E3 is just around the corner. For the fifth year in a row, we’re taking a look back at the big three’s big E3 promises. What came true, and what didn’t? After looking at both Sony and Nintendo, it’s finally time to examine Microsoft.
While Microsoft talked about a lot of games at its E3 briefing, its focus was actually divided between games and entertainment — TV, music, sports and so on. What it also had, however, was dates. Lots and lots of dates. Of the release variety.
So, let’s check out how many of those release dates Microsoft managed to hit. Onward!
The Game: Halo 4. The Promise: The first of a new trilogy and the newest entry in Microsoft’s flagship shooter franchise, Halo 4 will be released for the 360 on November 6, 2012. The Verdict: Promise kept.
The Game: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The Promise: Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft’s newest stealth-em-up, will come out for the Xbox 360 in spring 2013. It will support Kinect, giving you the ability to issue orders and distract enemies with your voice. The Verdict: Promise not yet kept. The game’s current release date is August 20, 2013.
The Game: Madden NFL 13. The Promise: EA’s yearly American football game series will land its newest instalment on the Xbox 360 on August 28, 2012. It will support voice commands via Kinect. The Verdict: Promise kept.
The Game: FIFA 13. The Promise: EA’s yearly soccer series, in turn, will be out in Fall 2012 for the Xbox 360. It will also feature the ability to give voice commands, and will even react to swearing. The Verdict: Promise kept. FIFA 13 was released on September 25, 2012.
The Game: Fable: The Journey. The Promise: A Kinect-exclusive side tale to Microsoft’s RPG series, The Journey will be released on the Xbox 360 in the 2012 holiday season, sporting a nifty gesture-based spellcasting system. The Verdict: Promise kept — in fact, the game was early. It was released on October 9, 2012. Sadly, it wasn’t very good.
The Game: Gears of War: Judgment. The Promise: Gears of War: Judgment, the freshest entry in Epic’s legendary third-person shooter series, will be released in 2013 on the 360. The Verdict: Promise kept. Judgment was released on March 19, 2013.
The Game: Forza Horizon. The Promise: Turn 10’s racing series will get an open world spinoff in Forza Horizon on October 23, 2012, exclusively on the Xbox 360. The Verdict: Promise kept.
The Game: Nike + Kinect Training. The Promise: Nike + Kinect Training, a “personalized training experience” that gives you instant feedback on your technique and allows you to “find people to challenge and work out with” online, is coming to Xbox 360 in the 2012 holiday season. The Verdict: Promise kept. Nike + Kinect came out on October 30, 2012.
The Game: Tomb Raider. The Promise: Square Enix’s reboot of the classic 3D platformer series will get DLC first on the Xbox 360. The Verdict: Promise kept. On March 19, 2013, the Caves and Cliffs pack was released on the Xbox 360 as a timed exclusive. It added three multiplayer maps to the game.
The Game: Ascend: New Gods. The Promise: Ascend, a new hack and slash game from the creators of Toy Soldiers, will be released for the Xbox 360 sometime in 2013. The Verdict: Promise not yet kept. Since then, no exact release date has been given for Ascend, which is now known as “Ascend: Hand of Kul”.
The Game: Matter. The Promise: A game from the director of Pirates of the Carribean, Gore Verinski, will come out for the Xbox 360 in 2013. The Verdict: Promise not kept. Matter was cancelled on March 7, 2013. No reason was given for its cancellation.
The Game: Resident Evil 6. The Promise: The latest entry in Capcom’s survival horror series will receive DLC first on the Xbox 360. The Verdict: Promise kept. Resident Evil 6 got the Predator, Survivors, Onslaught Pack on December 18, 2012, as a timed Xbox 360 exclusive. The game itself couldn’t quite catch the magic of its predecessors, unfortunately.
The Game: Wreckateer. The Promise: Wreckateer, an Angry Birds-like Kinect-enabled destruction game will land on the Xbox 360 in Q3 2012. The Verdict: Promise kept. Wreckateer was released as part of 2012’s Summer of Arcade, on July 25.
The Game: South Park: The Stick of Truth. The Promise: A turn-based RPG taking place in the popular South Park cartoon universe, The Stick of Truth will be released for the Xbox 360 on March 5, 2013. It will accurately recreate the world’s “distinctively crappy” look to successfully immerse players. The Verdict: Promise not yet kept. After the dissolution of its publisher, THQ, The Stick of Truth was delayed to the following fiscal year. There is no exact release date set at the moment. More will be revealed at this year’s E3.
The Game: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The Promise: The continuation of Activision’s iconic first-person shooter series will come out for the Xbox 360 on November 13, 2012. The Verdict: Promise kept.
The Promise: Bing Voice Search will receive additional functionality, including searching media by genre and more languages, in late 2012. The Verdict: Promise kept. These features were added to Xbox LIVE with the 2012 October update. The Promise: The Xbox 360 will get over 35 new entertainment providers in the next year, among them Nickelodeon, Paramount and Machinima.
The Verdict: Promise almost kept. Nickelodeon is coming to the Xbox 360 in late June 2013. Apart from that, it did manage to grab quite a lot of new providers. Paramount released its app on June 12, 2012, while Machinima did its own on April 30, 2013.
The Promise: The Xbox 360’s sports offering will expand to include programming from NBA and NHL, along with a 24-hour ESPN channel. The Verdict: Promise kept. The apps for these services launched, respectively, on October 22, 2012, January 18, 2013, and November 19, 2012.
The Promise: Xbox Music, a “world-class library of 30,000,000 music tracks”, will launch on the Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows smartphones/tablets. The Verdict: Promise kept. The service launched on October 16, 2012, on every mentioned platform.
The Promise: In late 2012, Microsoft will launch Xbox SmartGlass, a service that connects the Xbox 360 to smartphones, tablets and Windows 8 PCs, letting them interact with each other in various ways. The Verdict: Promise kept. Smartglass was launched on October 26, 2012.
The Promise: Internet Explorer will be released for the Xbox 360, enabling “proper” web browsing on the console for the first time. The Verdict: Promise kept. Internet Explorer was added to the console as part of Xbox LIVE’s 2012 October update.
Out of 21 promises, only five were not kept, with four of them getting delivered on in the future. That’s an impressive ratio! One wonders what Matter could have been though.