No new hardware for Microsoft at E3? No problem. Clearly, this year's all about software for the Xbox 360, with both FIFA 2013 and Madden 2013 confirmed for release with Kinect support. Aside from letting you flail to and fro in order to make plays, both titles will also support voice commands, right down to understanding multiple dialects in the former. As for Madden? There's some pretty intense voice integration, enabling one Joe Montana to actually call plays and direct the huddle with his voice here at the E3 stage. The demo was unsurprisingly awesome, and we're told to expect it on store shelves on August 28th. For those who aren't exactly "sports-inclined," there's also Fable and Halo 4 -- two titles that'll supposedly make this year the "best ever" for Xbox 360 software.
Follow our liveblog of Microsoft's E3 keynote right here!
Xbox 360 software at E3
"Halo 4" Headlines Biggest Year for Blockbuster Games in Xbox History
Xbox 360 is home to this year's most-anticipated games, including "Halo 4," "Gears of War: Judgment," "Forza Horizon," "Madden NFL 2013," "Resident Evil® 6," "Dance Central 3" "Ascend: New Gods" and "Call of Duty®: Black Ops II."
LOS ANGELES, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Step back into the boots of mankind's greatest hero. Hit the open road in some of the world's most exotic supercars. Wield magic with your fingertips and dance your heart out. Today, on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. unveiled a portfolio of games demonstrating that no matter what kind of game gets your heart pounding, Xbox 360 is the only place to play all of this year's biggest blockbusters and brand-new titles.
Spearheaded by the return of Master Chief in the most-anticipated entertainment launch of the year, "Halo 4," Microsoft showcased a spectacular lineup of titles found only on Xbox 360, including "Forza Horizon," "Fable: The Journey" and the world premiere of "Gears of War: Judgment" - setting the stage for the platform's biggest holiday yet. Delighting music fans around the world, global entertainment icon Usher lit up the stage at Microsoft's E3 media briefing with a surprise performance of his smash hit "Scream." Backed by amazing in-game visuals, Usher blew the crowd away with a dance routine created for "Dance Central 3," the next installment of the bestselling dance game on Kinect for Xbox 360. Microsoft also unveiled brand-new titles "Ascend: New Gods," "Wreckateer," "Matter" and "Lococycle."
In addition, the industry's biggest and best publishers were on hand to showcase why the most highly anticipated games are best played on Xbox 360. Activision wowed gamers with the first live gameplay demonstration of "Call of Duty®: Black Ops II." Making their worldwide debuts on Microsoft's E3 stage, Ubisoft Entertainment's "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®: Blacklist™" and THQ Inc.'s "South Park: The Stick of Truth" were both confirmed to feature Kinect voice-recognition functionality. With the help of Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, EA SPORTS showed off the future of sports videogames with demonstrations of "Madden NFL 2013" and "FIFA 2013" using the power of voice on Kinect. Microsoft further delighted audiences with news that Capcom Entertainment Inc.'s "Resident Evil® 6," Square Enix Co. Ltd.'s "Tomb Raider" and THQ's "South Park: The Stick of Truth" will all feature add-on content that will be available first only on Xbox 360.
"2012 is a landmark year for Xbox," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. "This year, we're delivering an incredible lineup of games with many of the most-anticipated exclusives, such as 'Halo 4,' 'Forza Horizon' and 'Fable: The Journey,' and brand-new franchises, such as 'Wreckateer' and 'Lococycle.' We're also the best place to experience blockbusters such as 'Call of Duty®: Black Ops II.' Our message is simple: Whether it's one of our beloved franchises or something totally new, there's only one place to find them all - Xbox 360."
With immersive games for the adventurous hero, racing fiend and dance superstar within us all, Xbox 360 is poised to unleash an unprecedented landslide of blockbuster games for everyone, including the following:
"Ascend: New Gods" (Signal Studios, Microsoft Studios). Signal Studios, the developers behind the hit franchise "Toy Soldiers," is pleased to announce its new action role-playing game (RPG), "Ascend: New Gods." Enter the world as Caos, a gigantic breed of mighty warriors created to serve the will of the Gods. Combat the immortal Titans while fending off attacks from rival players and establishing your influence in the global Ascend conflict. Epic three-scale combat takes place across immense landscapes and limitless dungeons. "Ascend: New Gods" offers unprecedented connectivity across mobile and console Xbox LIVE platforms. Wage war against Xbox 360 players from your mobile phone, gain power and prestige, and transfer it all to your console - anywhere, anytime.
