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Microsoft opens E3 with Halo 4 announcement

343 Industries title becomes official alongside Combat Evolved remake and several Kinect-focused titles

Microsoft has kicked off a round of video game conferences at this year's E3 with the headline reveal of Halo 4, the first title in a brand new trilogy.

Although the game had been confirmed by a leak on the official website hours before the event, the reveal trailer closed a press conference packed with big game announcements, and beginning with a live demo of Modern Warfare 3 and the new Tomb Raider reboot.

Following those games, EA Sports boss Peter Moore took the stage to reveal that four new EA Sports games, including FIFA, Tiger Woods and Madden will feature Kinect support.

Moore's time on stage was brief, where he was quickly replaced by BioWare's Ray Muzyka, who revealed that Mass Effect 3 on Xbox 360 will feature voice activated commands via Kinect.

Following a demonstration of Mass Effect 3 was Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot discussing the publisher's forthcoming Tom Clancy title: Ghost Recon Future Soldier. A wide suite of Kinect controls were demonstrated for the shooter, including aiming, shooting, zooming and weapon customisation.

As a commitment to the motion-sensing tool, Guillemot also announced that every future title in the Tom Clancy franchise will feature Kinect support.

Also featured in the conference with demonstrated Kinect support were Turn 10's Forza 4, Fable: The Journey from Lionhead, Ryse from Crytek - presumably the title formerly known by the codename of Kingdoms, and the 10th anniversary remake of the original Halo.

Later on came children's titles Disney Adventure and Double Fine's Sesame Street game, Once Upon A Monster. Harmonix was also onstage with Dance Central 2, a sequel to the studio's successful Kinect dance title. Finally, a sequel for Kinect Sports was announced, with a definite swing towards American centred sports like American football.

Rounding off the presentation was a brief in-game movie from 343 Industries' Halo 4, showing the Master Chief waking up from suspension in a disintegrating ship.

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Latest comments (10)

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University10 years ago
Well, that's a little disappointing. I always enjoy the wild speculation that goes on pre-E3, but seeing what was supposed to be Microsoft's trump card for the core--Halo 4--revealed in this undignified manner, it's disappointing. The sad thing is, since this came from a leak on the Xbox site, it's pretty much confirmed--unlike the rampant speculation on Project Cafe software.

Add to that the leak of Xbox Live Diamond, and it looks like the two big announcements Microsoft had planned to steal some thunder have been let out with a bit of a whimper. Though I'm sure if that familiar choir tune kicks in tonight and a trailer hits the net, it won't really matter too much.
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Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 10 years ago
If the big announcement from MS is two Halo games then they've definitely jumped the shark.
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Mike Wuetherick Lead Designer, Super Mega Awesome Games10 years ago
what a horrible conference from microsoft. the vast majority of it was utterly painful to watch. terrible... couldn't care less how much 'motion' stuff is the future, watching people play these things just makes me cringe...
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Show all comments (10)
Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 10 years ago
Halo 4 - what a surprise...It seems to me Microsoft has run out of steam apart from jumping into motion control completely. It is good to see them doing something more serious with motion control but then how they actually will execute is another issue.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
I'm happy enough to see Halo 4, and the fact is it doesn't matter how many people moan that it's flogging a dead horse, 9 million people plus will still be happy enough to buy it, I'd suggest if you are not one, fair enough, but the announcement maybe wasn't aimed at you. Gears looked as amazing as expected, it's good to see Kinect being applied to some core stuff, I thought the use in Ghost Recon looked interesting. Fable looked really pants and Kinect Star Wars even worse, but Ryse looked like it had a lot of potential.
I really fail to see why MW3 and Tomb Raider were there, both multiformat games, with no extra Kinect integration, and only the fact that the MW dlc will be a timed exclusive making it any more an Xbox thing than Sony.
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Ricky Hodgson Studying BA (Hons) Computer Games and Visual Effects, Anglia Ruskin University10 years ago
The conference was the most boring one i have ever followed. Is that it?

What happened?
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam10 years ago
Microsoft really need to find a better way of demoing Kinect games (particularly kids' ones). The Disneyland demo was cringe inducing ("get the special points!", "fist bump!"), and Kinectimals last year ("stop it, that tickles!") was positively nauseating. It's not the games, which look like they could be fun for that audience, but the presentation is appalling. The kids come across as really fake and overly scripted, and frankly a little creepy.
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Justin King Creative Digital Producer, mattel10 years ago
@ John Bye - you should try working with kid talent here in the US - the mandate is overly fake or else by default :) i find it quite gagworthy as a non american to have to work them down into something natural from the crazy fake they have drilled into them from the get go. you're right, it is creepy.
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Robert Turner Studying Games Programming, SAE Institute10 years ago

Look at it this way. Halo is M$s last major IP it's what a lot of people who bought 360s want and they can't really afford to stop making Halo games. I gotta admit, it's not really for me, hell, I don't even own a 360, but I think the fact it's being developed by a new studio is a great thing. Sure, it's not Bungie, but a new dev could give the Halo franchise a fresh lease of life that it needs, and maybe reach out to new players too.

And as Andrew quite rightly said, there is already a massive fan base committed to this universe.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert10 years ago
The halo announcement wasn't a big deal. Everyone knew that the best -exclusive- titles are Halo, Gears, and Forza Motorsport. And infact that's Ok for me.

Seeing a huge support of kinect games is a good thing to do. They didn't just let the peripheral die, like they did with the Xlive Vision cam. Sesame Street and the Walt Disney game looked wonderful (for children of course). Ghost Recon could be the first core game that takes the challenge to be a "kinect FPS".
The most dissapointing presentation were the kinect features of Mass Effect 3. That was the big joke of the conference I think; showing a feature, wich a headset would have done just fine...

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