E3 2012 - Preview


The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012 is almost upon us. By this time next week you’ll be sick to death of phrases like "Cloud Gaming", "Kinect compatible" and "Reggie Fils-Aime", but for now every rumour is a welcome tease and we can't help but make wild predictions.  In reality, there might be a couple of mildly surprising announcements next week, but for the most part we already know what's coming: Nintendo will talk Wii U until they are blue in the face, then announce a new Mario, Sony will attempt to convince us that there is life in the Vita and Microsoft will milk Halo 4 for all it's worth.

Bold Prediction #1: During the Nintendo presser, Shigeru Miyamoto will drunkenly refer to Link as "that bastard boy in green" before throwing a punch at Reggie and sauntering off stage.

Nintendo must dominate E3 with the Wii U and bury twelve months of luke-warm publicity. While the 3DS has gone from strength to strength, the Wii U has yet to emerge from its disastrous reveal at last year's show. Iwata and Reggie will paint a much clearer picture of the new hardware this time around, putting the console front and centre and talking Nintendo core franchises. They will want to stress an unwavering commitment to third party development while avoiding showing multi-platform games running on competitor’s hardware. Although Nintendo have already said that there will be no price announcement, we are definitely going to come away pretty well clued-up on what we should expect come Christmas.

Bold Prediction #2: Sony confirm that Kaz Hirai will break into your house and batter you with a hammer if you attempt to play second hand games on the PS4.

Just as Nintendo did last year, Sony will be working hard to convince us of the merits of their stalling portable. There is a lot riding on Sony's presser and this is their moment to comprehensively set out their strategy for making the Vita a must own piece of hardware. Besides a permanent price drop, which probably isn’t on the cards, the Vita needs an outstanding collection of new games alongside a concerted effort to expand connectivity and compatibility with the PS3. Expect old favourites, new IPs and a dollop of Call of Duty. As a Vita owner, I hope Sony re-discovers the sense of urgency that has eluded them for the best part of a decade.

Outside of the Vita, it’s a safe bet that there will be lots of Sony All Stars Battle Royal, God of War Ascension and hopefully a stage demo of The Last of Us. It appears that Sony are aggressively looking to expand and improve upon PSN and PSN+, and rumours persist that they are moving into cloud gaming, by bringing streaming service, Gaikai, on board.

Lock your doors and windows, Kaz is in town

Bold Prediction #3: Timesplitters 4 is finally announced, to be released two weeks on Tuesday.

Microsoft's stage show will undoubtedly be dominated by Halo 4. MS, just like Sony, are unlikely to even mention the next generation, focussing instead on getting further mileage out of their blockbuster series and of course, Kinect. As they have done in past years, look for MS to secure the services of a handful of the biggest third party developers to provide exclusive demos of their multi-platform titles - CoD Black Ops 2 and the Skyrim DLC, Dawnguard are the two most likely candidates. Hopefully, they will have the good sense to bring back the gaming tandem of Ice T and Cliff Bleszinski, who were one of the highlights of last year’s immensely dull presser.

Bold Prediction #4: David Cage will attempt to pass off a Blu-ray copy of the Godfather Part 2 as his latest game and the "next stage in the evolution of the medium"

Konami have yet again proven themselves to be the most impatient of publishers, jumping the gun and making their E3 splash a day or two early. A pre-recorded video released in the early hours of today, featuring a 2pac-ified Konami exec, revealed two new Castlevanias and a brand new, non-wank trailer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Discarding the live action format and featuring the kind of man-slicing that what would make Sandor "The Hound" Clegane proud, it may restore a measure of confidence in a game that has split the MGS fan base.

Bold Prediction #5: An overweight developer, looking like he has just been dragged out of bed, will stammer his way through a dull as dishwater demo that no one remembers the next day.

As for the rest of them, expect Bethesda's Dishonoured to garner a lot of attention and Ubisoft to record a strong showing with Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed 3. EA will bring the third Dead Space to E3 and we may learn more of the recently leaked Battlefield 3 Premium Service. Capcom won't be short on games, with Resident Evil 6 and Lost Planet 3 expected to feature prominently. Square-Enix will spend most of their time deflecting questions about sexy nun corpses and grainy FFXIII Versus-has-become-FFXV YouTube clips, while David Cage and Quantic Dream might be ready to wow us with something mildly interactive.