"Avatar Motocross Madness" (Bongfish GmbH, Microsoft Studios). The classic motocross (MX) series returns in "Avatar Motocross Madness." Engage in intense MX racing, exploration and social competition. Fly over huge jumps and perform insane tricks in extreme off-road races, competing with your friends in the Bike Club async social network. Challenge your friends' times, beat their scores and race against their ghosts to stay at the top of your club. Then take your bike to explore three vast environments: freestyle riding, collecting special items and discovering hidden secrets. "Avatar Motocross Madness" brings back all the fun and excitement of the original series in a whole new way.
"Dance Central 3" (Harmonix Music Systems Inc., Microsoft Studios). The bestselling dance series game on Kinect returns this fall with "Dance Central 3." "Dance Central 3" features dance hits from today and also sends players back in time to the '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s - hitting the dance floor to learn classic dances like "The Hustle," "Electric Boogie" and "The Dougie." Premier music video game developer Harmonix keeps the dance party going with a new multiplayer party mode for up to eight players and the hottest, most diverse soundtrack yet. Featuring Usher, Daft Punk, Gloria Gaynor, 50 Cent and many more, "Dance Central 3" is sure to get any dance party started.
"Fable: The Journey" (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Studios). "Fable: The Journey" offers a whole new way to experience the deep storyline and picturesque world of Albion that fans have come to know and love. Set 50 years after the events of "Fable III," this new version asks you to come to the aid of the mysterious Theresa, who thrusts you into an action-packed adventure full of dangerous enemies, hair-raising chases and humorous characters. Built from the ground up for Kinect, "Fable: The Journey" gives you the power to wield magic as a deadly weapon, defend yourself in combat and solve puzzles on your journey to becoming a hero. "Fable: The Journey" will launch on Oct. 9, 2012, in North America, South America, Asia and Australia and Oct. 12, 2012, in EMEA.
"FIFA 2013." "FIFA 2013" captures all the drama and unpredictability of real-world football. This year, the game creates a true battle for possession across the entire pitch, and delivers freedom and creativity in attack. Driven by five game-changing innovations that revolutionize artificial intelligence, dribbling, ball control and physical play, "FIFA 2013" represents the largest and deepest feature set in the history of the franchise.
"Forza Horizon" (Playground Games/Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios). Combining the legendary "Forza Motorsport" authenticity with a festival atmosphere and the freedom of the open road, "Forza Horizon" is a high-intensity, action-racing game set against the backdrop of the world's most unique motorsport party. Featuring an expansive landscape, daring driving maneuvers to master, a rousing soundtrack and visceral moment-to-moment gameplay, "Forza Horizon" offers an immersive pick-up-and-play experience while retaining the unrivaled realism, diversity and innovation that are hallmarks of the "Forza Motorsport" franchise.
"Gears of War: Judgment" (Epic Games, People Can Fly, Microsoft Studios). "Gears of War: Judgment" takes you back before the events of the original "Gears of War" trilogy to the immediate aftermath of Emergence Day - the defining event of the "Gears of War" universe. Follow Kilo Squad, led by Damon Baird and Augustus "The Cole Train" Cole, as they fight to save the city of Halvo Bay from an unstoppable enemy in the most intense "Gears" game yet. "Gears of War: Judgment" introduces a variety of new multiplayer experiences, including OverRun, a thrilling new class-based competitive mode that will pit Locust and COG soldiers in a head-to-head battle unlike anything "Gears" fans have experienced yet. "Gears of War: Judgment" will launch worldwide in early 2013.
"Halo 4" (343 Industries, Microsoft Studios). "Halo 4" marks the return of Master Chief and the beginning of a new saga in the blockbuster franchise that has shaped entertainment history. E3 2012 marks the worldwide premiere of "Halo Infinity Multiplayer," including the all-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. A first of its kind, Spartan Ops is an episodic adventure - playable in single-player or cooperatively with up to four players - that blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience. Spartan Ops will extend the "Halo 4" experience well beyond the game's launch. "Halo 4" hits store shelves on Nov. 6, 2012, delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, together with groundbreaking multiplayer action.
"Happy Wars" (Toylogic Inc., Microsoft Studios). "Happy Wars" is a multiplayer action game that pits different comic-style characters against each other in over-the-top combat arenas. You can control any of three types of characters - warrior, mage or cleric - in a variety of fantasy battlefields including grasslands, a dark world and the ocean floor. Join with friends to enjoy action on a grand scale, casting magic spells and attacking castles as you cooperate to overcome enemies.
