Server Core was introduced to admins in Server 2008 and provided minimal maintenance but had limited capabilities. Server 2012 introduces Private Cloud and the power shell feature is one of the main focuses. As we move towards centrally managed IT environments, automation will take a crucial role when deploying and scaling up systems. Windows server 2012 has advanced dramatically and the number of cmdlets for power shell have largely increased since the early days of windows server 2008.
YungChou’s blog goes into much more detail explaining the differences between Server Core 2008 and Server Core 2012.