Be sure to check back throughout next week for plenty of E3 news, opinions and snarky comments about the Wii U. I’ll be burning the midnight oil, trying to stay awake during the press conferences and posting the big announcements before they go stale.

Comments

  1. It would really help if they'd say something about any MH game coming to the US and EU. Even that it's not happening. Confirm or deny. The community was already tense, intense, abrasive, and elitist. Just barely tolerable in the best weather. Now, after two years of Capcom's neglect, the ill will is beyond palpable. They've taken the most loyal/fanatical Western gaming community I've ever seen and turned it into a f***ing 24-7 pit fight. With no new monsters to hunt, all they have to do is wreak carnage on each other about which game we're not getting next. It's been awful. AWFUL. Capcom needs to say something. Anything.

    Aside from that, all I care about is Sony. Your comment about their sense of urgency is dead on. They have vast resources and a global empire, and all they ever seem to do is wander around the yard in their pajamas. Their last three big things were 3DTV, Move, and Vita. What's the combined total progress on all that? That's roughly $1500 to sit in three buses that never move. They've got to find the accelerator. Because one thing is certain - they'll launch the ps4 at $150 more than anyone wants to pay for it. Their pricing habits, plus the current total lack of momentum, will be disastrous for that poor system.

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    1. Good old Capcom, looking after the core. Don't worry, you should have Street Fighter vs Monster Hunter before the end of the year.

      I'm genuinely concerned about Sony's long term future. In their recent restructuring, they highlighted the games divison as one of two or three parts of their buisiness that will lead company growth in the next couple of years. This is the same Sony Computer Entertainment that hemorrhaged money in the last financial year and continues to lag behind MS and Nintendo.

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  2. I am hoping for a big show for the Vita. This seems like it will be a very important event for the handheld's future. I hope it shows well. Looking forward to more of The Last of Us and Tomb Raider too. I wish it was Monday already. I love E3!

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    1. I'll be staying up until 4am for Vita! Let's hope Sony get it right

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  3. E3 is huge for Sony. I don't want to go as far as saying it's make or break for the Vita but it might be pretty close. I want to see games and I mean see them. Not some guy talking about a game while standing in front of a screen with just a logo on it. It really worries me that we haven't really seen much in the way of trailers and screenshots of upcoming Vita games.

    As for other games, I am really looking forward to The Last of Us, Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3. The game I am looking forward to the most is Dishonered. I didn't even know about the game until the day Dragons Dogma came out and saw the trailer at Gamestop.

    Please don't disappoint me Sony. Please come through.

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    1. One more thing. It would be cool is they announced something about PS1 games becoming playable on the Vita in the near future. I am currently looking for PSP games to buy while I have 20+ PS1 classics that I would love to play on it.

      Maybe something about trophies being on the PS3 as well.

      I highly doubt either of those things will happen but I can wish.

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    2. I think it's definitely make or break for the Vita. It's not too late for Sony to make a success of their portable - see the first 6 months of 3DS and where it is now - but they have to act now.

      I agree about PS1 games. It seems like common sense to have the backcatalogue on Vita

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  4. At least if he showed off The Godfather Part 2 it would have a good story. Can't really say the same for Heavy Rain. Good for a videogame does not equal good.

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    1. I didn't mind Heavy Rain, though it was no Godfather 2! I'm interested to see what Quantic Dream have to show, if anything

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  5. I'm mostly worried about Sony. They need to play up the Vita in a big way. It needs video streaming services on it, iOS like games, new original games, a huge cheap to buy PS1 game library, and a huge cheap to buy PS2 game library. I have no idea what is necessary to pull this off, but Sony really needs to figure it out. Sony really likes to say that the PS Vita will be an all in one device, but now they have to make it an all in one device. Hell... They should put an eReader on it too. They made the same mistake with the PSP. Dont put a ton of expensive tech into a gaming device and then not use it!

    This is the most unexcited that I've ever been for an E3... I'm mostly just worried about what's going to happen to the videogame industry in the future. I don't like the direction that things are going... I would get excited if Atlus announced Persona 5 however... Which wont happen.

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    1. The Vita needs a lot, and even then it might not be enough in the current market.

      I share your concerns. I think we may be seeing the final days of the gaming industry as we know it. Not sure what the changes are going to be, but its clear the current business model is not working. Developers folding left, right and centre and the big boys posting huge losses - it can't continue like this. :(

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