Microsoft Bets Big on Social And Media Apps, Halo 4 And Forza for E3

Media Apps Of Microsoft At E3 2012_Thumb

Games will be few and far between for Microsoft this year.

Media apps are more popular than games, but that doesn’t mean we prefer them

We’ve covered what to expect from EA at E3 2012, but what about Microsoft? A next-gen Xbox console has been ruled out, but the company is the first conference scheduled and as such will have the press laser-focused on its show.

No next-gen console means more games for the Xbox 360, right? Wrong, because Microsoft has told industry analysts such as Michael Pachter that a lot of games shouldn’t be expected. Kinect will be pushed despite the lack of quality titles for the platform, and we’re probably going to see more partners bringing services.

#1: Kinect

Would you believe 10 of the Microsoft-owned studio has not produced a title for Kinect? That’s a pretty damning assessment of how studios value the technology, even though it’s sold 10 million units (and more by now). Instead we’re seeing games offer small forms of integration, such as the ability to analyse enemies in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

#2: Halo, Call of Duty

I keep going on about them, but they really are the big titles for Microsoft this year. Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are a huge part of the Xbox 360 audience, so we’re going to see extended looks of the campaigns of those games I think. On the show floor itself, we’ll definitely see footage of multiplayer and the big changes coming to Halo 4. Fans I talk to, who are pretty hardcore and have a very clear picture of what Halo should be, don’t like the changes being made to Halo 4. They see it as chasing after Call of Duty, and so do I.

The Unknown Titles

#3: Forza, Assassin’s Creed

Outside of the FPS scene, Forza Horizon could be shown off for the first time along with more footage of Assassin’s Creed 3. We’ve seen the gameplay trailer for the latter, but no-one playing it. I’m excited to see what a modern setting brings.

And that’s about it, I think. Microsoft’s strategy is to gain third-party support and timed DLC exclusives, which they’ve done. The downside is less games, unfortunately.

E3 2012 begins June 5 officially, running to June 7.

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