With the biggest game expo underway as we write this, we thought we'd offer a few E3 news items that caught our eye starting with a major announcement from Microsoft.
Microsoft Moves the Xbox closer to a Set-Top Box
But first, just to make sure Xbox is still considered the premiere game console Microsoft showed a lengthy trailer of the upcoming Halo 4 or as it is being called, "War Games." Early reviewers say it reminds them of Call of Duty and has some new multiplayer aspects as well.
Xbox and SmartGlass
After reminding everyone that the Xbox is still a great game platform with a trailer of Halo 4, Microsoft unveiled a new "platform" for the Xbox called SmartGlass. There are a lot of new features in SmartGlass and we're still trying to figure out what it is exactly. There are aspects of SmartGlass that make it resemble Apple's AirPlay and Apple TV while it also includes features of a game console controller or remote control running on mobile devices. With smartglass you can use a mobile devices like an iPad or Android phone to interact with games and programming on your big screen TV. We see SmartGlass as another salvo in the battle for the living room tech ecosystem being fought by companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony and others.
New FIFA Not for the Superstitious
FIFA 13 is available for pre-order. It's still a very realisitic "football" (what some call soccer) game but there don't appear to be any major changes from version 12. EA Sports will tell you it's chocked full of innovations like "attacking intelligence," "complete dribbling," and a new way for players to control the ball. In any case this could be a good game to kick around with a Kinect unit.
One More Version 13 from EASports
In addition to FIFA 13, EA introduced Madden NFL 13 which should be another game that could be extra fun with a Kinect controller. In fact, Madden NFL 13 as well as FIFA 13 offer voice commands with a Kinect. This feature might be challenging in a noisy room but if the setting is right, you could be calling audibles in the comfort of your living room.
Need to Drive Fast Cars?
A new version of Need for Speed (NFS) called "Most Wanted" was announced at E3. It adds some new multiplayer features that should make competing with other drivers online more fun.