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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.



Halo 4 Dated

Halo 4

The highly anticipated forth chapter in the storied Halo franchise now has a release date. Today, developer 343 industries announced that Halo 4 will be available on November 6, 2012. Although Halo 3 brought closure to the original trilogy, many questions were left unanswered in regards to Master Chief and Cortana. This game will answer some of them, and serves as the first chapter in a new canonical saga in the Halo universe. To mark the occasion, Rooster Teeth has released a special "Save the Date" episode of Red Vs. Blue. Check it out below!

Information surrounding Master Chief's latest adventure has been deliberately scant, but fans of the series can watch "Conan", tonight at 11pm EST/10pm CDT on TBS for a special preview segment.


Halo: CE Anniversary Kinect Functionality Detailed, Classic Map Returns

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the upcoming remake of the FPS that spearheaded a now multi-million dollar franchise, is slated for release in a little under a month's time. Developer 343 Industries released several tantalizing new pieces of information about the game last weekend at New York Comic Con. Most notably, fan favorite multiplayer map Hang 'Em High will be making an appearance in the game, re-imagined and now called High Noon. Designed for team-based combat, this 4-12 player map will be instantly familiar to fans of the Xbox version of Halo, and is rife with platforms, corridors, and cover.

In addition, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary's oft-rumored Kinect functionality was detailed. Assuaging skepticism that adding Kinect support may detract from the Halo experience, the motion sensor provides several enhancements, all of them optional. These enhancements include voice commands, such as reloading, switching between original and remastered visuals on the fly, and throwing grenades, and analyze mode, which allows certain objects to be scanned, to populate a library of Halo lore. The library is a gesture based index of vehicles, characters, weapons, and more.



Xbox E3 Press Conference Wrap-Up: Halo 4, Dance Central 2, and More

Xbox E3

Microsoft held their annual E3 press conference at The Galen Center earlier today, detailing their plans for upcoming games, future Xbox Live enhancements, and not one, but two Halo announcements. As they had promised last year, several Kinect supported titles aimed at the core audience were shown, including:

Kinect Star Wars

Ryse (formerly known as Codename: Kingdoms)

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier

Forza 4


Fable: Journey

Mass Effect 3



Bungie: MMO "Announcement" Was a Joke

Bungie Logo

At their recent GDC panel, Bungie's lead network engineer David Aldridge revealed that they were developing an MMO. Well it seems that his statement was taking out of context. According to Bungie in their recent update, "Now, in rehearsal Aldridge was convinced that everybody got the joke. It was all in the delivery, he assured us, and he was certain it was clear that he was playfully riffing off of the recent rumors." Strangely, however, while Bungie was quick to point out that their GDC announcement was meant to be taken in jest, they did not deny outright development on an MMO.

One thing is for certain; David Aldridge isn't the best joke teller. Let's hope with this recent debacle that Bungie will open the curtains to their secret project. Gamers everywhere are waiting with bated breath to see what Bungie can do after leaving the storied Halo series behind.