Microsoft announces new Halo, Fable, Forza games and more
At its E3 press conference, Microsoft unveiled an upcoming game lineup that includes Halo 4, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Fable: The Journey, Forza Motorsport 4, and Minecraft.
Video game news headlines delivered to your inbox daily. Click here to subscribe.
Today, on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft premiered a spectacular lineup of new games, demonstrating that Xbox 360 continues to deliver the biggest hits and blockbuster experiences — bar none. This year, Microsoft showcased a host of new groundbreaking exclusive titles on Xbox 360, including Gears of War 3, Forza Motorsport 4 and the world premiere trailer for Halo 4.
Games have always been at the heart of who we are: the world's biggest blockbusters, enduring stories and innovative entertainment experiences. -Phil Spencer, Microsoft
In addition, Microsoft debuted the next installment of the famed Fable franchise with Fable: The Journey, a game imagined from the ground up for Kinect on Xbox 360 by famed developer Peter Molyneux. Fans were also treated to a preview of the Kinect-powered historical epic, Ryse, created by acclaimed developer Crytek GmbH. Finally, Microsoft revealed that this winter, Minecraft, the independent PC game phenomenon, is making its console debut exclusively on Xbox 360.
In addition, Kinect Fun Labs, a new hub showcasing the latest Kinect innovations, was unveiled and is available to all Xbox LIVE members starting today. Create magical moments with never-before-seen Kinect technology, including player capture, object scanning and finger tracking. Kinect Fun Labs will launch with four Gadgets -- Kinect Me, Bobble Head, Build A Buddy and Kinect Googly Eyes. More experiences will begin arriving in July, including Avatar Kinect and Kinect Sparkler.
Along with other amusing toys, Kinect Fun Labs lets you create Bobble Head versions of youself.
EA SPORTS announced Kinect support for several of its blockbuster titles in 2012, including Tiger Woods PGA TOUR, Madden NFL and FIFA. In the next 12 months, EA also has several additional titles that will feature Kinect, including The Sims 3 Pets, Family Game Night 4 and what is sure to be one of the biggest games of 2012, Mass Effect 3.
"For Xbox, games have always been at the heart of who we are: the world's biggest blockbusters, enduring stories from the world's best storytellers and innovative entertainment experiences that you can't find anywhere else," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. "Whether it's Kinect games like Kinect Star Wars and Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, or the latest installments of our most acclaimed and anticipated exclusive franchises like Gears of War 3 and Halo 4, our existing fans, and new ones alike, will find something here to delight them and their families."
Kinect Star Wars is just one of many new games that will delight the whole family.
UFC Comes to Xbox LIVE
In addition to all the best titles on Xbox 360, Microsoft also announced new blockbuster entertainment, teaming up with UFC. Starting this fall, Xbox LIVE Gold Members can subscribe to UFC to access live pay-per-view matches, classic fights, interviews and exclusive behind-the-scenes looks into the lives of the world's greatest fighters; it's access to the octagon in an all-new interactive way. Games and Entertainment
With games and entertainment for every member of the household, Xbox 360 continues to bring the best in interactive entertainment to living rooms around the world with the following:
* Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games): The best-selling first-person action series of all time returns with the epic sequel to the record-setting, blockbuster phenomenon Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
* Dance Central 2 (Harmonix Music Systems Inc., Microsoft Studios): Following up to the best-selling dance game for Kinect, Harmonix expands the full-body dance game universe with Dance Central 2, which provides new multiplayer experiences and all-new routines set to an unstoppable soundtrack, featuring Usher, Rihanna, La Roux, Nicki Minaj, Montell Jordan and more. Meet the crews and dance collaboratively with friends in Perform It! or challenge them to a simultaneous head-to-head Dance Battle to determine dance floor supremacy.
* Fable: The Journey (Lionhead Studios, Microsoft Studios): Set five years after the events of Fable III, Journey takes you on a magical journey with only your loyal horse at your reins, Theresa, the mysterious seer of Fable III, by your side, and a malevolent evil to defeat before it claims all of Albion. With the power of Kinect for Xbox 360, craft and control magic in a way that can't be done with a controller. Fable: The Journey draws players deep into the action and adventure of the Fable franchise like never before.
* Forza Motorsport 4 (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios): The highest-rated racing franchise of this generation returns, delivering the most expansive and vividly realistic automotive experience across any console. With genre-defining controller-based racing, game-changing Kinect experiences, such as head tracking, and new social features that connect players in ways no other racing game can, Forza Motorsport 4 is transforming the racing category.
Forza Motorsport 4 continues to set new standards for racing games with its Kinect head-tracking feature.
