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E3 2012 Thoughts: MSFT Presents Halo 4, SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for Xbox

Microsoft At E3 2012 Reviewed

With E3 over for this year, how did Microsoft perform? MSFT unveiled some pretty cool stuff like SmartGlass and IE for XBOX

Microsoft once again opened E3, but this year was perhaps its most lacklustre

I think the general opinion is that Microsoft’s E3 conference wasn’t the best, though Nintendo held the worst because of what it could have shown, and so we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at what Microsoft did and didn’t do. There were games, software and some in-house laughs.

First, the good: Microsoft opened with Halo 4. Some questioned why Microsoft opened with its best product, but what else could open? The cross-device SmartGlass? No. Microsoft had to engage people immediately, and it did: we saw a live action trailer for the mini-series that will roll out in the build up to the November 6 launch. We then saw gameplay footage, which graphically looked awesome. This isn’t just a great looking Halo game, it’s a great looking game period.

Halo 4, SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for Xbox

We saw new weapons – the Scattershot, a Forerunner shotgun – and a new enemy, the Prometheans. What’s awesome about the enemies is that they’re not just different, but they force the player to think: one enemy knocked the Chief back, while another warped towards him and took his shields down. Another chucked grenades, while the Crawler enemies showed the value of sticking together. Even though Covenant have different races, they don’t force you to think that much.

After Halo, we saw lots of social media and non-game content. The highlight is SmartGlass, despite the initial negative reception it got. It’s a cool piece of tech, and if I can find some meaningful way to integrate it in games then I’ll be interested. What’s interesting, though, is Microsoft is putting this out on non-Microsoft devices – including iPhones and Android devices – which should ensure a much wider audience.

We then saw more games after the Internet Explorer for Xbox 360 reveal (a much-requested feature, I must say). South Park was a very funny reveal, and looked identical to the TV show, and we saw Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Despite the less-then-great player, press like Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gertsmann – who saw the demo at a behind-closed-doors press event – said the demo looked a lot better when Treyarch showed it then.

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Published: Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 Last Modified: June 12, 2012

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