Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Microsoft announced new game titles from blockbuster franchises like Halo and Gears of War 3, and unveiled a flood of new Kinect games and entertainment experiences.
The company also introduced voice search with Bing on Xbox and Kinect that will enable people to use their voice to tell their Xbox what entertainment content they are looking for, which will give them faster access to the ever-expanding universe of entertainment available right in their living room.
“Last year, Xbox 360 changed the game with Kinect (see our review of the Kinect here). This year with the power of Xbox, the simplicity of Kinect and the intelligence of Bing, Xbox 360 will change living room entertainment forever,” says Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business. “Combine all that we offer with great partners and a growing audience, and Xbox is poised to register another record year. This year Xbox 360 will go from being the number one selling console in North America to the number one selling console globally.”
At last year’s E3, Microsoft introduced the world to Kinect, which went on to become the fastest-selling electronic device in history. Though Microsoft doesn’t have a singular star like last year’s Kinect to showcase at E3, the so-called Super Bowl of the electronic entertainment industry, Molly O’Donnell, Xbox 360 director of marketing integration, says the company will show competitors, the media and fans that Xbox 360 “has a deep bench.”
“It’s not just winning the Super Bowl,” O’Donnell says. “A great team looks to the future and builds franchises, not just one-hit wonders. We’re going showcase the fun that Xbox 360 is delivering thisholiday and paint a vision of what the future will look like.
Microsoft today announced several new titles on Xbox 360, including new installments of: “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” “Gears of War,” “Forza Motorsport,” and “Fable: The Journey,” a new extension of the Fable franchise that will take advantage of Kinect technology. Today’s E3 keynote also included world-premiere trailers for the next Halo games and for a new Kinect-powered historical Roman epic called “Ryse,” created by developer Crytek.
Fans got glimpses of two new games from perhaps the most beloved Xbox 360 game franchise, Halo, O’Donnell says. In addition to celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Xbox console with the release of a re-mastered version of “Halo Combat Evolved,” Microsoft announced that fans can expect to see Halo 4 in holiday 2012.
Microsoft also announced the next wave of titles coming for controller-free Kinect as well as a few traditional controller games that have enhancements available for consumers who have a Kinect sensor.“We have the best games for everyone, including the biggest blockbusters, and the next generation of games and experiences that explore the full magic of Kinect,” O’Donnell says.
“After the success of Kinect, we’re working with the top pop culture brands, including Disney, Star Wars, and Sesame Street, to bring more and more content to Kinect,” O’Donnell says.
Many of the new Kinect games are for families and kids of all ages, including a game from Disney in which players will be able to high-five Mickey Mouse or fly with Peter Pan and Wendy, as well as the game “Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster.” For the bigger kids and everyone else, “Ryse” will bring the gritty experience of ancient Rome to life, and – thanks to Kinect’s full-body recognition capabilities – a Star Wars game will allow players to physically train as a Jedi.
Kinect fans also will experience sequels to some of the most popular release titles, including follow ups to “Dance Central” and “Kinect Sports.” “Dance Central 2” will enable two dancers to break it down at the same time, allowing them to go head-to-head with a catalogue of more than 100 songs. “Kinect Sports: Season Two” includes six new activities – skiing, American football, darts, golf, baseball and tennis.
A few new games, such as “Forza Motorsport 4,” will still be played on the traditional Xbox controller, but will get a turbocharge from Kinect’s head-tracking features, O’Donnell says. That means players will be able to do things such as move their head to check their mirror to check out who is hot on their tail. Games such as “Ghost Recon Future Soldier” and “Mass Effect 3” will also be enhanced by Kinect. Also, Ubisoft announced that all future Tom Clancy games will take advantage of Kinect.
EA SPORTS also announced Kinect support for several of its blockbuster titles in 2012, including “Tiger Woods PGA TOUR,” “Madden NFL,” and “FIFA.” In the next 12 months, EA also has several additional titles that will feature Kinect, including “The Sims 3 Pets,” “Family Game Night 4,” and what is sure to be one of the biggest games of 2012, “Mass Effect 3.”