With this year’s E3 just around the bend, I don my Michael Pachter face to wildly predict things wot will [probably not] happen during the conferences.
Microsoft will use the conference to wretchedly plug its four core first-party franchises, peppering a wonted show with trashy cameos, paid-by-the-smile child actors and, I don’t know, Cliff fucking Bleszinski? Peter Molyneux certainly won’t be taking to the stage.
We’ll learn more about 343 Industry’s Halo 4, there’ll be news of Fable 4, we’ll find out just what’s happening with People Can Fly developed Gears of War prequel Gears of War 4, and, just to buck a blue trend, Forza 5 (or, more likely, Forza: Horizon) will show face. There’ll be window-washing aplenty, mention of the “[new] Xbox experience” and some newfangled super cool cross-media apps for the dashboard announced, probably Pornhub and Raptr.
Continuing its bedroom antics with Activision, the show will no doubt open with – or at least feature – footage of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 with Crytek making an appearance to hawk its Kinect title Ryse (unless rumours are true and it’s been pushed back into the next generation). Crystal Dynamics will be keen to shine light on its impressive looking Tomb Raider reboot while Ubisoft will want in on things as well, despite hosting its own conference. Last year they demoed Ghost Recon, this year Rainbow Six: Patriots seems the logical replacement, that or Far Cry 3. They certainly won’t be showing Rayman: Origins 2 at this bro-fest. Bethesda may even rock up to peddle Dishonored. Microsoft will also announce its XBLA Summer of Arcade lineup announcement which will feature Battleblock Theatre, Deadlight, Rock Band Blitz, CS:GO and a tossy Kinect game.
Will we get a first glimpse of the third Xbox? I don’t think so. Microsoft just aren’t this good at keeping secrets under wraps, someone would have leaked the info onto its website by now.
Nintendo will come roaring out of the stops with tedious blather about statistics and how much money the company has. We’ll have to suffer a sub-HD virtual tour of the Nintendo Money-Storing Moon Base, followed by further reminders of just how outrageously successful the Wii has been (up yours naysayers!) Then we’ll get round to business.
Nintendo will, of course, be using E3 to peddle its upcoming Wii U console and they’re well on board the PrE3 train, hosting their own PrE3 conference to showcase the Wii U in order for developers to be able to demo their games on the floor without ruining the surprise. They’ll gloss over specs, although likely highlight the fact that it is HD, remind us that it’s gameplay > hardware, play up the tablet controller and then show us a montage of respected developers talking about how awesome the Wii U is. If they have any sense, they’ll go into some detail about how the Wii U will build upon the Wii’s dismal online functionality and how third party developers won’t be getting shunned this time round.
There’ll be game announcements too, as Nintendo looks to continue its momentum into the next generation while also taking advantage of Sony and Microsoft’s absence, at least until 2013. But what games? Nintendo are characteristically hard to predict in this department, with new IP being volleyed out willy nilly since the early 90s. There’ll be a new Mario game, mention or footage of Super Smash Bros, details on Pikmin 3 and a compilation game designed to showcase the Fisher Price My First iPad controller.
They’ll also be looking to get the so-called hardcore on board and I reckon Aliens: Colonial Marines and Darksiders 2 will be wheeled out to demonstrate the Wii U’s capability to not only render primary colours, but also grey and black. If they really wanted to get the hardcore on board they’d have a new Zelda, F-Zero and a Metroid ready to show. Secretly, my heart pines for a Wind Waker HD remake or true sequel.
Elsewhere Nintendo will remind us of the Luigi’s Mansion 3DS title unveiled last year and perhaps show off either a new Pokemon or wax lyrical about Pokemon: Conquest.
Oh, and surely the Wii Vitality Sensor is due a runout.
Sony’s conference last year was more tactful than Microsoft’s, lacking the dumbass bravado and gawkiness of MSoft’s, and we’ll see a similar display this year. That is, of course, unless they decide to invite King Cretin Keven Fuckjob Butler along. They shouldn’t need to as they’ve got plenty of games in the pipeline and don’t need to divert attention elsewhere.
We’ll see more of The Last of Us, Little Big Planet Karting, and if Sony want to put to bed speculation surrounding The Last Guardian, we’ll see something of that. Probably not though.
While Microsoft continue to play doctors and nurses with Activision, Sony will look to their bedfellows EA to bolster the show. I imagine Dead Space 3 will get a look in and perhaps the new Criterion-developed Need for Speed: Most Wanted, which EA are murmuring about. Crytek will also be keen to show off what’s new with Crysis 3. Last year we saw mighty-fine footage of Bioshock: Infinite and I reckon there’ll be more of that as well as some Playstation Move games lodged in their for good measure. Sports Champions 2?
With regards to the Playstation Vita, Sony will try and fail to convince us all its launch was a roaring success and go on to showcase some new games but fuck if I know what they are. A handheld Killzone game farmed out to some never-heard-of dev? Assassin’s Creed has been rumoured.
Will we hear anything about the Playstation 4? No, but we’ll likely hear something about this Gaikai cloud-gaming rumour.
The Rest of the Pack
That leaves Ubi, EA, THQ, Bethesda and Square Enix in the big boy arena.
Ubisoft aren’t short of ammunition with Rainbow Six: Patriots, a sequel to Rayman: Origins and a new Assassin’s Creed game in the works. They’ll also unveil the rumoured Splinter Cell: Black List and probably some peripheral-based toss on the side. One thing we won’t be seeing, now or ever, is Mr. Caffeine. Rumour has it, following last year’s snafu, Mr. C attempted to snatch the world record for longest fall survived without a parachute. Turns out 250,000 feet was just a touch too much, even after 452 coffees.
EA will run with Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3, with room left no doubt for FIFA 13 or some other annual sports-based title. In the absence of a Battlefield title, they’ll likely push inspiring military duck-hunt Medal of Honor: Warfighter to the front of the stage while formally announcing the Battlefield 3 Premium Palava. Thrilling. There’ll also be time for Sim City.
Elsewhere we’ll see more of Platinum’s Metal Gear Solid Rising: Revengeance, the Saints Row 3 expansion, Resident Evil 6 and Hitman: Absolution.
And throughout the show some women will judge a bunch of neckbeards with cameras suffering from arrested development.