E3 Predictions: What to Expect.
It’s that time of year again. With E3 just around the corner, we’re all merely days away from learning what direction the industry will be going in. It’s an exciting time for gamers, developers and publishers so with that in mind, let me give you a quick rundown of what you can expect from this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo.
This year’s E3 is undoubtedly going to be more focused on games than last year. The burden of unveiling a new console has been lifted as we’re all more than familiar with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. There’s less at stake for the Big Three this year as Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are able to ride into E3 with some good news. I’ll start by addressing what to expect from the Big N.
Nintendo finally has some good news with the excellent launch of Mario Kart 8. While the Wii U’s misfortunes won’t be undone by a single-game, the Wii U had a 666% increase in sales in the UK the week Mario Kart 8 was released, according to a story by CVG. Keep in mind that this doesn’t automatically represent a turnaround as the Wii U experienced a similar surge in sales following the release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. As of May 7, Wii U sales have reached over 6.17 million, which places it ahead of the Xbox One but behind the Playstation 4.
If I were to expect anything from Nintendo at E3, it would be a further appeal to their hardcore fans. Announcing the GameCube controller adapter for the Wii U was a step in the right direction so expect a big game announcement from the Big N. One can only imagine how the internet would react to a new Zelda game being announced. Also speaking of which, Zelda Williams (that’s Robin William’s daughter) has been teasing an appearance E3 so this might be in the form of Zelda announcing a Zelda game but given Nintendo not even having a proper press conference, it seems doubtful. You never know right?
There are other possibilities of course, one only has to consider Microsoft dropping the Kinect on the Xbox One. It’s possible that Nintendo may do something similar for the Wii U though I would be surprised if Nintendo went in this direction.
Nintendo may announce integration with YouTube or Twitch. It unlikely though at the very least, Mario Kart 8 showed that Nintendo is willing to embrace the YouTube gaming community. At this point though, I wouldn’t expect anything but more of the same from Nintendo.
Microsoft probably has the most riding on this year’s E3 press conference. After last year’s disastrous conference Microsoft are in a better place but they are still clearly behind Sony. Microsoft will be looking to close the gap in two ways.
Firstly, Microsoft needs to flex their development muscles and show off as many exclusives as possible. Halo 5: Guardians is practically guaranteed to appear in the form of a story or gameplay trailer. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised in Microsoft kicked off their press conference with a trailer. We might also get a first look at Black Tusk Studios’ Gears of War game though I imagine the most we’ll see, if anything is a quick announcement trailer. Fable Legends is already confirmed to have a huge presence at E3 which probably means a stage demo and expect to see something from the recently announced Forza Horizon 2. Also, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be probably be shown but is that even news anymore?
The second way Microsoft will be closing the gap is on the software side. From the beginning, the Xbox One has been touted as entertainment device and regardless of whether it’s the right move, expect Microsoft to remain committed to this vision. It’s hard to say what, but expect an announcement that will change something about Xbox Live. It only seems natural given that the recent changes to Xbox Live have felt like Microsoft moving their playing pieces into place. Expect games and software from Microsoft at E3.
At last we come to Sony, who are easily in the most comfortable place out of all of the big gaming companies. The Playstation brand is arguable the strongest it’s ever been since before the Playstation 3 was announced. Sony has made a lot of noise with Project Morpheus and Playstation Now so expect on update on these features. Also the Playstation Vita TV, which is only available in Japan might by getting a North American release date.
On the games side of Sony has a bit of work to do. We’ll likely see footage of H1Z1 but we also know that Media Molecule and Guerilla Games won’t be at E3. Uncharted 4 is all but guaranteed to appear so expect a gameplay trailer at the very least. Sony boasts a more powerful machine than the Xbox One, which means they can lean on their third-party developers for support. Homefront: The Revolution and Batman: Arkham Knight will likely make appearances during Sony’s press conference. There’s not a whole lot else to say about Sony other than that they need to protect their lead and will likely do so.
Perhaps what matters most in every E3 are the games that we’ll be seeing and this year won’t disappoint. The recently announced Mortal Kombat X and Homefront: The Revolution are certain to show off some gameplay, along with Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Far Cry 4, Alien: Isolation and Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor just to name a few. Expect a gameplay trailers from EA including Mirror’s Edge 2, Battlefield: Hardline and Battlefront. There are also plenty of unannounced titles from Ubisoft, Crytek, EA and Square Enix that will be making a splash. Expect your gaming wish lists to increase dramatically after next week.
Let me finally address everyone’s favourite. There’s the perpetual myths about Fallout 4 and there might actually be weight to these rumors. I wouldn’t expect more than an announcement trailer from Bethesda, if anything at all. It would fall in line with the teaser trailers that have preceded Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
So that’s where I stand on E3, we’ll see how right (or wrong) I am in a week. In the meantime, tell me your E3 predictions. What are you hoping see and why? Let me know in the comments below.