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It’s E3 2014 Time.

It’s that time for the week of the year when people who really like video games watch streams of presentations from the major game publishers and inevitably are disappointed by what happens. There’s always tons of prognostication; I figured I would make a series of completely baseless, outside-of-the-industry predictions about E3 and see how right I am on the other side.

The coverage I am most looking forward to this year is Twitch’s first year of covering the event directly, but I’ll of course be paying attention to various other things. Tomorrow’s the real big day, with most of the press conferences happening then. In the order in which we will see them, here’s what I think is going to happen (or not) this year:

tl;dr Condensed Version

  • Indie games take front and center (whatever “indie” actually means now).
  • Much more talk about games instead of other capabilities of the various platforms.
  • Sony will gloat. A lot. Like, an eye-rolling amount.
  • The Last Guardian doesn’t exist.

Microsoft

As usual, Microsoft gets the lead-off presser, which always means that Sony adjusts things to try and twist any available knife when they go later in the day. MS will have a much better showing than last year, mostly because they are in a losing position right now and have just recently started getting really scrappy.

  • Microsoft won’t show anything Kinect-related on stage. At all. The only thing we’ll hear about Kinect is that it’s no longer required to purchase the system. No goofy living room demos with child actors this time around.
  • App talk will be limited to a quick run through of what’s coming and maybe a look at HBO Go. (They’ve already sucked the wind out of this on purpose. And they’ll remind us that you don’t need Gold for apps anymore.) The only possible exception will be a good amount of time on Twitch integration.
  • Maybe we’ll see some of the TV projects they have been hinting at.
  • Lots of talk about the new Games with Gold offerings.
  • There will be at least one horrible technical problem during the demos.
  • What we will see: Sunset Overdrive (a lot), Call of Duty, Gears of War tease, an Xbox One Halo collection (the previous games), Minecraft, Killer Instinct (S2), Forza Horizon 2, something from Rockstar (even if it’s just a teaser or an HD GTA5 rerelease), a slew of ID@Xbox titles. They’ll remind us that Sony isn’t the only console with indie support.
  • What we won’t see: Halo 5, Quantum Break, anything Crackdown, anything from Rare, anything Fable, any new IP we didn’t already know about.

EA

EA generally has it made; they iterate and don’t introduce too much that’s new. They present well most years and let the demos of the games speak for themselves.

  • EA will introduce at least one new IP we didn’t know about before.
  • We’ll spend some pretty decent time talking about the sports franchises that didn’t make the leap to the current gen last year (e.g., NHL).
  • They will spend an awful lot of time trying to convince us that Battlefield: Hardline is a good idea.
  • They will also spend a weird amount of time with Bioware. It will be awkward.
  • If we don’t see something Mass Effect, it’s time to worry about the health of that franchise.
  • What we will see: Mirror’s Edge demo/date (or I will flip all the tables), Titanfall DLC announcement, Battlefield: Hardline, sports stuff (that’s a gimme), Origin Origin ORIGIN, something Mass Effect (either Bioware Montreal’s project or an HD remake of the trilogy), Dragon Age: Inquisition (perhaps an obscene amount of time on this one), Star Wars Battleground.
  • What we won’t see: anything Simcity, anything Need for Speed, anything Dead Space (I think that franchise is sadly done), anything Star Wars that’s not Battleground (honestly, this could go either way—it’s going to be feast or famine), a woman on stage.

Ubisoft

You will hate this briefing and I will be embarrassed that my children are even awake when it’s going on. I guarantee it.

  • Aisha Tyler will host yet again (this is already known) and will insult both her and our intelligence with the writing of the horrible, horrible jokes in the script.
  • No, really, it will be super-embarrassing to watch. I keep thinking they can’t top themselves and then they do it all over again.
  • Everything will be PlayStation-weighted, because Ubisoft.
  • What we will see: two Assassin’s Creed games (including the first one that’s really next-gen in the form of Unity), something Just Dance, The Division, Far Cry 4, gloating over Watch Dogs’ numbers, something Splinter Cell, a woman on stage.
  • What we won’t see: anything Rainbow Six (Patriots, I’m looking at you), anything Rayman, Beyond Good and Evil 2, decorum.

Sony

Sony’s in the lead and they know it. Expect this press conference to be insufferable.

  • PlayStation Now will be talked about a lot. It will be underwhelming.
  • They will push indie games a lot. It will be impressive and they will yield a non-insignificant amount of time to indie devs on stage.
  • There will be a ton of gloating about sales numbers. And the PlayStation plays games. Lots of games.
  • The Last of Us won’t be the only game that’s getting a PS4 remake.
  • Did I mention that the PlayStation 4 plays games? Because they will.
  • What we will see: at least one new first-party IP, another Destiny demo that is way too long and way too boring, some repeated Ubisoft stuff (likely Assassin’s Creed something), crazy amounts of indie stuff, Driveclub, Project Beast.
  • What we won’t see: anything Gran Turismo, anything Killzone, anything Uncharted, anything from Media Molecule, anything VR-related, The Last Guardian (it doesn’t exist), a woman on stage.

Nintendo

I’m totally at a loss with this one. Nintendo’s really up against a wall, which means they are either going to roll over and do nothing interesting or they are going to do some crazy shit the way only Nintendo can.

Or both.

  • They’ll talk about the NFC tie-in stuff to Smash Bros. and it will be inexplicable. It will take everything that’s a good experience with Skylanders and ignore all that in favor of something ridiculously Nintendo (in a bad way).
  • Tons of time on the Pokemon releases for late this year.
  • Tons of time on Smash Bros.
  • DLC announcement of some kind for Mario Kart 8. It will also be inexplicable.
  • Shigsy will indeed be working on something that is a new IP but it will be completely lame and the internet will explode with all of the people wondering what happened to him.
  • They will spend more time on 3DS than on Wii U.
  • They will say something about the YouTube revenue sharing thing that has been whispered about recently. It will confuse everyone because it will actually make sense.
  • What we will see: Bayonetta 2, Smash Bros. everywhere, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, Wii U Zelda (but very little of it), a new Mario game that’s a continuation of an existing series (just a tease), X, Bill Trinen trying to be cool, 45 seconds of Reggie, Iwata doing that weird “direct to you” hand motion, that goofy yarn-style Yoshi game that nobody wants.
  • What we won’t see: anything Metroid, anything Animal Crossing, anything Kirby, anything that reassures us that the Wii U is going to succeed, new hardware, anything new from third parties, a woman on camera.

Well, there you go – this is my completely unscientific guess at what’s coming this week. I’ll come back to this post to grade myself and face up to the embarrassment of my mistakes after the conferences are over. I hope you plan on watching everything; E3 is usually a fairly entertaining train wreck of an event.

If you have any predictions, feel free to leave them in the comments or post your own on your site and link back here. Let me know you’ve done it and I’ll be happy to leave you a link as well.

Enjoy E3 week!

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