Wild Guesses 'R' Us
In this day and age, it‚Äôs pretty hard to keep a secret. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and all the other major players in the gaming industry must really hate the internet sometimes ‚Äď it makes it so hard to actually surprise people.
However, while we‚Äôve been hearing all sorts of mumblings from various sources, it‚Äôs still nice to get things confirmed ‚Äď and then there‚Äôs the wonderful element known as wishful thinking. Our list consists of both suspected announcements and things we‚Äôd really like to see ‚Äď no matter how unlikely. Enjoy! We‚Äôll see whether we should quit the gaming business and print prediction books when E3 rolls about at the start of June.
These guys have been making the most noise out of anyone in anticipation of their E3 press conference. They‚Äôve been claiming their announcements will change the way we see gaming ‚Äď although I‚Äôm pretty sure we heard something similar when they announced Avatars and Netflix last year. Did those things change the way you viewed gaming?
The motion control bandwagon
This one‚Äôs a no-brainer ‚Äď Microsoft has been trying to reach out to more casual audiences for a while now, in an attempt to woo over SingStar or Wii Sports players. Specifically, there‚Äôs been talk of a motion capture camera that can detect three dimensions. Should be interesting if true ‚Äď let‚Äôs just hope there‚Äôs some decent software to compliment it.
We‚Äôve no concrete idea what‚Äôs going on here, but there‚Äôs been a few murmurings about a Zune media player that‚Äôs also a phone and can play games. File this one under ‚Äúnot so likely‚ÄĚ ‚Äď or perhaps under ‚Äúsounds cool, but will probably be far more gimped than rumours are claiming‚ÄĚ.
Windows? What‚Äôs that?
Do you remember a couple of years ago, when Microsoft made a lot of noise about Games for Windows, and how it would lead a resurgence of PC gaming? Yeah, that sure happened. Microsoft has even said that no Games for Windows announcements will be forthcoming at E3. So PC gamers should keep on doing what they‚Äôve been doing all along: ignoring Microsoft‚Äôs posturing and getting on with better services like Steam.
New game announcements
What‚Äôs going to prop Microsoft up at the end of the year? Currently, Sony seems to have the edge when it comes to upcoming exclusive blockbusters ‚Äď so ideally, they‚Äôll pull a few cats out of the bag here. A sequel to Lips doesn‚Äôt count, I‚Äôm afraid.
Trailing somewhat in worldwide sales (bar Japan), Sony needs to light a fire and regain the momentum. To their credit, the boys and girls at this giant company are looking pretty motivated ‚Äď let‚Äôs see if E3 can be their moment back in the sun.
The new PSP
Whatever it‚Äôs going to be called, this one is a very badly kept secret. The PSP2 is rumoured to feature a touch screen and no UMD drive ‚Äď meaning that all titles will be purchased digitally, just like the iPhone. It‚Äôs going to be very, very interesting to see if Sony can get everything right for this one. To do that, the software is going to have to be there, from great new titles to a wide library of PSOne classics.
Home be pimpin‚Äô
Sony will try and put emphasis on a whole lot of new Home features. But can it finally draw more people in? We‚Äôre skeptical. As an aside, post in the comments whether you use Home much at all!
PS3 facelift or price cut
Sony is still losing roughly US $40 per PS3 sold, according to a recent report. This places them in a tricky situation when it comes to a much-requested price cut: while it‚Äôll boost sales, can they afford to lose even more cash? An alternative rumour making the rounds says that a price cut will happen later in the year ‚Äď and in the meantime, a slimmer PS3 will be released. Of course, they might try and get away with neither.
Expect to see a lot more of Uncharted 2, MAG, God of War III, and possibly even Gran Turismo 5 at E3 ‚Äď and if they live up to their promises, these exclusives should really help Sony at the tail end of 2009. Personally, I‚Äôm hoping for even more games to be revealed ‚Äď bring on a sequel of some kind to Flower!
Did you see Nintendo‚Äôs 2008 E3 press conference? If you don‚Äôt consider yourself a casual gamer, you won‚Äôt have missed much. They‚Äôve even publicly admitted that their show could have been more attractive to core gamers. So it‚Äôll be interesting to see if it‚Äôs all just words ‚Äď or whether we‚Äôll see more than just Wii Fit 2.
Games for gamers
Zelda! Mario! Kid Icarus! More! A lof of gaming publications are predicting a whole raft of new additions to Nintendo‚Äôs major franchises. We‚Äôre a little more skeptical ‚Äď it seems more likely that only one (or maybe two) major core games will be revealed, so they have as much space to breathe as possible.
The DSi store ‚Äď along with many games that make use of its new capabilities ‚Äď has been off to a slow start. Ideally, Nintendo will announce a whole heap of first-and-third party titles that really make it worthwhile to pickup the latest DS model.
Time for MotionPlus
Likewise, more announcements will come of games that make use of MotionPlus, the new Wii remote addon that allows for greater motion control. We‚Äôre expecting a lot of hands on time with a bunch of new titles that enable this.
New Wii colours
Don‚Äôt want to drop the price just yet? No problem ‚Äď just change the colour! We reckon Nintendo will have a lineup of Wii consoles beyond trusty old white. Who wouldn‚Äôt want a magenta Wii?
New game announcements from a lot of developers/publishers
We‚Äôre expecting a number of new games to be announced from top developers. Valve will show off Half-Life 2 Episode 3, but also announce an entirely new game. Bethesda will announce a new title ‚Äď hopefully Elder Scrolls V! Rare will do the same. And hopefully Team Ico will finally show off their new game. Stranger things have happened.
OnLive will continue to polarize people
Until this new wonder device is set up in the homes of people across the globe, many will remain skeptical. Sure, it‚Äôs probably going to wow our socks off at E3, but the question will remain: how will it hold up in real world situations? In any case, it‚Äôs pretty irrelevant right now to us Kiwis ‚Äď it won‚Äôt see a release here for some time.
A continuing flood of music games
Activision recently announced Guitar Hero 5 ‚Äď along with precisely five billion other ‚ÄėHero‚Äô games. Even if no one else were in the rhythm game market, the Guitar Hero franchise would still have it saturated. But there will also be a whole raft of wannabes ‚Äď along with The Beatles: Rock Band. Hell, maybe we‚Äôll even manage to lock down a New Zealand release date for Rock Band 2.
Dragon Age on consoles
Sure, we‚Äôve seen all sorts of previews for the PC version, but many are wondering how the console adaption will work. Can the interface remain any good? Hopefully we‚Äôll find out at E3.
Sega unveils a Sonic game that actually looks good
No, just kidding. Actually, do you remember how Sonic Unleashed looked half decent when it was first announced? Yeah.
Got any other predictions? Stick ‚Äėem below!