Happy E3 Eve everybody, I hope you’re all excited as I am! For the third consecutive year I’ll be part of The Koalition’s E3 home team, blogging away in my underwear while real journalists run around the show floor doing real work. It’s pretty clear that this will be the last E3 for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 but it’s good to know that these systems will go out with a bang, unlike the Wii aka the Lindsay Lohan of game consoles. E3 2012 probably won’t be the most exciting E3 ever, as most of us are busy fixating on next year’s show, but there is still plenty to look forward to over the coming days.
My Koalition kolleagues/komrades/kohorts (delete as appropriate) have already given their predictions for E3 2012 on our latest podcast but since I wasn’t invited to participate in that discussion I thought I’d give my quick pre-show thoughts right here in Carl’s Corner™.
[quote-right]The only thing I expect Microsoft to consistently deliver is disappointment[/quote-right]At this point, the only thing I expect Microsoft to consistently deliver is disappointment. The prospect of playing new Halo, Gears and Forza titles just doesn’t excite me but at the moment those appear to be the company’s only non-Kinect exclusives. What I’d like Microsoft to do is “wow” us with some brand new or long forgotten IPs but what they’ll probably do is force feed us more terrible Kinect games and continue to pitch the 360 as an entertainment hub. From a business standpoint they still outsell the PS3 and Wii every month so why stop marketing their console to soccer moms now?
[quote-left]I suspect we’ll get a full, disc-based sequel to inFamous: Festival of Blood[/quote-left]As far as the PS3 is concerned, on one hand I’m slightly worried that Sony have let most of their big guns off prematurely. Wouldn’t it have been great if the likes of Playstation All-Stars, Ratchet: Full Frontal and God Of War: Ascension were all announced during the conference? But on the other hand, the fact that Sony chose not to save these major announcements for E3 suggests that they have much bigger news in store for us! So what could it be? Rumors suggest that we’ll see a restructured PSN which offers some sort of cloud gaming service and additional value for PS+ subscribers. This would probably make me happier than any game announcement could.
Speaking of games announcements, I don’t think we’ll see a lot of new game reveals since most first party developers are probably focusing on the PS4 right now. I suspect we’ll get a full, disc-based sequel to inFamous: Festival of Blood and new game from Quantic Dream which will disappoint us all because it isn’t Kara.
As for the Vita I’m pretty sure (*desperately hope) that Sony will bombard us with games, games, games, games, games! Killzone Vita, God of War Vita, Ratchet & Clank Vita, Playstation All-Stars Vita and a Heavy Rain augmented reality game where you search for children in a crowded mall would be my guesses. It’s also a given that we’ll finally see gameplay footage from The Last of Us and Ascensions single player campaign. One thing we won’t see at the show is The Last Guardian which probably won’t come out until the PS4 is ready to launch (if the game isn’t completely scrapped before that).
[quote-right]One thing I’d really like Nintendo to do is distance themselves far away from the Wii[/quote-right]Look Nintendo, I know how you love to innovate and ‘change the game’ but honestly all I want from you is more of the same… in HD! After Super Mario World and Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario [U]niverse is the next logical step but if the new Super Mario game is based on the “New Super Mario” series, I swear I’m going to hurt someone! Imagine a 2D Mario game that looks as beautiful as Rayman: Origins or a 3D game that is technically superior to anything we’ve seen on the PS3 or Xbox 360. I’d buy a Wii U for that game alone! Sweeten the deal with a new Mario Kart game at launch and I’ll gleefully walk over to my local GAME store (if it still exists) and throw all of my money down on the counter. I’m also hopeful that we’ll see a HDified Metroid game in the vein of Other M but one that doesn’t suck and control like it was never play-tested by an actual human.
The Wii U’s tablet controller could potentially revolutionize the Pikimin series and a new Advance Wars game where you control your troops via the touch screen and watch the action play out on your TV would be awesome! On a more serious note, one thing I’d really like Nintendo to do is distance themselves as far away from the Wii as possible. I’ve begrudgingly accepted the fact that the console’s name won’t change but does the system really need to use Wii remotes? Just let me buy multiple tablet controllers, we all know they aren’t that expensive to manufacture.
My ‘new games’ predictions include sequels to Wii Sports, Fit and Play, the latter of which will feature many of the tech demos shown at E3 last year. I don’t think we’ll see anything Zelda or Smash Bros related for the Wii U but I think third party games like Blacks Ops 2 and Tomb Raider will be announced. Essential system features include an online infrastructure that actually works this time and Virtual Console support which allows me to transfer over all my Wii and 3DS purchases.
The success of Skylanders leads me to believe that Nintendo will attempt to jump onboard the NFC train before Activision does an “Activision” and completely derails it. Pokemon seems like a perfect fit for such a feature but before that I think we’ll get a Wii U version of Animal Crossing. Nintendo could sell (grossly overpriced) tiny bits of furniture at Toy-R-Us which kids can bring home and scan in to their game, I’m sure that would help with Ninty’s recent financial woes.
I’ve already rambled on for way too long so I’ll just briefly touch on the 3DS. I don’t think we’ll see a 3DS Lite just yet (maybe next year) but I’m really eager to see more from Paper Mario, Ace Attorney 5, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney and Luigi’s Mansion 2. Finally, I’m almost certain that a new Zelda game will be announced for the system and it will either be a remake of Majora’s Mask or a sequel to A Link To The Past.
Honestly, I don’t care about any third party game right now other than Tomb Raider! I am already in love with the desexualized (yet infinitely sexier) Lara Croft and the mixture of survival, self-discovery and Uncharted inspired “holy shit” moments ticks all of the right boxes for me. Tomb Raider is easily my most anticipated game right now and I’m fiending to see more of it.
And that’s about it, this article was way longer than I expected it to be (curse you boring night shift!) but I’ll be back next week with a follow up. Of course you can expect
tonnes kilograms of E3 related content to appear on the site over the coming days with hands-on features following soon after.