The Microsoft conference was an exciting blend of big-name exclusives, big-name guest stars and brave new technology. It seems Xbox is about to go beyond gaming...
It opened as we all hoped it would: "It's been four years since the end of the war". And so began the new trailer for Halo 4. Spaceships. Master Chief. A lush tropical forest. More Master Chief. A new enemy which definitely aren't the covenant. Did we mention Master Chief?
Then another trailer. It's the middle east, and there are mumbles at what this game could be. Turns out it was Tom Clancy re-launch Splinter Cell Blacklist, offering slick graphics and brutal violence - just what we want from this franchise, in all honesty. And with Fisher darting about like Ezio from Assassin's Creed with superb parkour skills, too. And then they announced co-op mode, pushing our excitement for this title all the way up to eleven!
Sports was up next. FIFA 13 was shown, revealing the new Kinect features that offer you voice commands on and off the pitch (just don't let the ref hear you if you aren't happy!). Then Madden 13 showed off its own Kinect voice commands, demonstrated by Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL Legend Joe Montana!
Next up, a run of some Xbox 360 exclusive titles. The Kinect fun continued with Fable: The Journey, showing how you will cast spells and block with gestures and ride horses with subtle movements. Then came the mysterious Gears of War title, which was revealed as Gears of War: Judgment, a prequel starring Bird and the Cole Train. And then Forza Horizon whooshed in, complete with car smashes and off-road action; this is not your typical Forza game!
But then came the time to move away from the games and onto some other interesting and exciting features coming to Xbox 360. Firstly was Bing - complete with voice commands through Kinect! Now you can search the web just by asking your Xbox!
Microsoft went on to detail their plans for double the amount of entertainment experiences that Xbox will provide, with the addition of Nickelodeon, Paramount, Machinma and Univision - plus NBA Center and ESPN LIVE streams for Americans.
Plus there was the announcement of Xbox Music, a "world-class" library of over 30 million tracks with new ways to share and discover music, not just on Xbox but on tablets and mobile devices too.
Music then segued into... fitness(?) with the arrival of Nike's Stefan Olander, here to talk about Nike+ Training, the new game that aims to bring a genuine fitness challenge to Kinect, which you can even track on your mobile devices too.
All this multi-device talk seemed to be leading to something - and that something was Xbox SmartGlass. Using fancy Microsoft technology, SmartGlass links together all of your gaming and tablet devices together to give you a new interactive experience by streaming content you wouldn't normally be able to access on your tablet devices - anything from as bonus features during TV shows (a map of Westeros while watching Game of thrones, showing you exactly where the characters are) to being able to call plays in a game such as Madden by taking the menus off the screen.
Then came the huge announcement that Internet Explorer was finally coming to Xbox 360, and would offer Kinect functionailty - again, talking to your Xbox to navigate pages, favourites and so on - and SmartGlass to use your smartphone as a touch-based mouse.
With everything starting to get a little sci-fi and threatening to blow our tiny minds, the conference switched back to games with Tomb Raider - which proceeded to blow our tiny minds with its gritty graphics and gameplay, and the announcement that downloadable content will be exclusive to Xbox 360.
After that came some world premieres: Ascend New Gods, a visceral fantasy actioner with lots of blood and LocoCycle, a quirky Kinect title from Hollywood director Gore Verbinski.
And then Capcom took the stage to introduce... Resident Evil 6! Everything about it screamed classic Resident Evil, from the awesome Leon Kennedy to the swarms of zombies and sense of overwhelming odds to face. We saw a snippet of Leon navigating claustrophobic lanes of traffic, filled with zombie after zombie after zombie. And again, the DLC will come to Xbox 360 first.
Now it was time for the more surprising guests of the evening. First came Matt Stone and trey Park, creators of South Park, to introduce South Park: The Stick of Truth. They said the key to developing this new game was in retaining the "distinctive, crappy, South Park look". And it seems they've succeeded.
Even more surprising was the next guest: R & B star Usher, who burst onto the stage singing and dancing, and all in the name of Dance Central 3, which will increase the accuracy of choreography even further.
So, how do you close a show like this? With Call of Duty: Black Ops II, that's how! We were shown some demo footage that took the battle to a half-destroyed bridge that made simply making your way across the level seem tense. It showed off the new technology of the game's future weapons, too, and then took to the skies in a jet tasked with protecting a convoy.
So, some great looks at new games, first looks at even newer games, and some brand-new technology that looks to make the Xbox about more than just gaming. That was the Microsoft E3 2012 conference.