e3 2012

Windows Phone successes and failures at E3 2012

Windows Phone Central recaps the E3 2012 Expo

Mateo Nunez and Paul Acevedo at E3

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo turned out very much like we predicted. During their press conference, Microsoft touted upcoming Xbox 360 sequels: Halo 4, Forza Horizon, and Fable: The Journey; a new Gears of War prequel from Epic; plus several non-exclusive but cool console titles like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Tomb Raider. They also announced several Xbox Live Arcade games, including Ascend, Lococycle, Matter, and Wreckateer. Oh, and Usher mystified us with a performance in the name of Kinect update Dance Central 3. I fear Harmonix may be in danger of running the dancing genre into the ground with these yearly sequels as once befell the music game genre, but time will tell.

Xbox entertainment library

We also knew to expect the rebranding of the Zune service to Xbox Music and Xbox Movies. Not a particularly exciting announcement, since nothing but the branding changed. The SmartGlass initiative is more noteworthy. Basically an evolution of the Xbox Companion App, it allows users to control Xbox 360 system functions (including the upcoming Kinect-enabled Internet Explorer), plus interact with movies, music, and games in new ways. Specifically, we can expect far more console titles to connect with Windows Phone – definitely a good thing.

Head past the break for our full E3 coverage summary, new videos, and lots more!

Windows Phone Central's favorite Xbox Live Arcade games of E3 2012

Xbox Live Arcade Games: Windows Phone Central's favorites from E3 2012

With so many Xbox Live Arcade games on display at E3 this year, it’s tough narrowing down just which ones are our favorites. We’ve already treated you to footage and interviews of Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: New Gods, both of which are also coming to Windows Phone with connectivity features. Now it’s time to share a few XBLA games that don’t currently have mobile ports in the works but should definitely be on any console gamer’s radar. We spoke with the developers of all three titles: Double Dragon: Neon, Retro City Rampage, and Pid and came away extremely impressed.

Head past the break for more gameplay footage and our full Double Dragon: Neon producer interview!

E3 2012 - Ascend: New Gods XBLA gameplay and Windows Phone details

For Windows Phone gamers, the most exciting moment of Microsoft’s E3 2012 press conference was the announcement of Ascend: New Gods, an upcoming XBLA and Windows Phone title from Signal Studios. Boasting impressively detailed graphics and a smattering of graphic violence, it certainly caught our eyes. Later on during the Expo we had the pleasure of speaking with lead designer Ian Scott as we played the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game. Even better, he went on to detail Ascend’s cross-platform connectivity.

Head past the break for more Ascend hands-on gameplay footage and Windows Phone connectivity details!

E3 2012 - Skulls of the Shogun developer interview and multiplayer hands-on

One of the biggest highlights of E3 2012 for us has been playing Skulls of the Shogun on Windows Phone and Xbox Live Arcade and meeting two of its creators at 17-BIT. Skulls is an amazingly beautiful and accessible turn-based strategy game in development for XBLA, Windows 8, and Windows Phone. Yesterday we posted our Windows Phone impressions; today we follow up with an interview and in-depth demonstration of the XBLA game in action. (The color shifting in the interview video is due to fancy overhead lights on the show floor.)

Head past the break for more Skulls of the Shogun details and gameplay footage!

Photo gallery - The Microsoft Xbox LIVE booth at E3 2012

Microsoft's booth at E3 was massive

Now that we're home from the fray of E3 2012 and seeing as we now have working internet (shakes fist), we figured we would show you some of our photos from Microsoft's presence at the giant gaming and entertainment conference.

Needless to say, Microsoft had one of the largest and most busy sections at of the whole conference. For instance had you wanted to try the Halo 4 demo you would have had to wait 2.5 hours in line just to get a shot. Yowza.


Life size replica of the Halo Warthog

And yes as you can see after the break in our photo gallery, Windows Phone was there too. No, it didn't dominate but it was certainly there and people were playing with the Xbox LIVE games and seemed to enjoy the experience. Mobile in general at E3 is still a very tiny percentage of the conference, regardless of platform. But every year it grows a bit more and so far, the majority of those games are on iOS.

Here's hoping to Windows Phone 8 and E3 2013!

