See what I did there? :)
E3 – the world’s largest gaming expo – officially kicks off on Tuesday but tomorrow is when the press conferences start and most of the big announcements will be made. Have a look at my previous post for a complete guide to where and when (in UK time) you can watch the briefings live.
These are my predictions. What are you expecting or hoping to see? Let me know in the comments below.
New Nintendo console
Likelihood: 100% – There’s now no doubt that Nintendo is gearing-up to announce a successor to the Wii. While I have my doubts that some of Project Cafe’s features will make it into the retail product, I’m sure it will be more powerful than the existing systems and will probably provide a good stop-gap between this generation and the next (much like the 360 was last time around ;) )
NGP named, dated and priced
Likelihood: 99% – I’m expecting a very NGP-focused E3 for Sony. I’ll be very surprised if the official name and release date and pricing information isn’t announced. I have my doubts about the recent rumours that it’ll be named the “Vita” though. The photos and website source code references that fuelled the rumour can all be explained by the fact that “Vita” was an early codename for what we now know as the NGP. “PSP” is a strong brand – particularly in Japan – so I’m expecting simply the “PSP 2″. Sony have had a bit of a media blow-out this week, releasing a bunch of new information on some of the games we can look forward to for the NGP, but surely they haven’t already shown their hand yet. I’m also expecting to hear about a lot more new titles, particularly from third-party developers.
New Sony or Microsoft console
Likelihood: 10% – The general consensus amongst developers and gamers is that we don’t need another console generation. While Nintendo’s next home console will undoubtedly be a step up from the current Microsoft and Sony hardware, I’m not expecting the sort of technological leap that we’ve become used to. That will more likely come in a couple more years.
An apologetic Sony and a gloating Microsoft
Likelihood: 100% – It’s going to be really interesting to see how Sony handle the PlayStation Network security breach and subsequent outage at their media briefing. My guess is that they’ll want to get it out of the way as soon as possible and we’ll probably hear Jack Tretton deliver another apology from Sony within the first 15 minutes. Now the PSN is fully operational again, they might be ready to try and put some positive spin on the fiasco. I’m expecting some reserved boasting on how safe the PSN infrastructure is now and pointing out that they care so much about their customers security, that they kept the system offline for several weeks so they could be sure it was safe again.
Whether fans will be ready to forgive and forget though is another story. I’ll be expecting a rather muted audience. Microsoft? Probably not quite so muted. While no competitor would want to tempt fate or upset cross-platform gamers when it comes to a topic like this, I’m expecting at least a light-hearted “you get what you pay for”-type jibe about the disaster.
New Grand Theft Auto game
Likelihood: 20% – While I am in no doubt that the next game in Rockstar’s biggest franchise will be announced this year, I don’t think it will happen during E3. The biggest event on the gaming calendar evidently isn’t big enough for Rockstar, as they’ve already announced that they won’t be attending. Of course, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being exclusive to either the PS3 or 360, in which case it would be announced at either the Sony or Microsoft briefing. My bet is on R* holding their own event to announce the game later this year.
More on Agent
Likelihood: 80% – Rockstar’s logo-centric game, Agent was announced as a PlayStation-exclusive at Sony’s E3 2009 press conference with a very exciting demonstration of it’s static logo-based gameplay which featured a logo doing logo-ey things such as being a logo. It was all very exciting. Maybe this year we’ll be shown something even juicier! A moving logo perhaps? We can dream.
New Quantic Dream game
Likelihood: 80% – I have a feeling David Cage and the team might be ready to show off what they’ve been working on since 2009’s Heavy Rain. Cage has said numerous times that he doesn’t want to make a sequel to Heavy Rain but whatever their next product is, I’d expect it to just as original and innovative.
New LittleBigPlanet PS3 game
Likelihood: 40% – While I’m not expecting an LBP3, I wouldn’t be totally surprised to see Sackboy in an LBP spin-off. An FPS? Probably not, but the creative minds at Media Molecule and their partner studios could apply the Play, Create, Share moniker to anything, I’m sure. And even if that doesn’t happen, at least we have the NGP game to look forward to.
The Bungie logo on Sony’s stage
Likelihood: 50% – Since breaking free from Microsoft and becoming an independent developer in 2007, Bungie have so far continued to build on their 360-exclusive Halo franchise but it looks like that’s about to change. A year ago, Bungie partnered with (mainly) console-agnostic publisher, Activision and it would be a very fluffy feather in Sony’s cap to have their new IP revealed on their stage. And don’t forget, the fact that Bungie have explicitly said they won’t be at E3 doesn’t completely kill this theory. Developers have lied before.