E3 Is Just a hop, skip and jump away, ready to bring us the an entire next-generation of consoles and introduce us to the future of gaming as we know it. Will used games survive the next salvo of press releases? Will Sony continue to redeem themselves in the eyes of gamers everywhere? Can Microsoft win back early naysayers before its too late? Will Nintendo surprise us with the a Best Buy presentation that blows the entire E3 convention out the water?
This is what DualShockers came together to figure out, offering our brightest (or craziest) insights into next week’s reveals, disappointments, and desires.
Sony, the PlayStation 4, and the Vita
Dana: With the EPIC mess Microsoft has created for itself, the ball is literally in Sony’s court. All they have to do drop a release date on the PS4 and offer some pre-order goodies and they’re good to go. Also if they were to announce a price drop in the PS3, I would be very elated. I’m really looking forward to them focusing their attention on The Last of Us. To me that’s the most compelling game. I believe they’re allowing a certain number of the public to go to their press conference. I think this is a superb idea. Maybe that might mean they have some fan favorites coming back that they haven’t made official. Maybe a new Tomb Raider game.
Kenneth: Sony has promised to bring over 40 games to E3! I’m sure many of them will be for the Vita and PS3, but I’d like to see some game-play of some PlayStation 4 games. Other than more information regarding the PlayStation 4, there really isn’t much that I want from Sony. More games for the Vita, maybe a few more PS3 exclusives before it is officially outdated by the PS4 and then that’s about it. I don’t know of any particular games up their sleeves that I’m excited to see, so I’m kind of sleeping on them in a way. Hopefully they’ll surprise me. Final Fantasy Versus XIII? A man can dream, right?
Sony will obviously be showing the PlayStation 4 in all of its glory – finally. Expect to see a big shiny black box whose magnificence will be amplified by the fact that it will most likely be smaller or at least less cumbersome than the gargantuan Xbox One. We should also be getting a price point and the reveal of the console’s release date, possibly in the lucrative slot of on or around Black Friday. A stretch in that regard may be the revelation of different builds and/or bundles of the console, one of which may include the PS Vita; seeing as how it functions as a de facto primary controller for the system.
Dave: In terms of games, we will most likely see some more footage from Sony’s flagship title for the year of 2013: Beyond: Two Souls; possibly more gameplay since the TriBeca Film Festival has so far been the only time that we have been served up anything regarding that aspect of the game. Some long-shots may be next-generation iterations of the Uncharted, Resistance, and God of War franchises. As I explained on the podcast, Sony is in the driver’s seat going into this year’s E3, and there is very little that they can do to screw things up for themselves. All they need is a reasonable price point and good games (including the resurrection of the currently D.O.A. The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy Versus XIII), and they will own this year’s holiday season.
Chad: Out of all three “next gen” consoles, I’m most interested in Sony’s offering (go ahead, call me a fanboy), so I’m the most interested to see what they have to offer at E3. Obviously, on the RPG side of things is where my gaze is specifically looking. Unfortunately, unless a new IP is announced or something, the only one I really see that they would advertise along the PS4 is whatever new next-gen Final Fantasy Square-Enix has cooking, as well as possibly Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (but we already know it’s coming to a Sony platform). It would be awesome if Persona 5 was announced for the PS4, but I doubt that will happen at E3…let’s wait for the Tokyo Game Show for that one. Oh, and KINGDOM HEARTS III!
Allisa: I’d love to maybe hear some news on Versus XIII and how it’s totally coming out soon, along with another terrible trailer for the game. Otherwise, I’d love to see The Last Guardian back, and of course the other games announced for E3.
Masoud: I can’t lie: I’ve been with Sony since the first PlayStation and I’m glad they’re finally getting back on track. The PS3 was a lot of catching up; now they seem to be taking a lead, a stance even, that they’re going to be on top of their game–pun intended–and show the world what hardcore gamers want. I expect tons of announcements–Sony’s new Indie initiative and self-publishing initiative could bring a plethora of titles to the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita–and I expect Sony to revel in the fact that for the first time in nearly a decade, they’re calling the shots.
Microsoft, the Xbox One, and the Kinect
Allisa: Games! Call of Duty, Halo, maybe Mirror’s Edge 2 and maybe Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden (that goes for Microsoft and Sony, if I have my way).
