Dean Takahashi has an blog entry up about Microsoft's E3 after party which is well worth reading for its notes about the Xbox 360's technical problems, but it also reveals a few choice tidbits about Ensemble's RTS, Halo Wars:
This game won’t ship this year. But it looks great. It takes place in the year 2531. You see all of the characters in the Halo universe, from the Elites to the marines. You can use the analog and four buttons to control the squads and vehicles, up t o about 20 at a time. The analog stick is used to navigate a circle with menu options, kind of like the iPod scroll circle interface. The characters are small but you can make out their individual movements. The Elites yell and behave like they do in Halo. It’s like a set of miniatures.
Takahashi is still skeptical about RTS games on a console but it does sound like the game is coming together. That the game is not due out this year may explain why it didn't get headliner treatment during the press event, since Microsoft at this year's E3 Lite vowed to focus on games to be released in 2007, with very few exceptions.