"Joe Danger: The Movie" (Hello Games, Microsoft Studios). On the set of the greatest blockbuster "Movie" ever made, create your own action film scene by scene, performing every stunt yourself. Using dozens of stunt vehicles and spanning every action film genre imaginable, perfect every stunt to thrill the audience or crack the audience up with your failed attempts. Strap on the helmet of Joe Danger and defy death to impress the director.
"Lococycle" (Twisted Pixel Games, Microsoft Studios). Presenting I.R.I.S.: Two-time Valedictorian of the illustrious Big Arms Academy's School of Assassination. I.R.I.S. is proficient in more than 40 forms of unarmed combat, earning Sensei status in Jiu-jitsu, Aikido, Krav Maga and Jeet Kune Do. She is equally deadly with blades, handguns and the latest in nuclear technology. Fluent in more than 50 languages and virtually every local custom, I.R.I.S. can blend in and disappear at a moment's notice in any country around the world. She was the first female cadet to break the four- minute mile - by three minutes and forty seconds. All this won't even run down her batteries. Twisted Pixel Games proudly presents "Lococycle." Today's criminal requires tomorrow's hero.
"Madden NFL 2013." "Madden NFL 2013" is all-new, from boot-up to credits. Every mode, every screen, every pixel has been reinvented delivering the most innovative, connected and authentic "Madden NFL 2013" experience in franchise history.
"Mark of the Ninja" (Klei Entertainment, Microsoft Studios). "Mark of the Ninja" is a side-scrolling stealth action game from Klei Entertainment that combines fluid 2-D animation with intense stealth gameplay. Observe your enemies from afar, manipulate them with your tools and execute your plan with precision. But be careful - you're as fragile as you are powerful.
"Matter" (blindwink, Microsoft Studios). Experience a hero's journey across a mysterious and visually stunning world. "Matter" brings the unique vision of Academy Award-winning director Gore Verbinski exclusively to Xbox 360 and Kinect.
"Resident Evil® 6." "Resident Evil® 6" features three distinct, yet interwoven, storylines, each with its own pair of protagonists for either solo or co-op play, both offline and online. Leon S. Kennedy is paired with government agent Helena Harper, while Chris Redfield teams up with fellow BSAA member Piers Nivans. Finally, gun- for-hire and son of the infamous Albert Wesker, Jake Muller is joined by series returner Sherry Birkin. All six must face new horrors as they fight to survive the global C-virus outbreak. Blending both action and survival horror, "Resident Evil® 6" promises to be the dramatic horror experience of 2012.
"South Park: The Stick of Truth." Written and voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, "The Stick of Truth" is the most epic South Park experience to date. Earn your place alongside Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman and aid them in a hysterical adventure to save South Park as only fourth-graders can. Recruit classic South Park characters to your cause, such as Professor Chaos or Jesus, armed with a machine gun. Arm yourself to the teeth with an arsenal of magical weapons and mystical armor to defeat crab people, underpants gnomes, hippies and other forces of evil. Succeed, and you shall be South Park's savior, cementing your social status in South Park Elementary. Fail, and you will forever be known ... as a loser.
"Tomb Raider." Armed with only the raw instincts and physical ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, "Tomb Raider" delivers an intense and gritty story into the origins of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor.
"Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®: Blacklist™." The United States has a military presence in two thirds of countries around the world. A group of 12 have had enough and initiate a terror ultimatum called the Blacklist - a deadly countdown of escalating terrorist attacks on U.S. interests. Sam Fisher is the leader of the newly formed 4th Echelon unit: a clandestine unit that answers solely to the President of the United States. Sam and his team must hunt down these terrorists by any means necessary, and stop the Blacklist countdown before it reaches zero.
"Wreckateer" (Iron Galaxy, Microsoft Studios). "Wreckateer" uses Kinect to put you in control of a massive castle-wrecking ballista. With the help of Wreck and Tinker, travel the land and destroy 60 goblin-infested castles using six magical projectiles. Aim and fire each shot and then control it in mid-air, motion-activating special powers and guiding them toward their target. Utilize an arsenal of Flying, Explosive, Splitting and rocketing Speed shots to explore the infinite ways you can wreak havoc with "Wreckateer"'s fully dynamic destruction.