New XBox console to offer live TV, Halo 4
Microsoft also promises expanded Kinect offerings
LOS ANGELES — Live television and another chapter of the Halo game are landing on Xbox 360.
Microsoft Corp. announced its plan for the video game console yesterday at a news conference kicking off the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the industry’s annual convention.
The company said live TV would be offered by domestic and international broadcasters, but no other details were revealed.
Partnerships with international broadcasters currently bring live TV to Xbox 360 in the United Kingdom, Australia, and France, but the service unveiled yesterday would be the first such offering available on a gaming console in the United States.
Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 already provide the ability to stream and download movies and shows.
Meanwhile, Microsoft hinted that Halo 4 would be the “dawn of a new trilogy’’ for the blockbuster series. The previous game, Halo: Reach, earned $200 million on its first day and sold 3.3 million copies in its first month on the market last year, according to Microsoft and industry tracker NPD Group.
The company also announced at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center that increased functionality with its Kinect camera system was coming to Xbox 360, including the abilities to fully navigate menus with voice commands, scour for online and hard drive content with Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and play games such as Mass Effect 3 in tandem in the traditional controller.
The feature was demonstrated with the sci-fi role-playing sequel to Mass Effect 2, as Kinect recognized vocal commands while a player used an analog controller to navigate the virtual landscape and fire a blaster.
Other gaming franchises that will add Kinect functionality include shooter Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier and racer Forza Motorsport 4.
“Kinect has been wildly successfully, and we want to provide experiences with it for that broad audience but also the core crowd that made Xbox what it is,’’ said Mike Delman, marketing vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division.
Games that utilize Kinect include the virtual theme park explorer Disneyland Adventures and a Star Wars game that turns players’ movements into the powers of the Force.