E3 2012 is less than a week away and the hype for the conference is now at an all time high. Things have been surprisingly quiet as of late, so much so that even Sony’s E3 cover has yet to be blown. So what gives? What could the big 3 and all of the AAA publishers have in store for us? Well we figured what better way to kick off our E3 coverage here at the site than with a few show predictions of our own. Read what our staff thinks will be making it into this year’s show.
Joel Taveras: Even though I’m sure that all eyes will be on Nintendo and their Wii U this year at E3, I have to say that Sony has the most pressure on them with making sure the Vita doesn’t fall into obscurity. So how will they do it? It’s quite simple actually, Sony will give it (arguably) the best damn library in video game history. That’s right, they’ll make all PS2 games released on the PSN playable (with cloud save support) on the PlayStation Vita.
Not only does it instantly bolster up the number of titles available, it also happens to provide for some of the best game experiences of the last 10 years. Let’s also not forget that 3rd party publishers (I’m looking at you Capcom) will simply gush at the chance of re-publishing titles without even having to take them back into the studio for any touchups. It’s a win-win for Sony, 3rd party publishers, and gamers. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see (and hope) if it actually happens.
Yaris Gutierrez: Although the Wii U had some momentum after last year’s E3, it slowly began to wither away only spontaneously teasing us with glimpses of games that are to come. I’ve been keeping my focus on both Microsoft and Sony in the past year. With Sony’s launch of the Vita last year and a plethora of other titles that have been announced and are expected to be announced, and with constant talk of Microsoft unveiling their new console, one can only imagine what’s in store for this year’s E3.
My opinion entails Microsoft showing off their new console (I definitely think it’s going to happen), which, of course, will probably be their final announcement given that they may want to let Halo 4 shine a bit. While Microsoft’s current console may be getting a plethora of third party titles this year, nothing substantial, aside from Halo 4, has been announced exclusively for the console, which leaves room for the idea that their first-party developers may be focusing their resources on Microsoft’s next generation “behemoth” (as per the rumors). If this is the case, expect a few game announcements as well from the MS camp. Maybe some Unreal 4 teasing?
Will Sony follow suit? It is likely, but I don’t think so. With games like God of War: Ascension and The Last Guardian (which I’m hoping gets a release date) pumping the graphical extremities of the PlayStation 3’s hardware, one can probably assume that Sony’s console still has some life in it. Add to the mixing bowl the Vita: A handheld with unforeseen potential which will, undoubtedly, be Sony’s sidearm in the console wars at E3. You have a new handheld which has idly sat in the sidelines for the past few months (collecting dust, for some) with a handful of titles. I think Sony is going to focus on this aspect of their market for some time. A handheld that goes hand-in-hand with their console; games that have yet to be released may finally have a date. New titles will — I have absolutely no doubt about it — be announced which may incur some erections.
This E3, I think Sony is going to focus on the one thing their loyal fans stuck around for: games. They have the hardware out and about on the market, they have the studios. Titles such as Kingdom Hearts 3, we’re hoping, get announced. And don’t hold your breath for Cross-XMB Voice Chat — we’ve been waiting a decade and nothing’s happened. Microsoft may introduce their new console and wow the crowd and possibly steal the show; or maybe they’ll go rampant with showing off Kinect stuff that no one will care about. Wii U has potential. It looks fun (as usual), it looks innovative, and it’s Nintendo. I’m just hoping that their “hot” titles are not the overly rehashed first-party titles this E3. We were exposed to some third-party stuff that looks promising.
And the finally, just when all is said and done, Sega CEO Hajime Satomi is going to come out and shut everyone down by announcing Sega’s new console, raise his hands in the air, and let the mic drop as he slowly exits the conference stepping back.
Chad Awkerman: The Elder Scrolls Online is going to be “game of the show” for many sites and will have a huge presence for Zenimax at E3 (it isn’t a Bethesda title – they’re collaborating on lore, but not developing). I think we’ll see release dates for GTAV and The Last of Us, however, as unlikely as it seems, all eyes will still mostly be on The Elder Scrolls Online – think what other news we remember most from last week. BioShock Infinite was delayed, yet we keep gravitating toward TES Online.
Unless Microsoft announces their next system, their E3 presentation will, once again, be the worst of the bunch, because they will just throw a dozen lame Kinect titles at us, have some kid dancing on stage and call it a day. Nintendo will, of course, be all about the Wii U – you don’t need a prediction piece to figure that out.
Sony, however, has the potential to blow this thing away with all the possibilities – they could have Square announcing Kingdom Hearts 3 or something related to FFXIV. Namco Bandai could announce Tales of Xillia for the West and/or a Ni No Kuni release date. The Vita will get a lot of love, that’s a given. The Last of Us will obviously be shown off, as will the new God of War game. So, ultimately, I’m going to give Sony the edge on the other two. Frankly, all they need to do is have Yoichi Wada come on stage, say not a word, and show a Kingdom Hearts 3 logo on the huge screens to win E3 in my book.