E3 2012: Microsoft Conference Liveblog

June 4, 2012

2.29: And we are just about ready to go!

2.30: And we have a live-action trailer… It appears to be for Halo. The CG trailer looks very similar to BattleStar Galactica. Master Chief and Cortana are back. We see our first in-game footage of Halo 4. It looks stunning! Master Chief is trekking through the jungle…The Covenant are back. Chief fires on some Grunts, with Cortana speaking into his ear. Chief is attacked by some new AI creatures, unlike anything we have ever seen. Chief gets a new enemy weapon, firing orange plasma. Chief is grabbed by some robot type of enemy. Are we seeing the Forerunners?

2.36: Don Mattrick from Xbox takes the stage. He says the Xbox is now the best-selling console worldwide.

2.40: We now take a look at our next trailer. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is official. We start playing as Sam Fisher. Mark and execute is back, with Sam back in classic Splinter Cell garb. The classic headset also makes a comeback. Michael Ironside is not currently the voice of Sam. Let’s hops that changes. Sam is the leader of ‘Fourth Echelon’. Voice commands play into the game. Looks to combine classic stealth gameplay and traditional cover shooting. Sam can peek under doors again. Spies vs Mercs is back. Shipping Spring 2013 in the US.

2.48: Time for EA Sports. New FIFA and Madden are being demoed. Kinect voice commands feature in the latest iterations.

2.52: Now Fable: The Journey joins the party. We see a very short trailer. Phil Spencer from Xbox takes the stage. We have a trailer for Gears of War: Judgement … a very short trailer. The game is being developed by People Can Fly and Epic, and is set 14 years before the first Gears. Baird is the focus, and we shall see Kilo Squad.

2.56: Now we have a trailer for the latest Forza. We see open road and night time racing. Forza: Horizon will be out October 23.

2.59: We see the latest Bing features. We shall be able to search for movies by genre. New languages are also coming to Xbox. New movie services are coming to Xbox Live, including Nickelodeon, Paramount and Machinima. NHL and NBA will be available on Xbox Live. Plenty of popular US sports are being shown. Not that relevant to us in Australia.

3.05: Microsoft is launching Xbox Music, coming to tablets, Windows PCs are Xbox. They say ‘your music, your way’. More like Microsoft’s answer to iTunes.

3.07: And Nike is somehow coming to Xbox 360… mega stuff, right here!

3.09: Nike+ Kinect Training is coming to Xbox. It somehow assesses and provides fitness feedback.

3.12: Marc Whitten from Xbox Live takes the stage. He discusses smartphone integration into your entertainment. He announces ‘Xbox SmartGlass’. For example, you will be able to watch a movie on your TV and then keep watching it on your tablet. SmartGlass will provide information on your favourite television shows and movies.

3.16: The service can also be integrated into games like Madden and Halo. It can provide information on tactics or weapons, for example.

3.18: The internet is being launched on Xbox 360. With a combination of SmartGlass and Kinect, Internet Explorer is coming to Xbox this US Winter.

3.22: Time for some Tomb Raider! Lara equips a box and arrow, and hides behind destructible cover. Lara ignites arrows to set fire to enemies’ cover. A shotgun also makes short work of her enemies. Lara uses a parachute to save herself as she is thrown over a waterfall.

The first Tomb Raider DLC will be available first on Xbox Live.

3.28: Three new games are being premiered. The first is Ascend: New Gods, from the makers of Toy Soldiers. Looks like a combo of a brawler and Skyrim. It is coming 2013. Wait, looks like Shadow of the Colossus. Or God of War.

3.30: Now we have LocoCycle from Twisted Pixel. Looks like a motorbike game.

3.31: Viewing a game for Kinect, called Matter, coming in 2013. We see a sphere journeying through Portal-like environments.

3.32: Resident Evil 6 is being demoed. Leon is fighting zombies and escaping a helicopter shooting at him. Gameplay looks very similar to Resident Evil 5. Quicktime events are used to fend off zombies that grab you. Leon is getting beat up pretty bad.

DLC is first on Xbox Live.

3.39: Time for the Kinect Games. The first is called Wrecketeer. Involves launching cannons or something.

3.40: Now we see the new South Park game, with a trailer borrowing elements from Lord of the Rings. Titled the Stick of Truth, the developers want players to feel they are in an episode of South Park. Matt Stone and Trey Parker take the stage. They joke that you will not be able to play the game from your phone while hooked into your oven while plugged into your fridge. Players are cast as the ‘fifth’ South Park character.

3.45: Usher is on stage showing off Dance Central 3. Harmonix is again on development duties.

3.49: The audience seems very happy … or not.

3.50: Time for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Highlight of the conference. We see the player protecting the US President. The game features divergent gameplay – the player can take one of two paths; rappelling or providing cover fire. The player then takes to the sky in a jet to cover the President’s convoy.

DLC is first on Xbox Live.

4.03: And that’s a wrap!