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E3 2012: Thoughts & Predictions

10:4302/06/2012Posted by D+PAD StaffOne Comment

With this year’s E3 show just around the corner we corralled a selection of D+Pad writers to bravely put their necks on the line and make some bold (and not so bold) predictions about the show, along with some insights into what they are most looking forward to seeing. There will be much more E3 coverage here at D+Pad over the next couple of weeks, but for now let’s see what is getting our contributors excited:

(Answers from: Simeon Paskell, Chris Morell, Charles Etheridge-Nunn and Dave Stuart)

As always it’s anyone’s guess as to what may turn up, particularly during the press conferences, which are well known for presenting big reveals by way of teaser trailers.

A few fresh possibilities could be a Zone of the Enders game, or at least a brief teaser trailer following the recent revelation of artwork. Details on the project are sketchy to non-existent, meaning that any news will have fans gleefully reminiscing over The 2nd Runner’s fast-paced orbital frame antics. Could rumours of a reboot to the Soul Reaver series courtesy of Crystal Dynamics hold any weight? If so, then we might just be about to see the return of a dormant anti-hero…

Again I’ll start with the Wii-U as it’s the biggest unknown, Metroid? Zelda? Maybe not total surprises but I’d hope to see some of them running on the new system. Pikmin 3 would be incredible if it finally showed up. Elsewhere I’m curious as to what Respawn have been working on since splitting from Infinity Ward, it’s bound to be a military shooter, but how do you compete with CoD? In the Valve corner might we possibly, finally, see Half Life 3? Wishful thinking I suspect but one can hope.

An interesting question, and one that I can only respond to with pure guesswork… In terms of Sony, I feel that it has to reveal something really big for the PS Vita in an attempt to eradicate concerns over the system’s slightly wobbly start and to reinvigorate the interest of gamers. To this end, I’m guessing we’ll see a PS Vita version of (at least) one of the company’s big IPs – a God of War or InFamous. The latter would be of particular interest, partially because I’m a massive fan of the series and partially as it would be great to see an open world game of this type running on a hand-held. It would also be great to see something on Vita from thatgamecompany.

As far as Nintendo go, I suspect it will reveal the oft rumoured new Pikmin and potentially a new Mario for the Wii U; Shigeru Miyamoto has stated publicly that launching the 3DS without a Mario or Zelda was a mistake, so it would make sense for Nintendo to avoid this with its new home console.

After two very family-friendly-centric E3’s, it would be good to see Microsoft direct it’s conference more at the hardcore, though my suspicion is that this won’t be the case and we’ll see a host of new Kinect titles sprinkled with the odd core title. If I had to predict a surprise I’d plump for a new Gears of War, with the company keeping vague as to whether it is to be released on the 360 or the next-gen Xbox… (UPDATE: A new Gears of War has now been revealed. Bang goes the surprise…)

Koei are announcing a new intellectual property! Anyone other than me excited? Anyone? It’s only got a 70% chance of having “Warriors” as a part of the title.

A new Mass Effect. Despite it’s story “ending”, I think that like the Halo series, we all expect inevitable follow ups (*cough* Halo 4 *cough*). We’re jaded like that. Mass Effect will have a year off for tact. Hopefully.

Charles: Valve confuse and arouse me. They’ve said there’ll be no Half-Life 3 reveal at E3, or any other reveal, in fact. Of course that makes us think that this is a giant tease. I don’t know what to make of this. They’re playing with my emotions. I don’t mind them taking their time, but now everything they say or do seems like it could be a tease. So yeah, my bet’s on them not having any mention of Half-Life 3 there, as is tradition.

As mentioned I wouldn’t be surprised if The Last Guardian doesn’t show up, on the hardware front I don’t expect to see much, if anything, of Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles.

As sad as it is, gamers would be wise to remain distant and unattached when it comes to The Last Guardian. The developers of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are certainly taking their time, and although it should always be a case of taking time to produce something special, alarm bells will be sounding if this fails to put in an appearance.

The next gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft, at least in terms of any solid details. With the Wii U around the corner, I suspect both companies will want to keep their cards close to their chest. Both companies will also be keen to extend the life span of the current gen as long as possible and in Sony’s case the PS Vita really should be allowed to take centre stage.

this E3 is all about Nintendo, they are the ones launching a new console and with the way the timeframes have worked out they’ll have a good year or so headstart on the others but they have to make it count and convince people that the Wii-U is more than a gimmick or slightly faster Wii. They have to catch up to the rest in terms of online capability and connectivity and lay down strong partnerships with third parties to avoid being sidelined again. The Wii sold bucketloads this generation but cost Nintendo dear with the hardcore fans, they have a lot of ground to make up and a lot to prove; here’s hoping they manage it.

The obvious answer would be Nintendo, which has already made its play in the next-gen arena, however I have to go with Sony. After years of hyperbole and promises regarding the potential of the PS3’s cell processor, now is the time for the company to really showcase that the system is reaching maturity. The PS Vita also has a massive amount to prove and to fail to do so at this stage in the handheld’s life would be a real mistake. Similarly, the PS Move really needs a must-have title or risk being banished to peripheral hell. In short, Sony need to ensure that this year sees its vision across all its platforms finally crystallise and give the brand the best possible chance in the next generation.

Nintendo is the company with the most to prove, having largely fluffed the Wii U’s reveal last year. Gamers were left scratching their heads and this confusion extended to those present at the showing, even if the promise of backwards compatibility did win the system a few fans from the outset. We’re expecting the big N to show us all what to expect from their shiny new system, confirming or quashing rumours of its supposed technical prowess.

As with any system, it’s the games that will have to captivate the most, and so we can but hope to see something more than alterations on titles being released on current systems. This E3 is Nintendo’s chance to shine, especially if they can pull off a few tricks regarding the games library of the 3DS.

People in charge of the big companies need to stop acting like jerks. Between on-disc DLC still being a thing, DRM harming the legitimate purchaser more than the pirate, sloppy attempts at courting an online marketplace but screwing around with the pricing and openly stating that you’re charging more for your game just because the filthy sheep consumers will pay for it… phew. Between all those points, they really need to appear less evil. Or we need to stop supporting them.

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