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Xbox E3 2012 Press Event Wrap Up

Xbox E3 2012

Microsoft just concluded their annual E3 press conference, and has opened the expo guns blazing. They kicked things off by showcasing eight minutes of Halo 4 single player, which highlighted a new, as yet to be named enemy and new UI elements. Following the stage demo, Ubisoft took the stage to introduce the sixth entry in the Splinter Cell franchise; Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Following Sam Fisher's renegade stint in prior entries, he is now back in an official capacity, as the leader of forth echelon. Blacklist features Kinect support, co-op, and spies vs mercs mode, and will ship sometime next spring.

A teaser trailer for the just announced Gears of War prequel was unveiled. Now officially known as Gears of War: Judgement, expect more information to come soon. Later, Yusef Mehdi, head of Xbox Marketing and Strategy, took the stage to announce new media and entertainment partnerships for the Xbox 360, as well as expanded bing voice search functionality. Soon, Xbox users will be able to search by genre, and the functionality will be expanded to 12 new countries, including Mexico. Four new entertainment providers - out of an additional 35 - were revealed; Nickelodeon, Paramount, Machinima, and Univision. In addition, expanded sports offerings were revealed; NBA, NHL, and new Watch ESPN functionality. Beyond third party entertainment, as largely anticipated, Microsoft has officially nixed the Zune Branding. Soon, Zune Music will be renamed to Xbox Music, and like Zune, will retain the branding across PC, Tablets, Xbox, and Windows Phone.

In a unique marketing partnership, Nike has announced a Nike+ Kinect title, called Nike+ Kinect Training. Promising to "redefine personal training", it aims to provide athletic grade tools for maximum workout efficiency, and will be available this holiday season. Following Nike's announcement, Marc Whitten, the head of Xbox Live, took the stage to tease Xbox SmartGlass. This new technology will allow the user to stream content from a mobile device to their tv, while simultaneously receiving related content on the mobile device. Whitten was quick to point out this has possible uses far beyond streaming content, and can - and will - have future gaming implementations. Furthermore, using Kinect and SmartGlass, Internet Explorer has been announced for Xbox 360. Using SmartGlass, it is now possible to use a mobile phone or tablet to navigate web pages. Expect Internet Explorer and SmartGlass support to launch as part of the Xbox Fall Dashboard update.

After the SmartGlass reveal, Tomb Raider was demoed onstage. This much anticipated reboot will be released early next year, and the first DLC will be an Xbox 360 timed exclusive. Toy Soldiers developer Signal Studios had a new IP - Ascend: New Gods to tease, as did Twisted Pixel, who teased an upcoming racer, LocoCycle. Next, Capcom took the stage to demo the upcoming action/horror title Resident Evil 6. A full ten minutes of single player gameplay was highlighted, featuring series regular Leon Kennedy. A slide at the end of the demo teased timed exclusive DLC as well.

Developer Obsidian's upcoming South Park based RPG, now officially known as South Park: The Stick of Truth was premiered. In the first surprise guest appearance of the press event, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone took the stage to discuss the game. Particular detail was put into making the game feel authentic, and no gameplay (outside of the trailer) was shown at this time. A second surprise guest came out for the next game announcement - Usher, to promote Harmonix's third entry in the popular Dance Central franchise.

Lastly, the press event was closed out with 10 minutes of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 footage, once again teasing timed exclusive DLC on the Xbox 360.

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