The Electronic Entertainment Expo is Christmas for Gamers. Well, actually, it’s more like Groundhog Day, but you get the picture. With it just around the corner, Microsoft, Sony, the Big N, and the big Publishers are all working as hard as they can to convince us they’re the best choice for gamers. It’s always loaded with fun, exciting announcements and I sure as hell can’t wait for it. This is how I predict E3 will go down this year.
The Xbox One was received with approximately a 75% disappointment rate (statistics from IGN poll). The nearly always-online, required Kinect, mandatory game installs and lack of ability to allow friends to borrow games has limited what console gaming is usually preferred for. Generally, console gaming is convenient. It allows you to rent/borrow games easy, play offline, enjoy games privately, etc.
Sure, the Xbox One has been frowned upon at the reveal, but I have a theory. Microsoft was very ambiguous about many of these things. Hell, Major Nelson just denied the Used Game Fee that was spreading around from the other day. I think Microsoft was ambiguous on purpose to see how people would respond, that way when E3 rolled around they knew exactly what to say and when. Plus, who wouldn’t be completely happy to hear all these requirements are bullocks and that it’ll run just as freely as an Xbox 360? People would jump on board just because of their sudden agreeance. It’s their form of “made you look” because now everyone is watching, but it might not be as they say it is.
I think Microsoft will surprise at E3. I’m very happy with the console reveal. They cranked out all the bullshit we wouldn’t want to see at E3 so they can focus 100% on what truly matters; the games and software are what will drive us to purchase this device anyway. E3 will be all about the GOOD of the console for GAMERS and not about TV, Sports, Kinect and Call of Duty. Plus they have eight new IPs to share… yeah eight. I’m in.
Sony has a hole to fill. They’ve lost a lot of money the past few years, but I think they can get back on track. If the supposed requirements about the Xbox One are true, all Sony needs to do to win a large crowd over is NOT have these requirements. They are doing a great job right now keeping developers on their side and keeping a low key on the console until its true unveiling at E3.
Sony has been pretty quiet about the console for the most part. They’ve shown what it can do, given specs and shown the controller, but they haven’t said anything about the physical hardware. For all we know, it has the same shameful requirements the Xbox One may or may not have. However, Sony has a lot of loyal fans and great development teams on their side. All they need to do is blow us out of the water with a library of great games, unlocked shackles and a fresh PSN. I guarantee tons of people would jump on board if they demonstrated these ideas.
I think Sony will please at E3, but not in a surprising way. They’re taking a slow approach and making sure they satisfy fans before the mass crowd. After they have asserted their loyal base is on board, they’ll widen their net to grab up the stragglers.
Nintendo knows what they want. They want to please their fans. They want to sell to families. They want to bring innovation to gaming. Even if you still deny that Nintendo innovates, I have a few recent things that can counter it. PS4 touchpad and Xbox Smartglass were both inspired by the Gamepad. Sony and Microsoft’s early console unveils were inspired by Nintendo Direct. The social aspects of the Xbox One and PS4 may even be inspired by the Miiverse. Either way, Nintendo likes to take the risks that Sony and Microsoft don’t.
One thing is for sure for Nintendo – they’re about to slamdunk a TON of great first party titles that will ignite the Wii U fire. It happened with the 3DS last year, and I believe it will happen with the Wii U this year. Critics everywhere weren’t too fond of the 3DS its first year, but now it’s the preferred handheld by most parties. We already know we’ll see a new Zelda, Mario AND Smash Bros at E3, plus Animal Crossing, Pikmin 3, A Link to the Past 2 and whatever else might be up their sleeve.
I think Nintendo is going to dominate at E3. I think that they’re going to crank their development divisions to show the world what they’ve been waiting for – HD Zelda, HD Mario, HD Smash. Hell, I would love to see a Star Fox, Metroid, or F-Zero all teased or confirmed as in development. I think Wii U’s will be selling at a much higher rate after E3, something that Nintendo really needs right now.
EA: Battlefront 3, Battlefield 4
Activision: Call of Duty, New IP
Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed IV, Watch_Dogs, Rayman Legends, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Beyond Good & Evil 2
OUYA: Official list of full games available at launch. A few titles we haven’t heard of yet. Human Element.
Xbox One: No ridiculous requirements, New Non-FPS Halo, $400-$500
PS4: No ridiculous requirements, New IP, Reimagined PSN (constructed to capture XBL fans while retaining its trademark XMB)
Wii U/3DS: A ton of unannounced games besides Mario, Zelda and Smash. New Star Fox, Metroid, F-Zero. Improved Nintendo Network features.
OUYA: Strong First Party-Sponsored games.
Ubisoft: Less streamlined games, more creative games.
EA/Activision: An Apology.
Thanks for reading!