When it comes to E3, hardware announcements or reveals generally reign supreme. Microsoft is certainly hoping that isn’t the case this year, with no new peripherals to speak of at their E3 2011 press conference. Great game reveals and announcements can generate fan enthusiasm just as well, and the Xbox 360 manufacturer will have to pull the curtain back on more than a few major titles to offer up centerpieces on par with Nintendo’s 3DS and Sony’s NGP.

Join the Game Rant crew live from the Galen Center in Los Angeles for the official Xbox 360 Media Briefing as we report by the second on the new games, services and special announcements as they happen!

Microsoft certainly has plenty of announcements they could possibly make, concerning blockbuster franchises like Gears of War 3 or a few more hardcore Kinect titles. Who knows, Microsoft’s press conference could even help to put and end to the speculation surrounding Halo 4.¬†Whatever the company chooses to unveil, we’ll keep you up to date with our live coverage of the press conference starting at 9:00 PST/12:00 EST.

So when all the dust settled, Microsoft’s press conference was and wasn’t what we had expected. The Halo: Combat Evolved remake is official, and Halo 4 is coming for holiday 2012. The ever-continuing quest by Microsoft to turn the Xbox 360 into every homeowner’s hub for entertainment showed new integration of live television, DVR playback, and even UFC pay-per-view events.

But while all of us were hoping to see some major Kinect titles after a year of development time, the ones we got weren’t quite what we had in mind. Children’s titles Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster and Kinect: Disneyland Adventures may just be the most guaranteed money-makers for family audiences, but instead of hardcore titles, we got more than a little Kinect integration in blockbuster series.

Voice commands coming to Mass Effect 3 and motion controls in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier look to be just a taste of Microsoft’s marketing strategy, promising that all Tom Clancy titles will be integrating the motion controls from this day forward. If the rest of the features seem as promising as those, then we’re a lot more interested than we were before the conference.

Think Microsoft has shown enough to give the other publishers a run for their money? We’ll see how well they show their games on the floor for the remainder of E3 2011, so stay tuned.

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