Check out our complete photo gallery after the break. (Maybe later we'll post some non-Microsoft shots as there were some very cool displays)

Contract Killer for Xbox Live on Windows Phone exclusive E3 2012 demonstration

One thing we can all agree on is the need for more mobile Xbox Live games that let us shoot things. Thankfully Glu Mobile is on the case. The noted freemium publisher will follow up Gun Bros on Windows Phone with a more realistic shooting game: Contract Killer. We had the pleasure of demoing it at E3 2012 today and came away impressed.

Contract Killer places players in control of a mafia sniper. From the map screen hub you’ll choose from a variety of missions or visit the shop. The actual missions come to life via detailed 3D graphics. Aiming at your unknowing targets is as simple as swiping the screen in the desired direction. Once you have them lined up, fire and ruin your enemies’ day!

Each mission costs a certain amount of energy to take on. Energy restores over time, but you can also purchase snacks with Microsoft Points and get right back in the action. As with Glu Mobile’s other freemium titles, the PDLC is completely optional and simply a way to get through the game quicker while showing your support for the developers. Programmers gotta eat!

Contract Killer has no official release date yet, but we expect it arrive later this summer. Windows Phone Central will have first word of the launch date, so make sure you check back frequently! If you’d like to try Contract Killer out now on PC, jot on over here with the Google Chrome browser.

E3 2012 - Stepping into the shoes of the Gun Bros on Windows Phone

Who says you can’t find mobile games at E3? A few days ago, Windows Phone Central met with Mike DeLaet and Jason Enriquez of Glu Mobile to discuss their upcoming mobile Xbox Live games. The first title they demonstrated for us is Gun Bros, which we revealed in April.

Gun Bros is a top-down twin-stick shooter somewhat reminiscent of arcade classic Smash TV. Players choose from one of two titular brahs, outfit them with an arsenal of high-tech weapons and armor, and then fly to one of several planets and start filling hostile aliens full of equally hostile ordinance. Don’t worry; the aliens are actually big jerks and they totally have it coming.

By completing missions you’ll earn both XP and Xplodium, a rare mineral. XP leads to leveling up, opening access to better equipment. Xplodium can be processed and used to purchase said equipment and items. Of course, Gun Bros is a freemium title and players can purchase even shinier guns and things with Microsoft Points. You won’t have to purchase credits to enjoy the game though.

Gun Bros has passed certification and should launch very soon. We highly recommend trying the PC version for free right now using Google’s Chrome browser – after a few minutes you’ll see why we’re dying to play it more on the go.

Hands on with Skulls of the Shogun for Xbox Live on Windows Phone at E3 2012

Windows Phone news at E3 2012 has been slim pickings, but that doesn’t mean we’re not turning over ever stone in our efforts to discover it. In this case, we actually turned over a skull, and out popped Skulls of the Shogun! Windows Phone Central is proud to present this exclusive first look at the mobile Xbox Live version of Skulls of the Shogun (Skulls for short) in action. We had very little time with the mobile build, but we'll follow up as soon as possible.

Skulls comes from indie developer 17-BIT and Microsoft Studios. Set in a feudal Japanese fantasy world, the game tells the story of a deceased general who rallies his troops in the afterlife. The core mechanic is a fast-paced turn-based strategic battle system. Each side starts with up to five troops, each of whom can collect resources, attack, or take strategic positions every turn. Both players (human or AI) have a powerful general character; if he bites the dust, that player loses the battle.

We weren’t able to check out the mobile Skulls’ multiplayer component, but it supports both local play and an online mode called ‘Skulls Anywhere’ which is being kept tightly under wraps for now. There’s also a good chance of connectivity with the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, but 17-BIT couldn’t confirm one way or the other at this point.

Skulls of the Shogun comes to Windows Phone, Xbox live Arcade, and Windows 8 sometime near the launch of the Windows 8 operating system. Check back soon when we’ll have an in-depth demonstration of the XBLA version as well as a Windows Phone-centric video interview with 17-BIT!

Early look at Shoot1Up for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone -- E3 2012

Back in October, we presented an exclusive look at Shoot1UP from Mommy's Best Games but since then we haven't heard much on the title. The shoot 'em-up/bullet hell game brings some unique controls and exciting arcade gameplay to our trusty phones.

