It’s the time year where, publishers, developers, and the video game press gather this week at an event known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo otherwise known as E3. It’s a big time of the year for hardcore gamers and other interested folk as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft prepare to take the stage with their press conference keynotes. There certainly won’t be a shortage of new software, and hardware announcements and even plenty of surprises this year. Nintendo seems to be planning big announcements for its successor of the Wii and there are certainly other announcements that are forthcoming that make this year’s E3 different than in the past. In the vein of these new console announcements it usually signifies a big change in the video game industry in an attempt to continue to remain relevant in an ever-changing industry. What can we expect from each company and what company has the most at stake? Read on to find out.
Nintendo: The Wii is seeing its last legs this year; it’s a known fact that the system is declining in sales and Nintendo has dropped the price already this fiscal quarter. Third party support seems nearly non-existent and the companies own support comes from the last title that will be developed for it; The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It was the same situation back when the Gamecube was nearing its last legs until Twilight Princess slide right into the Wii’s launch catalog. Fortunately for now, the company has the DS and the 3DS to fall back on. However, the 3DS is getting off to a slow start and if you remember the original DS had a similar start and now it’s become of the favorite handhelds of it’s generation certainly after some key games were released.
What to Expect: Wii HD or in other words, Project Café or whatever you want to call it is the successor to the Nintendo Wii. It’s certain that all eyes will be focused on Nintendo’s presser tomorrow morning, as it will be the shining star. There will certainly be some demonstrations showing off the consoles capabilities, gameplay, and graphics including some actual gameplay demonstrations though don’t be surprised if you see a tech demo reel as well. You can probably expect to see more info revealed about Skyward Sword as well and possibly a new gameplay demonstration of the title. We also wouldn’t be surprised if this is the moment where Nintendo will try to convince third party publishers that this is the console to invest in. We have been hearing rumors lately of a touch screen with front facing camera on the controllers. We will also get to see how well the system is or surpasses that power of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The console won’t be out until next year, so it’s certainly a project to keep an eye in the coming months and weeks ahead.
Now let’s not forget Nintendo also has other items on its agenda. Everything from more announcements for the 3DS probably tied to the e-Shop. Super Mario 3DS was recently announced and we’re certain we’ll see a gameplay session for that title considering it’ll most likely be the flagship title in the next round of releases. And finally we have the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda series, and Nintendo is said to have something up its sleeve to celebrate the event.
Microsoft: While the Xbox 360 is certainly the oldest console in the bunch, they added a few extra lives too it with the addition of the Kinect camera. Though, despite its launch catalog; third party support has been rather non-existent for the peripheral much like the Wii. Outside of that, however, Microsoft has enjoyed some rather exciting titles in its third party catalog over the last few years and looks to even take that up a notch. The only unfortunate downside is that its first party catalog is considerably lacking outside of Gears of War 3 and Forza Motorsport 4 and the rumored Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake.
What to Expect: You can certainly expect to see Microsoft realize this gap in support and come to the rescue; first with Kinect in particular with Star Wars Kinect and Kinect Sports 2. It’ll also be interesting to see if the company will realize its potential with its first party games to be released with Kinect support though I’m sure we do know that Kinect only titles are first priority. In regards too its third party support, don’t be surprised if you come too see presentation for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or even a slight tease of Assassins Creed Revelations before Ubisoft’s presser. What could they surprise us with, this year? Possible new console hardware announcement to keep up with Nintendo, maybe even a Halo 4 reveal teaser trailer. I’m sure a lot of fans would be excited if Activision Blizzard jumped on board for Xbox Live. There are plenty of things to look at as the d-day hour approaches for Microsoft’s press conference. Let’s hope it’s not leaked early to ruin the surprise.
Sony: Sony has seen its fair share of troubles over the last few months. Its PSN network was hacked and taken down for several weeks before finally being restored and all is well again. It’s welcome back program designed to keep around its loyal consumer base since day one. Since the company is starting too pick up steam again we can certainly see them showing us how the attack affected them and what they have to show us in terms of new upgrades too the Playstation 3. Also a major priority on the list is Sony’s new handheld system to rival the 3DS. There are rumors circling that it will be called Playstation Vita, but these unconfirmed reports are just that of course, to be taken with a grain of salt.
What to Expect: Sony will most likely treat us with the charts and graphs routine much like in previous years. Showing how the console has kept pace with the Xbox 360. The company will most likely go into little detail about the recent hacking and be optimistic about the future of its network and newly restored confidence. A high priority on the list will certainly be the NGP handheld and its price range announcement, and final showing of its retail unit. Don’t be surprised too see the entire launch catalog revealed including the new Uncharted title with demonstration. The Playstation 3 will get to share in its own excitement as well with new updates to the Playstation Network service as well as more detail on upcoming games for the summer and fall and possible teased reveals of future titles. Also, we’ll see appearances from Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception along with gameplay and beta reveal. Twisted Metal will certainly make an appearance with beta reveal as well as others.