Microsoft may have teased Halo 4 and a brand new Gears of War title, but their E3 conference was more about convergence of software and the Microsoft eco-system than gaming.
While new technologies are always an integral part of the gaming industry, E3 has always been the time for developers and software vendors to talk about the games.
Microsoft seemed to skip that part, instead choosing to focus on a convergence between Mobile, PC, Tablet and Gaming devices. Services such as Xbox Music and SmartGlass were at the forefront of these new announcements, cementing your Xbox 360 as more than just a gaming device.
In essence, Microsoft wants your Xbox 360 (with Kinect of course), to be the entertainment and information hub in your household. Everyone who utilises a connected device, whether that be your PC, Windows Mobile or even a tablet device, you will be able to share, and experience your media in new and exciting ways.
How will this change the way we game? For most of us it won't, we'll still be using our gamepads to smash through the latest Call of Duty, but for those on the more causal side, we'll see more ways to play.
Windows 8 and Xbox game support was briefly alluded to, but no confirmation or details were revealed. The rumours that Windows 8 will allow PC gamers to stream Xbox 360 gamers to their rig have been circling for quite some time, and Microsoft missed the perfect opportunity to confirm and deny those claims.
On a personal note however, I feel that Microsoft's E3 conference had more to do with their station as the premiere technology company than the future of the Xbox brand. Their heavy emphasis on an eco-system for Microsoft users across multiple actually revealed more about their biggest competitior than most observers would realise. No it's not Nintendo, it's not Sony, and it certainly isn't OnLive.
Microsoft want to create a similar eco-system to the technology giant, with Xbox 360 being the hub of it all, just as iTunes powers the entire Mac and iOS family.
While we shouldn't have been expecting new hardware from Microsoft, I wish they had focused more on the games, and less about the ventures in the technology space.
By Stephen Heller - Bio