Microsoft at E3 2012: Xbox beyond the console (pictures)
Here's a photo recap of Microsoft's E3 presentation, which showed how the company is taking Xbox entertainment to phones, PCs, and tablets. Plus: Game talk via Kinect voice recognition, lots of live event programming from ESPN, and a "South Park" game.
Microsoft took the spotlight this morning at E3 with what by most accounts was considered an underwhelming media event. The company unveiled no new hardware, and only a few new games. It did, however, impress with a dramatic preview of Halo 4 (shown here) and the unveiling of its SmartGlass application, designed to let users play all kinds of media coming from mobile devices like phones and tablets (and Windows computers) on their TVs, via the Xbox 360.
This Splinter Cell is "enhanced by Kinect voice recognition," which allows a soldier climbing a wall to summon a guard he can't see. Splinter Cell: Blacklists is scheduled to begin shipping in spring 2013.
Microsoft will soon offer full access to ESPN programming across many of its channels, including ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, and ESPN U. The programming will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and include ESPN's popular shows, including Sportscenter.
Aside from ESPN, Microsoft says that its offering will also come with access to National Basketball Association games -- about 2,400 -- and more than 40 NHL games per week.
Microsoft outlines its plans "to deliver the music service we've always dreamed of building." Xbox Music will offer more than 30 million tracks to Xbox 360 and Windows 8 PCs, tablets, and phones. "Your music, your way," the company says.
Microsoft has inked a deal with Nike for a new service called "Nike+ Kinect Training for Xbox." The so-called fitness system ties into the user's Fuelband monitoring device and a smartphone app, and of course, will work with Microsoft's motion-gaming peripheral.
Microsoft shows off a new multiscreen entertainment platform called SmartGlass. The platform allows users to play video and other media from their mobile devices on their big-screen television, thanks to the Xbox 360. In addition, it acts as a mobile companion to enhance game play.
The new SmartGlass will work on Windows, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360. In addition, it will support Android and iOS. The feature is also designed to let users enjoy entertainment on a single product and then send that over to their Xbox to pick up where they left off.
To add more value, tablets and smartphones will act as a companion, allowing users to see more information about the program being watched on their Xbox, thus creating a "multiscreen" experience.