The Microsoft Xbox 360 Pre-E3 2012 Press Briefing in a Nutshell
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 4th Jun 2012
The world held its breath as the lights dimmed and the giant mediatron display that occupied the back of the stage at USC's Galen Center this morning in Los Angeles changed from its cool-looking floating blob Xbox 360-ish display-thingy as Don Mattrick, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, took the stage to welcome us to the press briefing. Alright, maybe the entire world did not hold its breath, but a lot of the games journo's in the audience did, because they were expecting big things.
As Mattrick took the stage the crowd momentarily quieted and he introduced himself and welcomed us to the briefing, telling us that this was his 17th E3 and that he was excited about what was about to be revealed. The crowd enthusiastically applauded him and, as he left the stage the first game presentation began, with Microsoft pulling out the big guns and opening the show with its Halo 4 briefing.
The Halo 4 presentation was a mixture of canned video and a live-play demo (read the in-depth article on that for more details) that revealed several unexpected elements to the game, as well as neatly explained where the Master Chief ended up and how his four-year marooning detailed at the end of Halo 3 finally is resolved.
As the Halo 4 briefing ended with only a minor pause, the briefing for the next impressive game in the Splinter Cell Series unfolded as Ubisoft took the stage to show off Splinter Cell: Blacklist -- a rich and stunning mixture of prepared video and demo play that reveals a Sam Fisher who has not lost a bit of his edginess and capabilities -- smoothly taking out the terrorist bad guys with a series of slick bullet-time moves combined with the more traditional gadget-and-environment take-downs that we have come to expect from the Sam man, and by the time it ended we were somehow on the edge of our seats without knowing how we got there!
Next we watched as EA's Andrew Wilson took the stage to show us FIFA 13 and Madden 13 -- both of which as anticipated have significant Kinect support built in to them. As Wilson got into his riff for FIFA 13 it was pretty clear that what he was excited about was the fact that the game has significantly boosted its realism factor -- for example it will now yellow card your player when you swear at a referee! Adding that sort of realism is, of course, another way to show off the cool-factor of Microsoft's unique Kinect motion-sensing controller, and while it is amusing and certainly a feature in the game that we plan to... You know... Explore... The more revealing aspect of the briefing was that EA chose FIFA over Madden as their flagship title -- a choice that set the audience abuzz...
The one-and-only Joe Montana then took the stage to demonstrate the quarterback controls in Madden, and Wilson demonstrated how the player can call plays in real time from their couch as they play -- an element in the game that, if it works half as well in real life as it did in the presentation will certainly be a game-changer!
A little Gears and Forza Goodness
After that heavy lead-in the mood and the voice of the briefing changed, and though we did not realize it, so too changed the focus, as demo play was replaced with straight briefing content: we watched the new trailer for Gears of War Judgement followed by the new trailer for Forza Horizon -- the latter being heavily anticipated considering that while we were all queued up outside waiting to get in a trio of Forza-liveried race cars were circling the Galen Center, tipping the hand so to speak.
The cars adding their voice to the excitement included a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, a Lamborghini Aventador, and a third car whose model we could not specifically ID but the make of which was an Audi. Naturally when the trailer for Forza Horizon played we were treated to an inside look at the tuner-centric stable and the soundtrack, which was intense thanks to the massive stacks of speakers in the Center.