Dave: Microsoft has quite the hole to dig themselves out of. Their poor showing of the Xbox One at the reveal event for the console has to be remedied by a phenomenal showing during their presentation at E3. The company will justify the system as a viable gaming console, something more than a simple improvement of Tivo and picture-in-picture. Quantum Break and Forza 5 will simply not cut it.
Microsoft will come out swinging with their big franchises (Halo 5 and Gears of War 5), or they will have to have the better presentations of multi-platform games including Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and Watch_Dogs. This also includes current-generation games including Grand Theft Auto V and unannounced but heavily rumored games including Mirror’s Edge 2 and Beyond Good & Evil 2. An apology (on their knees) from the Microsoft brass is not in order, but they simply need to demonstrate that they want the core gamers as badly as they seem want the living room.
Kenneth: Microsoft clearly has something to prove following the Xbox One reveal. I think that as a result of the harsh backlash to their “TV TV TV” reveal, many people will actually be watching them more closely compared to Nintendo and Sony to see what exactly they’re going to do. There is really only one thing for MS to do, I think, and that’s show off as many video games as they possibly can. Try to convince the legion of naysayers created by the reveal that the Xbox One is a gaming console first. They promised a dozen or so exclusives for the Xbox One, so I’d like to see a good number of those revealed and shown off. Somehow, despite what happened with the reveal, I think MS will still end up spending some amount of time talking about the console’s TV and entertainment functions. Isn’t that sad? Nobody wants to hear any more TV, sports or Call of Duty DLC blurb. Show games or go home, that’s the long and short of it for MS.
Dana: Obviously we’ll get Battlefield 4, which always makes my day.They said they’re were only focusing on games. This would be a great time for Microsoft to convince people Xbox One actually does play games. They also reported that the Xbox 360 was going to be around for 5 more years, so I’m really looking forward to any upgrades they have for that system.
Masoud: Even as a Sony fanboy, I find it disconcerting that Microsoft has–in just a few months–seemingly completely switched places with Sony. Last generation they they beat Sony out the gate, have been the “default” console for years, and have been far more associated with gaming to the general public that the PlayStation. All that said, I think statistics that pointed to the PS3 as the number one console for streaming scared them, and drove them to that “TV TV TV” conference we saw. They know they made a mistake, and E3 they’re going to use their superior skills of marketing and public relationships to win back gamers.
Or… they’ve completely lost touch, don’t really care, and think Call of Duty and Illumi-Room will be enough to satisfy us for another year. Maybe Halo 5 has dogs, too.
Nintendo, the Wii U, and the 3DS, and other consoles
Kenneth: Personally, I’m probably most excited for Nintendo’s showing. I don’t care if the big reveals come from E3, Nintendo Direct, Best Buy or the paper boy. Of the big three, they are the company with the most exclusives I’m concerned with right now. I want to see Smash Bros. 4. A CG opening or something will do, but game-play would be amazing. I want firm release details and footage for Windwaker HD. The screens look amazing and I really want to see if looks nearly as good in motion as it does in the screenshots. Perhaps most importantly, I want to see Bayonetta 2. Game-play is probably out of the question, but I’d be content with a full trailer. The combined force of these games sells the Wii U for me, but there’s been so little seen or heard of any of them that I’m still extremely hesitant to buy one. There’s also Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, another promising title that has yet to show its face. The 3DS has been in excellent shape, and I can only imagine that even more hot titles will be announced for it.
Allisa: I’d love a new Super Smash Bros. game, a new Bayonetta 2, and the new Monolith game for Nintendo. Also, the Ouya was mentioned recently as a place for Final Fantasy remakes, so an HD remake of an old FF game would be something I wouldn’t mind hearing announced.
Dana: I know everyone hate Mario at this point but I’m sorry I will never turn my back on him, so I would love to see Mario and Super Smash Brothers gameplay. While I’m not expert on Nintendo, I don’t recall them announcing new hardware, so a price drop on their consoles would make my wallet do back flips.
Masoud: I know I was thrown off a little by Nintendo’s lack of a conference, but I think their Best Buy schtick is a smart strategy: it directly tells consumers “Hey, we’re talking to you! WE are the face of gaming!” (even if it’s just a marketing ploy). I expect Nintendo to sweat a little, and pull out the big guns to combat all of the hype Sony and Microsoft are creating… that means the already announced upcoming Smash Bros. trailer, a million new Mario titles (or Luigi, since it’s his year they say) and maybe even a much coveted Legend of Zelda or Metroid title.
