I just received my final Press Conference Invite (thanks, Nintendo!) and I thought now would be an appropriate time to put together a post of my biggest E3 predictions. This will hopefully not be the same list you read on every gaming website, but there will obviously be some overlap. Either way, let’s get started.
XBOX 360 had a pretty strong showing last year, although from what I remember, it was all about Kinect. And at the time, I didn’t think that was such a horrible thing. And to be honest, I still don’t. But without any hardware reveals this year, and given the fact that we know both Sony and Nintendo are going to be revealing some pretty massive hardware, the folks in Redmond really need to pull a rabbit out of their hat. With that said, here’s what I’m thinking we’ll see:
- Halo will make an appearance. I’m thinking they’ll show off a full game while they tease another, a la Halo 3: ODST and Reach back in 2009. I’m hoping we get Halo: Combat Evolved in HD and up-res’d, up-everything’d to hold us over while we wait for Halo 4, or Halo: MJOLNIR, or Halo: Whatever the Next Game Will Be Called.
- Kinect Kinect Kinect. Microsoft has an install base of 10 million units as of December, so let’s call that a cool 12 million by June, if not many, many more. That’s a massive portion of their XBOX population, so you can bet we’ll be seeing tons of Kinect stuff here (although I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t see any at all, to be honest).
- The Threequel. Modern Warfare 3, Gears of War 3, Mass Effect 3. I’m putting these three (oh look – that number again) releases all in Microsoft’s court. Sony will be busy with the NGP, first-party titles, and dodging PSN questions during their press conferences, so I’m thinking Microsoft will be getting the big guns here.
- Splinter Cell. It might be a bit early, but then again, the time between Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory was just short of a year, and it’s been almost a year and a half since we’ve played (and loved) Conviction. Come on Toronto, show us what you got.
And that’s kind of it. I mean, there isn’t much going on at the Microsoft Press Conference that I can see. I mean, anyone who has ever read a gaming article on this site knows that Halo is a massive part of my existence, so that is more than enough for me, but if we’re going to go on about quantity, Microsoft doesn’t have it. Quality? Time will tell.
Yes, the PSN went down. But rapture came and passed and we’re all still alive, so I don’t think any of us should really worry. With that said, Sony actually has a ton of stuff that I’m really excited about this year.
- NGP is going to kick ass… as a tech demo. Yeah, it’s on everyone’s list, but there is something awesome about this device. Remember when you were a kid (nerds only here) and you would draw up specs for your fantasy computer and it would have like a bajillion gigs of RAM and a hundred hard drives, and six monitors? I feel like that’s what Sony did to their NGP. I mean, come on: quad-core processor (in a portable, mind you), 5-inch OLED touchscreen (yes, it’s five inches AND is OLED AND is a touchscreen), touch pad on the back, dual analog sticks (not nubs!), WiFi-n, 3G … I mean, really? Consult your mortgage broker today. I really hope they unveil that this thing is just $299 so it’s squarely in competition with the 3DS. But doesn’t that beg the question: if you can sell this hardware for $299, why am I paying so much for a phone that has a 3.5″ screen, non-OLED, only dual-core, no gaming capabilities, no rear touch pad, etc.? Oh well, this is E3, not CES.
- Sorcery is going to be wicked. I was blown away by the Sorcery demo last year, so much so that I’d have dropped $100 on a copy on the spot. Maybe more. It was great, and I’ve kind of lost a bit of that feeling lately, so here’s hoping they haven’t killed it.
- The Last Guardian, Twisted Metal, God of War. Every console has their titles, and just because they’re first party, doesn’t mean they need to be cute plumbers with dinosaur partners. Sony’s got its bag of tricks, and you know it’ll be piling on the IP this year, too. Why wouldn’t they – some of their titles are the best in the industry! God of War, Twisted Metal (although Jaffe did lie to us about that one), and hopefully newcomer Last Guardian will finally get some playtime this year.
This was the little guy for me last year. Their press conferences tended to suck a bit, and they didn’t have that much going on. Lots of figures, not enough gaming. Well, last year they pulled it off – their press conference was undoubtedly the best, with every first-party title under the sun being shown off, including the biggest one since Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. What a game that was, and in case you don’t remember, I was the first person in the world to play it publicly! In any case, I think their lineup this year is stronger than ever, and here is the list to end all lists:
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will make a dual-appearance. Just like Twilight Princess did on the Wii at launch, I’m thinking Skyward Sword will also launch on the Wii sometime in 2011 and in 2012 with the new console. Of course, Nintendo will have to add a bunch of new stuff with that fancy new screen-controller they have, but they’re got a year to do it, and hopefully it won’t feel tacked on. Which brings me to…
- Nintendo’s Sixth. The Wii is great, and I’m not really sure Nintendo should be doing something so new and so soon. But, I was completely wrong when I thought the 3DS wouldn’t be a great experience – turns out, it’s right on the money. These guys know what they’re doing, so listen to the rumours you hear about their controller having a screen and being incredibly intuitive, because my guess is the same as those.
- Mario for 3DS. If they hadn’t already remade Super Mario 64 for the original DS, I’d say that was a sure thing for the 3DS. However, given that it’s been done, I’m hoping Mario has an entirely new setup for the 3D movement. Super Mario Galaxy would have been great, what with all the planet-jumping and awesome abilities and such, but the beautiful thing about the folks at Nintendo is that they’ve got no shortage of creativity. There’s also the tiny matter of the logo with raccoon tail that was leaked a few months ago. Is that a 3DS title or a new N6 title? Either way, bring on the Mario.
- Smash Brothers. The fantastic thing about last year’s press conference is that Nintendo used virtually all their characters: everyone from Mario to Zelda, Kirby to Samus, Donkey Kong to Kid Icarus. So what’s going to be original this year? Well, let’s put them all together in a game that we’re all clamouring for three years now: Super Smash Brothers. This one might be delayed to the new console, but if Nintendo does something right, please, please, please let them put this on the 3DS with infrastructure wireless play. Pleeasseee!
And that’s all she wrote. Okay, that’s quite a bit. Not a ton of predictions, but I wanted to go into detail about each one and really tell you what I liked and where I thought these companies could probably spend a little bit extra attention. Now, everyone’s a critic, and all three companies are doing excellent jobs in one way or another. Let’s just hope that somehow, we can see a bit more from each of them.
As we get closer and closer to E3 (we’re just 9 days away now!), please make sure you follow @eggplante on Twitter for all the updates, and take a look at our Facebook page for updates and photos as well!
In the next week or so, I’m going to be posting a bit more as we lead up to the big show in LA: I’ve got a redux of how all the companies performed a year after their last press conferences, my vision for next E3, and a special section called Into The Pixel, which highlights the artwork from games in a beautiful way, as they’ve done at E3 these past few years.
See you soon!