Recap: E3 2012 Xbox Media Briefing

Don Mattrick opens the E3 2012 Xbox Media Briefing

Microsoft's 2012 Xbox Media Briefing at E3 happened on June 4th. We told you a day before what we expected to see at the event, and sure enough, pretty much every single rumor and prediction doing the rounds on the Internet turned out to be true. It was an eventful press conference as several new games, features and services for the Xbox 360 were unveiled. We bring you the highlights:

Halo 4 and Forza Horizon were the major Xbox 360 exclusives to be showcased. Three Kinect-exclusive games to be highlighted were Fable: The Journey, Dance Central 3 and Matter. Three brand new Xbox LIVE Arcade titles were also previewed - Ascend: New Gods, Lococycle and the Kinect-exclusive Wreckateer. Live demos and trailers showed off the amazing Kinect voice command support in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Madden NFL 13 and FIFA 13.

Xbox SmartGlass for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android

The biggest announcement of the day though, was that of Xbox SmartGlass, a new cross-platform companion app for smartphones and tablets that connects these devices to your Xbox. SmartGlass will deliver additional content to your mobile device, relevant to the TV show or movie you are watching on your Xbox. And if you are watching a movie on your device, with SmartGlass you will also be able to pause, and resume on your Xbox from exactly the point where you left off.

Gamers will also be able to take advantage of SmartGlass. Concepts of Madden and Halo 4 with SmartGlass support showed how players could choose their game settings or accept multiplayer invites on a tablet instead of the TV. SmartGlass can also turn your mobile device into a remote control for the Xbox 360, so you can scroll through the dashboard using your phone rather than the controller or Kinect. SmartGlass will be available worldwide for Windows 8, Windows Phone and even iOS and Android later this year.

Internet Explorer for Xbox 360

Microsoft also announced that a fully-featured Internet Explorer for the Xbox is coming, allowing you to visit any site on the Web from your console. IE will have support for Kinect voice commands and, with SmartGlass installed on your phone and tablet, you'll be able to navigate web pages via these devices. IE will also launch later this year worldwide.

Xbox Music for Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone

A new and highly-anticipated music service for the Xbox (and a replacement of Zune) was also announced. The multi-platform service, known previously by the codename "Woodstock," will be called Xbox Music. Xbox Music will feature a music library of over 30 million tracks and will be released for the Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Apart from SmartGlass and Music, on launch, Windows 8 will feature two more Metro style apps: Xbox Games will let you play multiplayer games and earn achievements, while Xbox Video will provide access to TV shows and movies.

Bing voice search for Xbox 360 now available in more countries and languages

The Bing voice search will get an update that will allow you to find content by genre. If the content is available from multiple providers (for example, Netflix and Hulu Plus), you have the choice to select the service for which you have a subscription. Also, Bing voice search will now be available in 12 new countries and in more languages, including Spanish.

Nike+ Kinect Training for Xbox 360

Microsoft Studios has partnered with Nike to develop Nike+ Kinect Training, a Kinect-exclusive fitness game that features a personal trainer, body assessment and a highly-personalized fitness program. The game is geared mainly towards professional as well as up-and-coming athletes.

Nike+ will sport Xbox LIVE integration that lets you challenge other people to a workout. The game, launching this holiday season, will also have a phone app. If you work out regularly with the Your Shape games, Nike+ is sure to take your fitness regimen to the next level.

ESPN, NBA, MLB, NHL and UFC sports content for Xbox 360

And just as we'd expected, Microsoft also announced partnerships with 35 new entertainment providers, including Nickelodeon, Paramount and Machinima. These providers will add to the 200 million movies, TV shows and videos already available on Xbox. Microsoft has also partnered with new sports providers to bring content from NBA, NHL and WatchESPN. A vast majority of this content will, however, only be available in the US.

A new feature for the 360 will make it possible for you to pin your favorite games, movies etc. to the dashboard's Home screen, in much the same way as you would pin a tile to your Start screen on Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Microsoft had confirmed weeks before E3 that no new Xbox console would be unveiled at the event, and indeed, there was no word about an "Xbox 720."

We're now looking forward for all this new stuff to launch, so we can get our hands on it, especially SmartGlass.

You can watch a recording of the entire event here.

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