Dave: Nintendo will announce that in addition to their partnership with Sega in which they will exclusively publish Sonic the Hedgehog games, the two will conclude a secret venture into the hardware realm and will unveil their newest console: The Nintendo/Sega Super Dreamcast. Nintendo will bring back all of their long-unused franchises (first and third-party) such as Star Fox, F-Zero, Kung Fu, Lester the Unlikely, Q*Bert, Bible Adventures, Top Gun, Hotel Mario, Pokemon Snap U, and every game from the LJN catalog. Nintendo will also unveil a new partnership with Tiger Electronics for a new line of handheld games.
Biggest E3 2013 Surprise?
Chad: Sega finally bringing Valkyria Chronicles III to the West via a PSN download? Or, better yet, HD “remasters” of all three games on one PS3 BluRay disc. That would blow my mind.
Dana: I want a new God Of War game. I know Ascension came out in March but I would like Sony to say “hey Dana, don’t worry. We know we got you addicted. We got your back.”
Masoud: Sony announces a PS4/Vita bundle that will be made available by the middle of Autumn, packaged with PlayStation Plus and coupled with several free games for your Vita. You know what, not a surprise at all. Maybe Microsoft bringing back Killer Instinct? Banjo & Kazooie? Crackdown?
Allisa: The biggest surprise for me would be if Kingdom Hearts 3 was not only announced… but currently in development.
Kenneth: Wishful thinking, but maybe a price drop for the Vita or its peripherals? I’d love to upgrade from my 4GB memory card. MS may reveal a new Killer Instinct game? There’s been lots of rumors and buzz concerning that. Something regarding Persona 5. I would say “something regarding Devil’s Third” but Itagaki already shot that down. Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma announced for international release. I’m not really expecting much from anyone except Nintendo, so I really want someone to surprise me with a shocking announcement.
Silliest or Unlikeliest Thing We Want Announced at E3 2013
Masoud: Finally, after years of waiting! Final Fantasy Tactics II! Final Fantasy Type-0 for the West! Final Fantasy Versus! Kingdom Hearts 3! You know, all the games we’ve actual wanted from the Final Fantasy franchise…
Chad: A re-design of any piece of hardware (especially handhelds). I wish companies would slow down on that standard operating procedure.
Kenneth: Unlikely? For Square Enix to stop failing all over the place. Say something concrete regarding Final Fantasy Versus XIII if it wouldn’t kill you. If it’s canceled say it’s canceled. This has gone on long enough. Say something about an international release of Agito (Final Fantasy Type-0). Say something about a new Kingdom Hearts game for home consoles. Don’t say anything about another new Kingdom Hearts game for portable consoles. Don’t announce a fourth Lightning XIII game. Don’t spend too much time talking about cell phone games, because I think you’ve overestimated how many people care about that. Release dates for Bravely Default and Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD, international release of Drakengard 3. Across the board price drops on digital ports of any game that is more than a decade old. Sorry to rant here, but expecting Square Enix getting their act together is probably the silliest of my E3 expectations.
Allisa: Simply this: that Microsoft and Sony and everyone else should call off the whole DRM thing.
Dana: That’s simple. I would like Bill Gates himself to randomly appear onstage with the inventor, creators and developers of Xbox One. Alongside Bill Gates would be Samuel L. Jackson dressed in full Mace Windu attire (lightsaber included) who proceesd to slaughter those responsible for the Xbox One. Bill Gates would grab their head or two heads and announce his deepest apologizes for the massive clusterf**k Xbox One is. He would then announce to the audience Microsoft would start from scratch.
The spirit of Steve Jobs would then descend from heaven (or ascend from wherever else he may be), stand alongside Bill Gates and say to him “Don’t worry, I got your back. I was always better than you, you need need my help as a designer.” Gates would then go on to proclaim the Xbox One would have no government issued spy-cam that has to be on 24/7, records sound and watches your every moment. When you leave your home or go to bed at night, it will not become a transformer and go through all your belongings, sending images to the CIA nor would it make a mess of your pots and pans. You also don’t have to worry about spontaneous combustion since it’ll never overheat.
The new Xbox will focus on games, will not look like a cable box or try to replace your TV. Come E3 2014, Xbox 1.2.0. will be the greatest console to ever exist.