PrE3 - What we know and predictions
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E3 is the biggest games show of the year, each year bringing the biggest announcements and painting the gaming landscape for the next twelve or more. In this internet age, it's hard to keep things under wraps, so a lot of companies will divulge, or unfortunately get leaked their plans, but we are always a fan of a good surprise. So here is everything we know about E3, and then some pretty good guesses that we hope will come true. I’m going to break this down by publisher because they each have a big presentation where most of their announcements will happen.
Microsoft made waves this year by moving their big showing up from their typical Monday time slot to Sunday 5PM Eastern time and beat out the other big competitors. Being a console maker, this show is guaranteed to be filled with first party as well as third party hits. Of course we won’t know who Microsoft is having on their stage until they are actually there, but if history tells us anything than we can take a pretty good guess on what we will see. The only thing we know for sure is that we won’t be seeing Halo 6. 343 Industries confirmed the game will not be there, but they did announce they are going to be there with something else. This could be anything ranging from another Halo game or just a multimedia related Halo project, and I’m putting my money on the latter.
Microsoft's big push this year is going to be for their new console, codenamed Scorpio. This new powerful console is expected to take center stage at their press conference, with most of the games being shown taking advantage of this new machine. Due to that I expect we see big presentations from Crackdown 3, the next Forza game, along with more Sea of Thieves. State of Decay 2 was confirmed to be at the show, but these heavy hitters all need to be there as well to show off the new tech.
For third parties, my guess is a lot of them are going to want to be on Microsoft's stage, so they can show off their games on the new Scorpio, but a lot of the big games have marketing deals with Sony. One game that has been announced to be running on Scorpio, that I think will be getting some major stage time is Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This game will be a technical marvel, and Microsoft would be foolish to not let this title flourish on their platform.
Sony might be the company with the biggest potential to blow it out of the water for another year. Personally I felt like the PS4 was slow out of the gate. But despite Xbox having the better line up pretty much every year since launch, PS4 is still leading sales wise, and now they are coming into their own in the games department. They have a lot of exclusives in the fire, as well as a marketing push for most of the biggest third party games.
Starting with first party, they have too many games to show them all off thoroughly. Sony is going to have to pick and choose, and I think they are going to focus on Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Knack 2, Gran Turismo Sport, and Days Gone. All but that last one are slated to come out this year, and I think If Sony really wants to get behind Days Gone, and not just send it out to die, they need to not only get it out soon, but put some of that Sony weight behind it, and show us why this game is special.
As far as third parties go, I think this is where Sony can really shine. Destiny 2, Call of Duty WW2, and Star Wars Battlefront 2, I expect to see them all on Sony’s stage. These are going to be the most popular games of the fall and this is the game Sony is playing, they want the gamers on their system. Sony could also pull out any other number of surprise guests. It wouldn’t be far fetched to think they’d show an update on Final Fantasy 7 Remake and how Shenmue 3 is coming along.
Sony has the biggest potential to succeed, but that means they also have the biggest possibility to fail. Sony has a lot of balls in the air, and if they don’t play their cards right their showcase could be a disaster. Recently they have been showing some of their old colors, so this could not be totally uncalled for. If an over inflated VR demo or wacky japanese developer needlessly slows down the hype train, things could get detailed very quickly. I trust Sony won’t mess things up, but sometimes you can’t avert your eyes from a car crash.
Nintendo is the team that needs to stay the course. They are just coming off a very solid Switch launch, but they need to keep moving the sticks forward. The next 6 to 18 months are very important for this young console, and Nintendo needs to prove they can nurture this thing to success. Upcoming releases are looking positive, as we know Splatoon 2, Arms, and Mario Odyssey are on their way this year and will be at E3. But any stumbles could spell disaster and a lackluster holiday season. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is slated for release this year, and this would be a great game to bolster the catalog in 2017, especially if it hits in North America. For all the Zelda players this would be a great addition to their libraries, so I’d love to see more at E3 on this one.
I also think Nintendo will show some of it’s already promised 3rd party content. I think we need to see more about some games that they’ve teased, like Project Octopath Traveler in the works at Square Enix, or the new No More Heroes game, each shown at their reveal event back in January. Third party support has not been Nintendo’s strong suit recently, but these relationships are key to a successful Switch, and Nintendo seems to be making some good moves so far, so I hope they keep it up.
Another big must for Nintendo is to finally reveal more about the Switch software. When are we getting Netflix? Where is the Virtual Console? This is a perfect time for them to roll out their plans for what seems like Swtich 2.0 since the launch firmware was so light. No one likes to hear about technical mumbo jumbo, but just a few details in this area will really give them a much more rounded conference.
For the full article, including breakdowns for all the other conferences check out the Summer issue of Wingman Magazine. http://www.magcloud.com/user/wingmanmag