Microsoft @ E3: New Halo trilogy, UFC partnership, more

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Microsoft announced new Xbox 360 features during its E3 2011 keynote today, including a bevy of Kinect-friendly titles and additional video streaming services. Over a dozen upcoming games have been confirmed to support Microsoft's motion sensor, not least of which are four EA franchises (Tiger Woods, FIFA and Madden, and The Sims), Mass Effect 3, Disneyland Adventures, Kinect Sports Season Two, Dance Central 2, and all future Tom Clancy games starting with Ghost Recon: Future Soldier.

In the midst of announcing future Kinect titles, the company has unveiled various new projects. Xbox 360 gamers will be able to experience Minecraft this winter and Crytek's long-rumored Xbox 360 exclusive, formerly known as "Codename: Kingdoms," has been announced as "Ryse," a first-person action adventure game set in Ancient Rome. Fable: The Journey, a new entry in the series that takes place after the age of Heroes, has been confirmed. All of these titles will support Kinect gameplay.

Microsoft also has big plans for its Halo franchise. An anniversary edition of Halo: Combat Evolved is due this November 15 for $39.99. In addition to having its campaign spruced up with the Halo Reach engine, the game will feature six revamped multiplayer maps from Halo and Halo 2, and players will "uncover never-before-revealed backstories told in motion-graphic form that foreshadow new mysteries in the story of Halo 4." A new Halo trilogy is set to begin with Halo 4 in the fourth quarter of 2012.

New games aside, Microsoft revealed additional Dashboard features such as Bing voice search. Although you won't be able to browse the Web, Bing integration will make it easier to sift through Xbox Live content, including third party services such as Netflix, Hulu and ESPN. The Xbox 360 will also receive native YouTube support as well as live television streaming in the US, including local channels, news, and sports. A UFC-specific partnership will include live matches, classic fights, and interviews.

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