Darkstation Predicts E3 2012: Microsoft Part 2

Darkstation Predicts E3 2012: Microsoft Part 2

Over the next four weeks we here at Darkstation are going to be sharing our predictions for E3 2012 happening June 5th - 7th, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA. Now in our second part of our Microsoft Predictions for E3 2012 we look at the rest of the staffs guesses as what is to come from this years show.  Could it be a new console? A new Kinect? Or even a slew of new games? Find out what the rest of our editors are predicting for Microsoft this year at E3 2012.

Microsoft Announces Kinect v2.0, by Allen Kesinger

While Microsoft has no shortage of enthusiasm for the Kinect, the device has been held back due to various technical limitations that make even the most promising Kinect games a complete and utter chore to play. You won’t have to go far to find someone who complains about the device not registering their movements properly (just ask the Giant Bomb crew about that) and that it took a third party in order to alleviate the room size requirement.

Now that the Kinect is almost reaching its second birthday, I predict that Microsoft has been gathering all sorts of data and complaints in order to create the Kinect v2.0. This new model will be sleeker and sexier and come packed with better cameras, sophisticated recognition software and the ability to comfortably play in a space of any size. No more couch pushing or furniture stacking.

Microsoft Announces Alan Wake 2 by Jake Stroth I think Microsoft is going to announce Alan Wake 2.  Considering the recent release of a PC version of the original game and American Nightmare, Microsoft is trying hard to remind us that this is indeed a franchise they care about.  This is also a game ripe for Kinect integration, which would suit the company’s desire to shove Kinect into every product they ship.  Microsoft badly needs something to announce, and it won’t be a new console, so they will go with the next best thing:  a sequel to a cult classic.

Kinect Finally Goes For the Hardcore by Justin Hafner It makes too much sense. The instant the Kinect reached the peak of its good will off novelty and Dance Central, Microsoft (and a handful of coaxed third party developers) have made dire attempts at roping in the “Hardcore” gamer demographic.  All--with the possible exception of The Gunslinger--have fallen quickly into obscurity.  Anyone remember Rise of Nightmares? Exactly.  Likewise, Microsoft co-owned IP Gears of War is at a major crossroads in their series.  Barring an obvious though small plot string (that will not be spoiled here), Gears of War 3 concludes the Xbox 360 flagship series in a way that was both admirable and final.  Though there are still drones of loctus slaying conducted through the competitive online features of last year’s edition, Epic Games and Microsoft must be scratching their heads wondering how they can carry the mammoth franchise to another entry.

Gear of War Kinect must be announced soon.  Hear me out. Leveraging the love affair and connection many Xbox 360 owners have for Marcus Fenix and the gang with the still untested waters of single player focused Kinect content can reap some serious rewards for Microsoft.  Of course, success is not guaranteed. Heck, I can’t even say I would personally be interested in the title. But if Microsoft can avoid the obvious Kinect pitfalls (shotty player recognition and crafting thinly-veiled mini-game collections) and Epic craft a canonical story within the Gears of Wars Universe; a crossover hit can be possible.

Microsoft Will Pander to Mainstream Press, Not Games Press by Adam Condra

When you look up the definition of “lip service” in your idiom dictionary, you’re likely to find pictures of J Allard, Peter Moore, Don Mattrick, or some combination of the three (give or take that guy who traded bro-isms with that NFL player a few years back) waxing teleprompted prophetic about Microsoft’s joyous contributions to the world. Anyway, Microsoft WILL use this year to reveal their next console, touting its integrated Kinect support, full suite of streaming services, and integration with Windows 8. The console will basically be pitched as a glorified set-top box. Microsoft will explain the myriad ways it appeals to every conceivable demographic outside core gamers, and as usual, any actual software will be left to the devs and pubs to show off on the show floor.

The Xbox Still Breathes by Jeremy Meyer

So the 360 is on life support as Microsoft says the Xbox still has some years left on it. All during the press conference we could see game announcements and more talk about Kinect and Xbox Live and it seems pretty clear that they still expect the 360 to be around for a few more years. There seems to be no rush into a new console from the Microsoft end which to me seems like they are just aiming to do it right the first time and blow the competition out of the water.

Currently there are still great looking and fun games being made so I’m not in any real hurry for a new console and Microsoft does right by me by deciding to wait. They announced that there are plenty of exclusive franchises to continue to explore and A new console isn’t needed to move these products as long as the fan base is still there.

Kinect is All the Rage, by Charlie Osterlund

After being treated to a gluttony of kinect-related hardware and titles over the past couple of years, I can easily see this year’s E3 being no different. While I do hope that some big AAA-titles like Halo 4 and the like will be given a lot of exposure, I would still be nice if Microsoft were to shed some light on upcoming hardware -- seeing how this console generation is slowly inching itself towards its end.

But hardware and Kinect notwithstanding, I predict great E3 demos, announcements and, hopefully, not as much casual and motion controller-related stuff that has plagued Microsoft’s earlier E3 shows. Just give me more gore fests and big-budget role-playing games to keep me locked inside come fall.

Well that's all she wrote for our Microsoft E3 predictions. Come back next week (5/14 & 5/15) for our Sony E3 2012 predictions. Until then let us know what you think of our predictions. Are we close or way off? Let us know right below here in the comments!

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.