Hands on with SmartGlass at E3 2012 – Windows Phone, Windows 8 & Xbox 360

Microsoft's SmartGlass on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8

As E3 is just getting started we managed to sit down with Microsoft's Peter Orullian who not only has the most wicked ponytail ever but also gave us a personal tour of SmartGlass. As many of you know, Microsoft yesterday pulled the cover's off of the new technology which looks to unify media playback and enable "second screening" while watching a movie or TV Show.

SmartGlass will be device agnostic as there will be companion apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and of course it's all powered by Xbox 360. 

Many in our audience are already familiar with the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone--a virtual remote control for the Xbox 360. From our discussion and hands on with SmartGlass we can tell you that this is in essence version 2.0 of the Xbox Companion app. Although SmartGlass won't be ready until this holiday season, the app in its early stages looks very similar to Xbox Companion and is in fact built off of the concept and UI, making this app feel quite familiar.

SmartGlass for Windows Phone looks a lot like the Xbox Companion app

From our demonstration, we were impressed. Although "School of Rock" is a test movie for the system, the ability to see dynamically as characters came on and off the screen reflected on the tablet was simply amazing. What's really neat about the SmartGlass concept is that creators are free to do whatever they want with the system, giving them powerful leeway to make new experiences. It's universal, optional and will deliver a similar experience across platforms.

Make no mistake, we think SmartGlass is a game changer and can't wait till this Fall to get our hands on it. Watch our video below to see it all in action.

Hands on with 'Mush' for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone - E3 2012

Hey look at that! Mush is finally here, at least here in Los Angeles at E3. We've talked about Mush before as the game looks to fill the gap for "super cute, slow paced, causal game" on Windows Phone, one that appeals to mom, your kid and heck, even ourselves.  From our earlier description of the game:

"A puzzle platformer that gives you control over how your character feels. Change their emotions by drawing smiles and sad faces, and by rotating or shaking the Windows Phone. Mush will be a Windows Phone exclusive."

Mush was announced last August as one of 14 new Xbox LIVE titles coming to Windows Phone. While we don't have a release date, seeing as we have a solid working demo being displayed, our bet is "within weeks". 

We really like this game from what we've seen. It has well done graphics and unique character controls which should appeal to a lot of people. Seeing as it's a Windows Phone exclusive, we're excited for this release.

Check the demo video of the game after the break for another look...

First look: Battleship for Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone (Video)

We showed you some of the early screenshots from the EA/Hasbro game Battleship and now the game is set for releases in the next day for all. 

Here at E3 which just started within the last hour, we managed to track down a working version already loaded on a phone. Our impression? We like it. It's actually quite fun and we can see how this game will be quite addictive to play--it's simple, has neat little cut screens and the game is familiar to all.

But you're wondering about multiplayer, right? From what we saw, it has two modes: pass-n-play and Xbox LIVE. Unfortunately with the latter we were unable to try it due to the phone having no connectivity (and not being signed in). But it at least looks like you can challenge and play your Xbox LIVE friends giving a real turn-by-turn gaming experience. 

Look for Battleship for Xbox LIVE to hit the Windows Phone Marketplace in the next 24 hours. We think you're going to like it.

The Xbox Live Arcade games of Microsoft's E3 2012 Press Conference

We’ve already touched on the retail Xbox 360 games announced during yesterday’s E3 2012 press conference, but Microsoft also announced several exciting Xbox Live Arcade games. (XBLA refers specifically to downloadable Xbox 360 games, not Windows Phone titles.) Those games included Ascend, Lococycle, Matter, and Wreckateer.

E3 2012 - The dazzling cars of Forza Horizon

One of the Xbox 360 games revealed during Microsoft’s press conference yesterday is Forza Horizon, the latest entry in the popular Forza Motorsport racing game series. After releasing four simulation-oriented installments from Turn 10 Studios, Playground Games is in charge of this more accessible spin-off. We don’t know much about the gameplay other than it will be open-road based instead of focusing on closed tracks like previous games. The change in direction could be just what the Forza series needs – until the fifth numbered game comes along for the next Xbox console (as some of us predict).

To celebrate Forza Horizon’s announcement, Microsoft is showing off two very beautiful sports cars here at E3. Head past the break for more lovely photographs.

