Note to Microsoft: If you are going to host your E3 Media Briefing on Xbox Live, you might want to consider that when you issue commands to Kinect that they might activate commands on viewer's local systems. During the entire briefing I fought a war of words with my system yelling at it to "play" every time it paused or tried to exit out of the video I was watching. Besides the interference (which inevitably forced me to switch to Spike TV on my television), Microsoft had a pretty good press event highlighting some of the new partnerships it has planned, and its key franchises like the new Gears of War game, Halo 4, a new Forza title, Call of Duty Black Ops 2 and Ubisoft's Splinter Cell Black Ops 2.
First the company announced that Bing search on Xbox Live would soon support more languages besides English (they demonstrated the system as it would be used in Mexico – Andrew claims it was Argentina). They also announced that Internet Explorer and the power to browse the web and use web services would be coming to Xbox Live later this year.
Microsoft also announced that it would be announcing 35 new content providers by the year's end and revealed that it would offer specific content from Nickelodeon, Paramount, Machinima, and Univision. The company also announced an expanded deal to bring ESPN live content to Xbox Live, along with new channels for the NBA and NHL.
Microsoft announced Xbox Music, a music service promising 30 million tracks, social integration, sharing and more, and a new deal with Nike to create a Kinect-based game called Nike + Kinect Training.
Finally, Microsoft revealed more synergy between Xbox Live and smart devices called SmartGlass. While it's not all that exciting on its face, the new technology will allow smart phone and tablet users to have new functionality when used in conjunction with Xbox Live apps and games. This could add functionality or additional content to movies and TV available on Xbox Live, or add new ways to play games or to provide deeper information related to whatever you might be playing.
Microsoft closed the event with Black Ops 2, showing off a few minutes of Activision's future-leaning Call of Duty title set in 2025 Los Angeles.
Your best best to catch coverage of press conferences live at E3 is on Spike TV and G4TV on your TV. Other outlets like GameTrailers.com, GameSpot, IGN, and more have live streaming coverage as well. We'll have more conference coverage where warranted.
The most interesting thing to come out of Microsoft's E3 press event was that it didn't work very well on Xbox Live if you happened to have voice commands activated on your Kinect… Of course, some would argue that getting a glimpse of Halo 4, Black Ops 2, and Splinter Cell Blacklist made it worth the headache. I won't argue that point.