What to expect at Microsoft's E3 2012 Media Briefing

Xbox 360 Global Media Briefing 2011

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) - the largest gaming event of the year - will take place this week from June 5 to 7 in Los Angeles. Microsoft's annual Xbox 360 Global Media Briefing is happening a day earlier on June 4 at 9:30 AM PT, and you don't want to miss it.

E3 is a great time for gamers as new games and gear are unveiled and more details about upcoming games are revealed. It's also an exciting time when a new console is anticipated. Titled "Xbox: Entertainment Evolved", here's what you can expect from Microsoft at this year's 90-minute conference:

But first, here's what not to expect - the "Xbox 720". The Xbox 360 has been the best-selling console in the US for almost a year and a half now, and the Kinect motion sensor has only helped boost sales. The 360 has been so successful that Microsoft says they don't think releasing a new version anytime soon is necessary.

What we can expect though, are a number of brand new Better with Kinect, as well as Kinect-exclusive titles (including Fable: The Journey), and maybe even a dashboard update.

Halo 4 and Forza Horizon, both published by Microsoft Studios, and exclusive to the Xbox 360, will be the games to look forward to most this E3. Both games are set to release later this year.

It's reasonable to expect new games for Xbox LIVE Arcade and Windows Phone to be announced. We might even see Windows 8 Metro style games with Xbox LIVE integration.

Over the years, the 360 has transformed into an all-round entertainment device rather than just a gaming console and we'd be surprised if Microsoft does not announce partnerships with more content providers, such as the launch of Amazon Instant Video for the Xbox last week.

Microsoft is also rumored to announce "Xbox Smart Glass", a companion app for Windows Phone and future Windows 8 tablets that will let you play videos and other media and stream them to your 360. Smart Glass will allow users to control their Xbox remotely from these devices and will also be available for iOS and Android.

The Verge has reported that a full-blown version of Internet Explorer for the Xbox is also in the works, complete with Kinect voice and gesture support. IE will also extend the existing Bing functionality to provide a wider variety of results.

The Verge also says we can expect Microsoft to preview a new music service for the Xbox at E3 as a replacement of Zune. Codenamed "Woodstock", the cross-platform service will also work on Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android. It will sport deep integration with Facebook, and will launch in late 2012.

Microsoft E3 2012 Press Conference countdown

Can't wait to watch the Microsoft press conference? Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson, has pointed out the following several ways you can watch the event:

  • Xbox LIVE: If you are an Xbox LIVE Gold member, then for the first time ever, you can watch the briefing right from your console.
  • Xbox.com: Don't have an Xbox LIVE subscription? Watch the live stream on xbox.com/e3.
  • Facebook: You can also watch the stream from Facebook.
  • Xbox.mobi: Head over to xbox.mobi for a mobile version of the feed.
  • Spike TV: Microsoft has also partnered with Spike to broadcast the live feed, but is available in select regions only.

If you still miss it, don't worry as we'll be following the event and will post a summary soon after here at Redmond Times.

Update: Well, it turned out to be an exciting event, to say the least. Check out our E3 recap to know which rumors came true, and which didn't.

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