The 2012 E3 Expo will be held June 5th-8th at the L.A. Convention center. I will be on hand meeting with companies, taking pictures and video, and above all getting to see all the new games and tech that will be coming in the near and distant future.
Gareth Von Kallenbach…
With this in mind, Ben has written us a great look at some of the things he is looking forward to and hoping to be revealed at the show. I will pop in with a comment here and there but Ben has done a solid preview for us that covers alot of stuff. What do you want to see from the show and what are you most excited about?
By: Ben Rueter
The Next Next Generation
At last year’s E3 Nintendo unveiled the Wii U which begs the question, when are we going to get a glimpse of Microsoft and Sony’s next console? Nintendo could try to “start” the next generation a year before their competitors by announcing a release date for later this year. Microsoft will wait to reveal the next Xbox in 2013. They will let Windows 8 come out first and tie the new Xbox into Windows 8’s interface and functionality. The PS4 is up in the air. With the Wii U looking to launch next year, Sony may want to show investors that they are looking ahead with something that is way more powerful than the Wii U that has more advanced motion technology.
Since Microsoft may shift their focus towards a mobile device Sony might take advantage of this and have a strong push with their Vita line up and tease something special for the PS4.
The New Handheld Battlefield
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Nintendo is cleaning up in the handheld market as usual. What you can expect out of Nintendo is they will push 3DS more and start to slowly fade out the DS. Nintendo wants people to convert to the 3DS and they might convince people by showing some kind of connectivity with the Wii U.
The Vita on the other hand, Sony needs to capture the hopes and minds of Sony fans and investors with a strong showing for the Vita.
Show off some promising software updates, applications and a much needed price drop. With the 3DS at less than half the price of the Vita, Sony needs to make the Vita more approachable for the children and mothers. Take the focus away from the hardcore in other words.
Now the surprise announcement could be Microsoft’s entry into the mobile field. They have talked about getting a foothold in the mobile market, but a portable Xbox is not how they will do it. Microsoft is getting ready to roll out Window 8 which looks to be tailored for tablets.
Windows 8 also has full access to Xbox Live and the arcade market. A Windows 8 tablet could be how they get in. This could all be tied into a large Xbox interface update to make everything more Windows 8 friendly. Nintendo is the only other competition in the tablet market place — with the Wii U controller — and it’s still unclear how much Nintendo will focus on the Wii U’s tablet like controller. Either way, the mobile game market could be the next battleground with tablet gaming on people’s mind.
(From Gareth” Let us not forget the new gaming Tablets from RAZER as well).
GTA 5 and the Rest
Rumors are abound about Rockstar’s next GTA title and if or if not it will be shown at this year’s E3. Some reports have pointed towards an October release date. Having the game featured in one of the big three’s press conferences would be great way to start building hype straight into October.
Another big hitter is Assassin Creed 3. There’s no doubt that this game will be the star of the show at the Ubisoft press conference. Full demo and a release date or release window should be enough to satisfy the fans. Also Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 has been absent for over two years. Perhaps a new trailer and some game play will dispel rumors of the game being scrapped. Ubisoft will also make a strong showing of Wii and probably a few Wii U games.
Moving on to EA, Dead Space 3. It’s in development and at least a trailer will be shown for this title. The Old Republic will get another show of support. EA wants to make this their big MMO to compete with the online gaming market which will be a good thing since Blizzard will probably announce their new MMO at the next BlizzCon. Another CG trailer would be a nice way to tease a new expansion.
Speaking of BioWare, Dragon Age 3 will should make an appearance and possible some more Mass Effect 3 to keep fans interested in the multiplayer and expect them to ignore Mass Effect’s 3 ending.
The Big Three Breakdown
This year Nintendo will be all about the Wii U and hopefully a name change. Wii U doesn’t make it sound like a brand new thing which is what Nintendo wants it to be. Whether or not that happens, it’s now time to show some first party Nintendo games that are using the tech to its potential. Expect a release date or release window for the Wii U.
Like every Nintendo console launch, a stellar first party title is attached to it. A new Pikmin game is in development and Super Mario 4 could be the Wii U’s tent pole launch title. Nintendo has aquitred the name it would be a great way to grab the attention of core Nintendo fans and their casual fans at the same time.
Nintendo will also show off some core/mature game. Since the Wii U can handle more detailed graphics it would be a slick move to show off something like Black Ops 2 or Ghost Recon running on the Wii U. Prove the early Dev reports wrong and show something graphically impressive. Playing down the DS and start pushing 3DS more and more will be another thing to look for. Nintendo is going to want to keep the momentum moving with the 3DS and get more developers on board since it’s not like the Vita is making any significant gain yet.
Ever since the Kinect launched Microsoft has been all about pushing the product and it’s games. This year won’t be any different. But like past years were core fans may have been disappointed with the Kinect showing catering to casual audience, perhaps this year we will see more core games using the tech in more interesting ways.
Let’s not forget the shooters and boy does Microsoft love it’s shooters. Halo 4 will shown off in a game play demo no doubt. Black Ops 2 will be played up probably with a announcement of some kind exclusivity. Besides Halo 4 and Black Ops 2, there will still be a large focus on casual software, Kinect, and applications for the Xbox interface.
Along with more Kinect support, Window 8 and a potential tablet will be featured. Everything will be built around the Windows 8 interface and everything will work together. Everything from applications, games, mobile feature will tie into the Live experience.
A surprise announcement could be Metal Gear Solid 5. Last year’s E3 Kojima Productions announced their own in house engine titled the Fox Engine. Technicalities aside the important piece of information regarding the engine is that it is being used for multiplatform development. Remember Final fantasy 13? Before that was confirmed for multiplatfrom development Square Enix announced their own in house engine – the Crystal Engine – for multiplatform development. With the cost of development going up more studios are going multiplatform because simply put that’s where they’ll make the most money.
Vita Vita Vita will be the focus. Investor need a reason to care about another Sony handheld. Some new functionality, application and games should keep people interested. But it depends on if they care enough to buy one. That’s where a price drop should come in.
People will be expecting to see something related to the PS4. I don’t think there will be any pre-rendered footage from PS4 games after the Killzone mis-happening. Rolling out the Vita and then combo it with some PS4 connectivity would be an interesting thing to see. But expect only a tease of the PS4, nothing more!
Another big surprise of the show would be seeing Bungie’s next game at the Sony press conference. After Bungie broke from Microsoft they started seeking help with PS3 development. It would make sense that Bungie would go multiplatfrom after being tied down to Microsoft. I can see Microsoft grabbing some kind of exclusivity with DLC with the game, but this game will be multiplatfrom and it would be cool to see the announcement debut at the Sony press conference.
I am really looking forward to seeing the progress on games such as Aliens: Colonial Marines and titles that were in the very early stages at last years show. I also am curious about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Planetside 2, The new X-Com as well as The Elder Scrolls Online. I am looking forward to seeing what Bethesda has done with the Lithtech 5 engine as well as Borderlands 2 I think it is safe to say that we will see tons of great games and tech as well as a few suprises that will make this one of the most exciting gaming conventions in recent years.