E3 Has Begun!
With the early keynotes still ramping up, and Microsoft’s already out the door, it’s safe to say that we’re in for a wild ride. Microsoft is bringing out the big guns with its Nat-er, Kinect peripheral, while Sony promises its Move to be a more practical (if less nifty) alternative to both the Wii and Kinect offerings. Nintendo, on the other hand, is sitting on a handheld that’s as mysterious as anything at this show. The rest of us, on the other hand, just want to know where the hell the games are. Indeed, thus far the show is looking to be bigger on the hardware than the software. A full hour of the Xbox keynote was dedicated to Kinect, and I expect similar showings for the Move and 3DS. This isn’t to say that we won’t be seeing some real surprises in software. In fact, I suspect we’ll be seeing one major reveal from a well known game company. Which one? Hint: It’s a synonym for Spigot. Before that, however, read ahead to my 10 predictions for E3 2010
1. When the dust clears, Nintendo will have won the show. This is an obviously subjective statement, but the lack of interesting games showcased for the Kinect solidified what I was already guessing. Nintendo seems to have the most finished version of their next-gen system ready for the show, and by following recent trends (3D) while removing the flaws in those trends (expensive tech, frustrating glasses) Nintendo seems ready for its best year in a good while.
2. Kinect will be playable on the Show Floor. At least, it had better be. Kinect is due to release in a few short months, and if Microsoft wants to get people excited about its product, it needs to get reviewers toying with it as soon as possible. If we don’t see it on the floor, it’s a sign that Kinect is not ready for consumer use, and that bodes poorly. I’m predicting that will not be the case, and our first hand looks at Kinect will be coming in shortly.
3. Square-Enix will announce Kingdom Hearts 3. With a DS port of the mobile phone game Coded already announced, and a second KH game confirmed for announcement at the show, this seems like a pretty sure thing. Birth by Sleep will be out in early September, and we know Nomura is going to be at E3. With many of the other major SE franchises released or nearing release, this is the best time for SE to make its move.
4. Some things we won’t be seeing. Even more telling than what we will see is what we won’t see. For one, I wouldn’t expect anything from MGS besides Rising, which is only now just getting attention with Peace Walker’s global release. ATLAS games will not announce much either, I expect, to the disappointment of JRPG fans everywhere. Blizzard will likely hold off on the big guns until Blizzcon in August, and Square-Enix will probably not reveal any big surprises, unless you count KH3. Don’t expect any new IPs from them.
5. Bioware is set for a powerhouse showing.Bioware will be presenting Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, and The Old Republic MMO this year. I don’t think any other 3rd party company has such a big lineup of AAA titles. Combined with Steam’s well timed EA sale this week (with Mass Effect 2 and DA:O set to go on sale this weekend) we’re looking at a big push of hype for the RPG giant.
6. Expect few details on the PSP2. This one is the guess I’m least confident in, but the fact that we’ve heard few leaks about the PSP2 this close to the show makes me suspect that we’re only getting a cursory look at the sequel to Sony’s Handheld.
7. New Legend of Zelda will be announced, and be awesome. I feel a bit like a Nintendo fanboy right now for saying this, but I’m really not. A few leaks have sprung regarding the promised announcement of the next LoZ game that implies a revolution of one of the oldest mainstays in gaming.
8. Activision will push CoD: Black Ops. Activision has been getting a lot of bad press lately, and they’ll be out to prove they are not-to use a somewhat unprofessional word-evil. They’ll likely want to push the CoD brand away from Infinity Ward and get people excited about Treyarch’s upcoming Black Ops, so the more we hear about that game, the more comfortable Activision feels.
9. No Subscription Fee announced for PSN, not yet at least. Microsoft has spread rumors that PSN will be announced to have a subscription model added to its service, if not replacing it entirely. Simple knowledge regarding damage control says that this doesn’t make much sense. E3 is too big of a platform to announce such a potentially controversial move. If it is true, they wouldn’t announce it now. But perhaps I’m giving Sony too much credit.
10. And finally: Half-Life 3 will be announced. This may sound like a pipe dream, but I actually have a fair bit of basis for this. Valve has hinted at a major reveal this year. They’ve reported difficulties with continuing the episodic releases of Half-Life Episode 2. Looking at Portal 2, and considering how the Orange Box was set up (and how Episode 2 led into a crossover) makes me certain that Valve is up to something, and this is most likely the moment to unveil it.
There we go! My guesses for what we’re looking at for this year’s show. It’s a rather wild combination of guesswork, judgment calls, and leaks, but I bet more of this will end up being true than false. What do you think? Do you have your own predictions, or do you just think I’m full of it? Comment below.
Written by Tabris