* Gears of War 3 (Epic Games, Microsoft Studios): Gears of War 3 wraps up the ambitious trilogy starring Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad. With civilization in ruins, Delta Squad must wage brutal war on two fronts in order to save their world. Gears of War 3 continues to innovate with new multiplayer experiences on Xbox LIVE,* including the genre-defining cooperative campaign mode and the return of five-player Horde mode. Surpassing more than one million copies pre-sold to date, Gears of War 3 hits store shelves on September 20, 2011, worldwide, except for Japan, where copies go on sale September 22, 2011.
* Halo 4 (343 Industries, Microsoft Studios): Halo 4 is the next blockbuster installment in the iconic franchise that's shaped entertainment history and defined a decade of gaming. Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. A new trilogy begins when Halo 4 releases in 2012.
* Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios, Saber Interactive, Certain Affinity): Created in celebration of the tenth anniversary of one of the most beloved franchises in gaming history, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a spectacularly re-mastered version of the original Halo campaign, bundled with some of the most beloved multiplayer maps in Halo history reimagined for Xbox LIVE.* Releasing only on Xbox 360 on November 15, 2011, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary will include a bounty of new features, including cooperative play over Xbox LIVE, new challenges and new fiction to uncover.
* Kinect Sports: Season Two (Rare, Big Park Games, Microsoft Studios): The sequel to last year's nunber-one hit for Kinect is back with more full-body action, featuring six new sports: American football, golf, baseball, winter skiing, darts and tennis. Whether you want to go for a hole-in-one in golf, throw a Hail Mary touchdown pass in American football or compete against a friend during a few sets of tennis, Kinect Sports: Season Two has something to appeal to everyone.
Kinect Sports: Season Two brings a whole new lineup of sports to the series.
* Kinect Star Wars (Terminal Reality, LucasArts/Microsoft Studios): Drawing on iconic action from many of the "Star Wars" major motion pictures, Kinect Star Wars allows you to physically experience training and battling as a Jedi, using the Force and battling with a lightsaber like never before, thanks to the full-body recognition of Kinect.
* Kinect: Disneyland Adventures (Frontier Developments Ltd., Microsoft Studios): This holiday, Disney Interactive Studios and Kinect for Xbox 360 invite you to take a journey where stories come to life and dreams come true — right in your living room. With Kinect: Disneyland Adventures, the first title coming out of a licensing agreement between Microsoft Studios and Disney Interactive Studios, children, parents and Disney fans can explore Disneyland park — from Main Street U.S.A. to Critter Country — joining Peter Pan to battle Captain Hook, high-fiving Mickey Mouse or hugging Snow White using their full bodies and voices, no controller required.
* Mass Effect 3 (BioWare, Electronic Arts): The galactic war has begun. An ancient alien race known only as the "Reapers" has launched an all-out invasion of the galaxy, leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the universe is on the verge of total annihilation, and you, as Commander Shepard, are the only one who can stop them. Whether you are playing with a controller or through new voice recognition technology made exclusively for Kinect on Xbox 360, Mass Effect 3 allows you to immerse yourself in the Mass Effect universe like never before, as you decide how to rally the forces of the galaxy in a game that will react to each decision you make.
* Minecraft (Mojang, Microsoft Studios): Known for its limitless possibilities, Minecraft will come to life this winter in a whole new way through the magic of Kinect and also feature cross-functionality between the PC and Xbox 360 versions.
* Ryse (Crytek, Microsoft Studios): Be the warrior in this cinematic, visceral, action-packed experience that brings ancient Rome to life through the stunning visuals and innovative gameplay that Crytek is famous for. Ryse defines what's next on Xbox 360 by creating a truly immersive experience that only Kinect can enable.
* Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (Double Fine Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment): Join your favorite Sesame Street characters Elmo, Cookie Monster, Oscar and Grover, and friendly new monsters in a colorful and whimsical storybook adventure filled with learning, discovery and fun. Each chapter is full of life lessons, including friendship, sharing and teamwork. Once Upon A Monster features co-op game play so kids can play alone, with each other or with Mom or Dad in this controller-free gaming experience only on Kinect.
* Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft): Welcome to the U.S. Special Forces' most legendary unit, the Ghosts. Equipped with the most advanced combat technology, track down high-value targets in eight spectacular locales around the world in the latest chapter of the celebrated Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon franchise. Teamwork is key, whether it is fighting alongside your teammates in the campaign, Elite Co-op, or multiplayer modes. With the magic of Kinect's body tracking and voice recognition, a special mode called "Gunsmith" will allow gamers to customize their weapons into more than 20 million variations in a way that simply can't be done with a controller alone.
* Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix Europe): Experience the intense and gritty origins of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed with only the raw instincts and physical ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, start at the beginning of where the Tomb Raider adventure all began.
* UFC** UFC on Xbox LIVE drops you dead center into the octagon, with live pay-per-view events in full HD and exclusive live event experiences. Launching this fall, UFC on Xbox LIVE is the ultimate fan destination with pre-fight coverage and a deep catalogue of past fights to put you closer to the action than ever.