Wednesday, June 4, 2014

E3 2014 Predictions

It is that time of year again ladies and gentleman. E3 looms just around the corner, and it is a great opportunity for media and gamers alike to learn about what is coming up over the next half of the year and beyond. For gamers E3 is an exciting time to see what the future has in store, and developers take advantage of that time to show off some cool new stuff while putting on a big flashy show to generate hype and interest in future products.

So what can we expect to see at E3 this year? I do have some predictions for what to expect, and I will break up my predictions into several categories. The first will be Nintendo, followed by Sony, then Microsoft, and then a brief discussion about EA and Ubisoft. 

Despite being a media event only, E3 is a big and exciting time even for regular gamers.

First off, Nintendo will not be doing a big staged press conference. They also did this last year, so perhaps this will be the new standard for Nintendo when it comes to E3. At E3 they will have a Super Smash Brothers tournament featuring the upcoming Smash Brothers game for the Wii U. Obviously, or at least hopefully, Nintendo will use this time to announce some new games. The Wii U is in need of some more games to draw attention to it, and only a few things could bring them that attention from gamers. It goes without saying that a new Legend of Zelda would likely increase Wii U sales exponentially. But most importantly, Nintendo needs to get a third party developer to make a killer app for the Wii U. But since the latter is unlikely, my prediction is that Nintendo will announce a new Legend of Zelda game.

Sony did a spectacular job at E3 last year. They didn't miss a moment, and took advantage of Microsoft's blundering and lack of understanding of what gamers actually want while also showing a strong collection of games and announcements. Sony is in a very good place to have another great E3 and possibly come out on top once more. As far as predictions go, they will likely talk about the remastered version of The Last of Us, Uncharted 4, The Order: 1886, and several others. Not only that, but several companies seem to have a deal with Sony where they show new content and announce trailers on PS4 first. Like last year, I imagine there will be a new trailer about Kingdom Hearts III along with a possible release date for Final Fantasy XV. They may also announce the release date for Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMix as well. Destiny will appear at Sony's press conference and it is very likely that the starting date for the beta will be announced. I'd also be very surprised if Sony does not discuss that virtual reality headset of theirs (AKA Project Morpheus), as there is a great deal of potential there.

Microsoft seems to have finally learned that most gamers don't really care for the Kinnect, and have claimed that they will focus more on the games and less on gimmicks. They also recently stated that they intend to do something that has never been done at E3 before, but this could be a massive bluff. I expect that there will be more information on Halo 5 along with confirming the rumor of that Halo 2 Anniversary edition that has been floating around for some time now. I imagine Microsoft has a few exciting announcements they have in store and haven't said anything about, and I imagine one or two of them might be Xbox One exclusives. Either way, Microsoft has a lot of ground to cover if they are to have any chance of redeeming themselves for the disaster that was their press conference last year.

As for EA's press conference I imagine they will show footage of this year's edition of the various sports games they release annually. I'd like to think they might also announce Mass Effect 4, but I realize that prediction is more wishful thinking than based on fact. Preferably they shouldn't announce another Dead Space as that series is, well, dead as a door nail and should be left so that gamers can remember when that series was actually good.

Finally, Ubisoft will likely talk about Far Cry 4 and various other projects they have. I'd be shocked if they don't have some kind of footage of the latest Assassin's Creed game that they are cranking out. Ubisoft needs to be able to focus more on their presentation and less on terrible presenters that try to tell crap jokes in order to fill time between presentations. I don't particularly have any high hopes or expectations for Ubisoft, but they have surprised the audience in the past with left field announcements like Watch Dogs.

For many gamers, E3 is like Christmas in Summer. Each announcement is like a present under the tree, and we can only hope that the contents of those boxes will be something worth being excited about. Not only that, but hopefully those boxes have no CG announce trailers that lack real substance. How many of my predictions will be correct? Find out next week when E3 starts. Microsft will start E3 with their press conference on Monday at 9:30 AM PT (12:30 PM ET).

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