E3 2011 Predictions
The staff lends their best guesses for what the upcoming show has to offer excited gamers.
Nick DiMola's Predictions
To start, I must say I’m bummed that I won’t be at E3 this year. The reason Chessa and I can’t make it is, of course, because of our (strikingly handsome) 5 month old son. Watching E3 from the sidelines after 2 years in the trenches will surely be a departure, but whether or not I can be there in person, the announcements should still be just as earth shattering.
Because I still have an affinity for Nintendo, I can’t help but discuss them first. Café is of course going to be there and I have some high hopes. I predict a return to cutting edge technology and a nice flow of new games to support it being shown. F-Zero, Pilotwings, Star Fox, and Pikmin, along with some new IP will be shown for it from Nintendo. Third parties will also be bringing it hard. Rockstar has been rumored to be doing GTA V for Café and I totally believe it. They’ve been absent from that market for so long, I can see them striking something up with Nintendo. Unreal Engine support will be announced as a one-two punch, and after that, a long reel of impressive third party efforts (similar to what we saw last year with the 3DS) will be shown.
I don’t think we’ll hear about a price point or an exact release date, but I do predict hearing early 2012 as the expected launch. I’m sure Nintendo is going to have something outrageous to disclose about the machine, probably this screen in the controller business, but who knows. Wii will be kept off life support with the release of a bunch of formerly Japan-only games, like Rhythm Heaven, Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora’s Tower. Outside of Nintendo’s home console stuff Nintendo will blow us away with Super Mario 3DS and announce some sort of epic handheld Zelda adventure to celebrate 25 years of the series. DS will still see a few releases as well, including Chibi Robo, Kirby, and the latest Layton.
Microsoft is a huge question mark for me right now. Kinect is surely going to be touted as a major success and the company will likely have something intriguing up their sleeve for the system aimed at the core market. Rare will surprise with a true Banjo-Threeie for XBLA. From there, I’d say it’s safe to assume that a new Halo game will be announced, whether it is another side story or a remake of the first, a title in the series will be announced.
As usual, Microsoft will tout their strong third party relationships and feature a few game producers from Japanese and Western companies showing off their latest games. No idea who or what, but it’s what seems likely.
Of course, all of their announcements will just be building up steam until the official announcement of their next system. It will probably have a PR reel shown with it and the system will promise Kinect functionality out of the box along with an Xbox Live service that puts the current one to shame. The specs will probably be ridiculous and we’ll probably get a name, but nothing more than a late 2012 or early 2013 release date for the system.
Sony is even more of a wild card than Microsoft. Given the recent failure of the PlayStation Network, I expect some talk about it and just general apologies and assurances that they have sorted the problems out and won’t be encountering them again.
I strongly doubt they’ll have anything in the way of an announcement of a new system, but will be heavily touting the NGP, which will receive the name PlayStation Vita, as has been rumored. Given the already impressive library announced for the system, they’ll be showing off everything. Twisted Metal will probably get a nice portion of time at their conference and an official release date for the title will be announced. The same goes for Uncharted 3 and the latest Ratchet game.
I can’t say I have much more outside of that, but I predict we’ll be hearing of a few exciting titles from the bigger third parties as well. In any event, the big take away from all of this is that I think Nintendo is poised to take the show again, especially if Café lives up to some of the crazy rumors that have been floating around.