that 343 Studios is doing right by the franchise it took over from Bungie. Another Xbox exclusive made a brief appearance on stage. Gears of War: Judgment is a prequel to the Gears of War trilogy, taking place before the events of Emergence Day at the beginning of the first game. Judgment's story will focus on Damon Baird and Augustus Cole instead of the series' previous lead characters -- Dominic Santiago and Marcus Fenix and is scheduled to be released in Fall of 2013. Though the number of exclusive games was a little light, Microsoft showed that it's pushing Kinect and the newly announced SmartGlass in the right direction. By providing a deeper interaction with all the entertainment Xbox Live provides (music, movies, TV shows, games), it is planning to offer a unique experience that goes beyond gaming. It's this integration that might appeal to a broader audience who are focused on a wider array of entertainment while also satisfying a hard-core group who desire a deeper level of interaction within their games.
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