Microsoft misses expectations at E3 2012

Microsoft’s official Xbox 360 media briefing was a sandwich of games, entertainment, and games. Just like last year.

Redmond opened the event with a long look at the upcoming Halo 4 game but then immediately started talking about how the Xbox 360 is more than just games. It’s also for movies, music, and social interactions.

And, also just like last year, Microsoft also spent a lot of time talking about Kinect and how it is now part of the hardcore gaming experience.

Case in point – EA Sports will add Kinect voice recognition to FIFA and Madden for the first time. In fact, EA said that to fully integrate voice commands into Madden resulted in the biggest investment in new features in the Madden series history.

And then, the company talked about nothing but entertainment.

Microsoft said that it will be continuing to improve on services to offer music, TV, “and all the entertainment you’ve been looking forward to.” Here are some of the new entertainment services announced today:

– Bing voice search rolling out to other languages

– New partnerships with Nickelodeon, Paramount, Machinima, and Univision

– NBA partnership will bring 2400 live games

– NHL partnership will bring 40 games/week next season

– Internet Explorer will bring its browser to the Xbox 360

– Xbox SmartGlass platform will integrate services between the Xbox 360, smartphones, andtablets/PCs.

When Microsoft confirmed that no Xbox 720 announcement would be made this year, a lot of analysts wondered what it would do to ensure there was still a decent amount of interest among the long-time Xbox fans.

Unfortunately, although there is a lot of new content partnerships and whatnot, it didn’t really do much to make anyone turn their heads.

The next chance will be Sony, which gives its official pre-E3 presentation later tonight. We’ll see if they can dazzle without introducing new hardware.