June 6, 2012
If I were to tell you what Microsoft showed during their E3 press conference for 2012, you’d swear I was confusing it with a previous year. Hell, I’d even question myself. What we were given was new installments for popular franchises like Halo, Gears of War, Fable, Madden, FIFA, Forza, Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, Dance Central, and Call of Duty. These are all games we expect to see at this point. Thankfully, they did show us a few new IPs. However, they were hardly anything to get excited over, except for maybe the South Park game. There was LocoCycle (which was strictly a teaser), Ascend: New Gods, and Matter (which was also a teaser). They also showed off Wreckateer, which is essentially Angry Birds with the Kinect.
“Wait, you mean to tell me they’re still trying to cram the Kinect down our throat?” Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you. We get it, Microsoft. You can talk to your Xbox 360 and tell it to do things. I can also just as easily do the same thing by pressing a button on a controller that I already own. I don’t need to shout at my Netflix to play an episode of Archer, nor do I want to. Of course, they also tried to showcase the Kinect and how it can be integrated in upcoming popular games, but again: buttons.
Finally, in what seemed like their last ditch effort to impress us with something new, Microsoft unveiled Xbox Smart Glass. The idea behind this is basically being able to use a tablet or smart phone to interact with your Xbox and “enhance” the gaming and media experience. So, they pretty much showed us their version of the Wii U. Sure, Microsoft has the advantage of having more media control with this, but I can only get so excited over a feature I’ll rarely, if ever, use.
So, save for a few new unimpressive IPs (one being a rip-off of my favorite mobile game), the Microsoft 2012 E3 conference is one that we’ve seen many times before. It’s the same games, except the numbers that are tacked on at the end are bigger. They still really want you to buy a Kinect and use it when watching videos, playing games, or listening to music, but I have fully functioning hands. This is not to say that the conference was bad. It was just uninspired. However, I will have to say that the absolute best part of the showing was when they tried to get people excited over the idea that you can now browse the web… using Internet Explorer. It’s like the poor guy up there knew the internet meme he was walking into and that the only applause he was going to get was that out of sympathy, which kind of summarizes the whole event. Stay strong, brother. There’s always next year.