This year for the Microsoft Press Conference, I'm bringing earplugs. Between the explosions in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, and the guy next to me screaming in my ear when the Halo 4 trailer played, I don't think I could hear anything for half a day.
Last year, we learned that shouting at your console could actually make something happen. To find out what people will be shouting about this year, I turn to the men and women of G4 who keep this place running for gamers everywhere.
343 Industries will show off Halo 4's inevitable Kinect-integrated features, and Microsoft will detail some of the new capabilities coming to Kinect 2.0. There will also be some sort of cross-platform demo between a Windows 8 PC and a 360 doing something "Ooh!" worthy but also something most people will never have any use for. This could also take the form of cross-platform play between a Windows 8 phone and a 360.
No next gen stuff with heavy emphasis on apps, entertainment features, and convergence features. Heavy rumors of a new Kinect being unveiled, but I don't know if I buy that. Games will be limited to Kinect titles, Halo 4, and maybe one other "core" game to keep us quiet. Lots of third-party stuff like Black Ops 2, Assassin's Creed 3, etc.
- Video Preview: The Making of Halo 4 "First Look" Video
The big green is going to make a big push, again, for Kinect. I foresee three multi-racial kids having the time of their lives on stage, playing whatever the next "Kidect" game is. (A Kinect games for kids is "Kidect." Go ahead, you can use it.)
Black Ops 2 will have a presence, probably to announce a similar service to Elite. It will debut on the Xbox first, and all Black Ops 2 DLC will launch on the 360 before the PS3. On the Halo 4 front, they are going to focus heavily on multiplayer. I imagine we'll see a more features for Halo Waypoint. We're also going to see the new Gears of War game, which I think is a prequel.
What will Microsoft talk about? Halo 4, Halo 4, Halo 4. And yet, I also see a 5 second spot teasing their new console, the Xbox 720, regardless of their adamant stance that they will not talk new consoles. They will be prepping for their own conference that will launch their evil plans to take over the world next winter. I'm very convinced that their Skype buy was just another moniker for Skynet.
Let's talk convergence. With Windows 8 on the horizon and the next cycle of platforms starting, Microsoft needs to tell me about how my computer can communicate with my console and my phone. Apple beat them to the punch long ago, but being able to connect my TV and my console to this whirling technological vortex could be just the thing that puts Microsoft ahead of the game. Also, someone will be wearing Spartan gear.
Microsoft is going to be all about the Kinect, again. How much the Kinect sold, how fun it is, how different types of people use it, all the various ways you can use it, and how now it can even train your dog. Or something like that, because that's what I'm used to hearing from MS press conferences lately. I'm sure we'll hear more about Halo 4 and Epic will probably deliver something special as well. I think Microsoft always has the coolest looking stage at E3, so at least that's something to look forward to as well.
Microsoft employees and hired entertainment professionals will show off a lineup of interactive electronic entertainment consumer goods designed to appeal to males between the ages of 18 and 34. The target demographic will become more aware of Microsoft's gaming division's products, and sales will rise as a result. Profits from Microsoft's gaming division will provide a slightly higher return on dollar investments for Microsoft's shareholders.