Who knew? This is Microsoft's big gaming week

While we all wait on the edge of our seats for the Xbox 720, or whatever the next-generation console will be called -- and I doubt it will be 720 -- there is a lot more going on in the Microsoft gaming world than there perhaps should be, given that E3 is getting closer. Some is, of course, pure speculation, which seems to drive the tech industry these days. Some is purported leaks of console information. And then, low and behold, some is actually real information.

I have no desire to discuss rumors -- just tell me when you actually know something. I also do not plan on touching a leaked document because who knows if it's real? What I can tell you is what actually is real.

First, Microsoft's Fuse Labs today announced the latest version Kodu Game Lab. The company claims the project is "a complete 3D game development environment designed to let kids create their own 3D games". Microsoft describes the engine thus: "Kodu is built around a custom visual programming language that makes it easy for everyone to learn how to program".

The new version of Kodu supports touch as an input, new water game characters, programmable control for some of the world settings and programmable control of some character settings.

Kodu is not all that is going on in the Microsoft gaming universe this week, though. This also marks the PAX East show in Boston. Larry Hryb of Xbox Live lets it be known that visitors will get to preview some of the upcoming hot Xbox games at the show.

For instance, Halo 4's Castle Castle Map Pack will receive its first playable demo, as will Gears Maxim Map Pack, State of Decay, Max: Curse of the Brotherhood and Motocross Madness as well as some new Windows 8 and Windows Phone games.

Hryb also teases that "there is a lot more we’ll have in the booth, from Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 games, to upcoming Xbox LIVE Arcade titles".

And you thought you had to wait for E3 in June to get some big Microsoft gaming news...well, okay that may be just slightly bigger, but at least this should hold you over until then.

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