E3 2012: Microsoft Confirms Internet Explorer, Smart Glass And New Games For Xbox 360
The Electronic Entertainment Expo runs between the 5th and 7th of June and the Gadget Helpline will be following all the major hardware and software announcements from big industry names such as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony – as well as offering a Daily Recap on many areas of this year’s show!
Microsoft kicked-off this year’s E3 with a lavish presentation showing off their latest games, new features and plans for the Xbox 360 console for the next 12 months.
While there was no appearance of the next Xbox, the presentation was filled with new partnerships, games and features that you expect to see on the Xbox 360 over the next 12 months.
At the centre of their presentation was, of course, Kinect – Microsoft big-wigs took it in turn to show off new partnerships with the NBA, NHL, UFC and several movie studios.
Microsoft confirmed, what had been rumoured, that Internet explorer would be gracing the console for the first time. Microsoft explained that console browsers had been done before (PS3) but the overall evidence was users don’t tend to use them.
To make Internet Explorer work from the comfort of your sofa, a new streaming and companion app will be released alongside a new service called Smart Glass, which was rumoured heavily before the show.
It is an app for Android, iOS and Windows Phone that allows you, amongst many other things, to use a tablet or phone as a trackpad to easily and intuitively navigate the internet from your living room.
You will be able to use the Smart Glass app to stream film or music content from a smartphone or tablet directly to your Xbox 360; so you can start a film on your tablet and then pick it up where you left off on your Xbox console.
Microsoft demoed a situation where you might be watching episodes of Game of Thrones and the app would show you an active map of the world, reflecting what you’re watching on the TV show.
The technology can also be implemented in Xbox 360 games. A user was showed playing Madden, moving members of their team around on your tablet’s touch-screen. The player’s actions were then reflected when the game un-pauses on your TV screen. It’s very similar to how Nintendo are implementing a tablet in to everyday console use. No details were given when the app would be released.
Microsoft also unveiled Xbox Music which is a new music service coming to Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8-based devices. It looks a lot like a super-slick version of Spotify with a strong focus on sharing what users are listening to via the service. No details on release or pricing were given.
There’s new voice-controlled Bing search functionality that lets you look for movies and other visual media by genre. So you can now say: “Xbox: nature documentaries” and the console will find everything related to that genre.
Microsoft also announced a fresh range of entertainment apps for Xbox 360 in the UK, including Napster, Absolute Radio and AOL On Network.
Microsoft also showed off some of their biggest games for 2012; including the new Tomb Raider, open-word racer Forza Horizon, Resident Evil 6 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – as well as many other games.
Sony is up next – stayed tuned to Gadget Helpline for all the latest breaking stories from E3.