Every year gamers wait anxiously for E3. We anxiously watch as top executives stroll onstage and drop announcements the size of atom bombs. But there’s always the inevitable disappointments that arise. Predictions that never come to fruition.
We all make them in hopeful anticipation of a dream game. And, like the overly excited gamer that I am, have a handful of predictions to share. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be right about anything but this list is everything I think will happen next week at E3 2012.
Third-Party developers will impress but won’t wow the crowd
There’s a good chance that one of your favorite games is made by a third-party developer. There are a ridiculous number of great developers making amazing games for your system of choice. But none will be ”the best of show” this year.
The usual suspects will come out with some big guns. EA will show off Medal of Honor and Dead Space 3. Activision Blizzard is bringing Call of Duty, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft. Ubisoft will bring Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, and possibly Beyond Good And Evil 2. Square will display Tomb Raider and Kingdom Hearts. Take Two will grab us again with Bioshock Infinite. And there’s still Elder Scrolls Online, Metal Gear, Borderlands 2, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Dishonored, Unreal Tournament… the list of games on display rattles on and on, seemingly endlessly. But it won’t be enough.
Third-party developers will stand helplessly in the shadow of the behemoths Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Unless there are some ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING announcements coming way out from the stands in left field, third-party will play second fiddle to the imposed will of the much bigger fish.
Microsoft will give one of the most dull press conferences ever
In a move that will surprise almost no one, Microsoft will again focus on a Kinect-heavy agenda that will try to get the whole family to embrace the box into every segment of home entertainment.
We will eagerly hang on every word as we watch some of the elephants parade through the room, like Halo 4, Gears of War and Call of Duty… until they march Kudo Tsunoda onstage to begin droning on about Kinect’s successful integration into the basic functions of our boring lives by giving us Facebook on a game console and the ability to wave our arms while screaming “XBOX!” at the television like lunatics. Then we all yawn and take a nice nap, all the while dreaming that the Kinect will be smart enough to someday make us sandwiches, at which point we’ll give a crap again.
Nintendo prices the Wii U at $299 with a release date and 3+ Mario titles
Somehow, even with a new console release, Nintendo will not win E3 2012. The release date of the Wii U will excite the most hardcore fanboy and fangirl. The pricing will bring many consumers aboard at launch. The launch lineup will be very solid and provide a few good months of gaming.
One of Nintendo’s strengths has always been their fantastic stable of first-party titles. That won’t be any different with no less than 3 Mario titles coming. New Pikmin, Donkey Kong, and Metroid games will likely come up and release dates will surprise some people. We could even see a new Legend of Zelda. And the 3DS will have a strong showing with continued support.
Yet, it won’t be a monumental year for the Japanese developer at E3. It will be big, maybe even huge, but they will still not be able to escape the reign of the other juggernaut in the land of the rising sun.
Sony will crush Nintendo and Microsoft with exclusive games
I haven’t been tooting the Sony horn of late and that’s not because the PS3 doesn’t have good exclusives. It’s because they can only manage to knock my socks off once a year with highly polished release like Uncharted. But that all comes to an end this year.
Sony won’t unveil just one new game. Or two. Or even three. They will come out swinging with surprise exclusives on the PS3 and Vita in an attempt to steal the wind away from a Microsoft that’s been content with sitting on their laurels. Count on seeing a mind-blowing The Last of Us gameplay demonstration, Playstation All Stars Battle Royale and God of War live onstage, PSN improvements, a new announcement from Guerilla, news on LittleBigPlanet, Call of Duty heading to the Vita this fall, and a strong possibility of GTA and Final Fantasy PS Vita installments. All this and a PS3 price cut.
And still Sony will remain behind Microsoft in the console war. Crazy.
Rockstar will steal E3 2012 With Grand Theft Auto V (and Agent?)
Rockstar Games is in the best position of anyone in the games industry. I will practically guarantee that gamers will see a new Grand Theft Auto V trailer on June 3rd, one day prior to the press conferences of the first-party developers. It will not only snatch hype away from every other game announcement during the week, but it will also give a rough time frame to expect Rockstar’s next offering, likely in early 2013, which will seal away a record number of preorders for retailers.
I’ll call it now: ROCKSTAR WINS E3 2012.
And does anyone else remember the PS3 exclusive game Agent, which we first heard about back in 2006? We probably won’t hear anything about it unless it’s now a multi-platform game, which it inevitably has become after more than half a dozen years in development. But don’t hold your breath that we’ll hear even a peep from the Housers.
No matter what your go-to console is, there’s no doubt in my mind that E3 2012 is going to be one of the biggest ever. With so many fantastic titles on display and news coming out by the minute, I think one thing is for certain: we’re for one hell of a week come June 4th.