Zune and Xbox websites announce arrival of Xbox Music

Coming off a big presentation yesterday at E3 2012, Microsoft has updated both the Zune and XBox websites to introduce Xbox Music. Xbox Music will replace Zune as the Microsoft-branded music service. The Zune page comes in the form of a simple FAQ and offers very little information other than the fact that XBox Music will bring new ways to and share across Xbox, Windows and Windows Phone. The FAQ also ensures current Zune Pass subscribers that they will continue to have access to their subscriptions through the new service.

Over on Xbox's site, you will find a snazzy video that offers a quick glimpse of what's to come, a ubiquitous music service that works across platforms. In the video, a woman listening on a tablet, only to plunk down on the couch and bring her playlist up on her Xbox, clearly depicting the newly-touted Xbox Smartglass, announced yesterday at E3. There are also shots of social media features, like seeing what  friends are listening to, and discovering new music through Smart DJ.

All in all, if you have been using Zune, there isn't too much that is new here, with the exception of Xbox Smartglass, but it's a fun little pep rally of sorts.

Source: Microsoft

Summing up the Microsoft E3 Presentation

Phew! It's been a hectic morning / afternoon / evening for those who tuned into Microsoft's E3 media briefing presentation, which showcased Halo 4, Xbox SmartGlass, Nike+, Internet Explorer for Xbox, and more. Should you find yourself being in the dark and didn't manage to catch the broadcast that was streamed a few hours ago, fear not as we have you covered from the floor.

So what was announced? From top games to new sport media sources, there's a lot planned for Xbox this year and beyond. Head on past the break with a coffee and supply of biscuits.

Microsoft Xbox E3 Liveblog!

We're here in Los Angeles for Microsoft's big Xbox announcements. Stay tuned as we report the morning's events and you can join in and share your thoughts.

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E3 2012 Event Forum is now live

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming to the Los Angeles Convention Center tomorrow and Windows Phone Central will be there. The crew will be Daniel Rubino and Paul Acevedo. These guys will be giving up there week and some sleep in hopes of staying on top of all the breaking gaming news. Poor guys, we really feel sorry for them don’t we?

What is E3? Well E3 is the largest gaming event in the world and is open exclusively to members of the industry. The Windows Phone Central Crew qualifies so off we go. You can get all the information on E3 and what we expect to see and do when we get there in this article: Windows Phone Central comes to E3 2012

The WPCentral Forums is the place to go for all the in depth conversations. With that in mind we have opened up a new events forum just for E3. We positioned this new area right at the top of the forum. Every time we have an event like this WPCentral will open a new events area so we can discuss the affair. When the affair is over all the event exclusive content will be moved to our events sub forum.

Why do we do this? Because we love our community and we want to make sure our community members get all the latest information. 

Things will move quickly next week. We know you don’t want to miss anything. Catch the breaking news on our main page then jump in the WPCentral Forum to get in on the community opinion.

Windows Phone Central's E3 2012 Weekend Trailer Roundup

E3 2012 – the Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off with Microsoft’s press conference this Monday, June 4. We’ve already outlined our predictions and plans for the event, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new to share right now. A number of developers have released trailers of the console games they’re showcasing at E3 ahead of time.

First up is Skulls of the Shogun from Haunted Temple Games and Microsoft Studios. Skulls is a beautiful and fast-paced strategy game that’s scheduled to arrive on Xbox Live Arcade, Windows 8, and Windows Phone as an Xbox Live title. We’ll be playing it at E3, so look forward to our impressions!

Head past the break for a big batch of E3 Xbox 360 game trailers!

E3 Sneak Peek: Xbox Smart Glass

The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is just a few days away and Microsoft has given us a small glimpse at a new Xbox companion, Xbox Smart Glass. Xbox Smart Glass will be optimized for Windows tablets and phones to allow users to control their Xbox console, play videos and other media from their tablets and phones, and send videos to the Xbox to play on the television.

The app sounds similar to the Windows Phone Xbox Companion app but with a lot more gusto. Plus there's the Windows 8 tablet coming into play which is appealing in and of itself. Xbox Smart Glass will also be available for Android and iOS tablets and phones.

Microsoft will be demoing Smart Glass at E3 next week and hopefully will shed more light on the capabilities of Xbox Smart Glass. We'll be in attendance at E3 and hopefully we can shed more light on Xbox Smart Glass.

Source: Examiner Via: Engadget; Thanks, everyone, for the tip!