E3’s significance has dwindled over the years with major publishers opting out of the show or choosing to unveil their latest games outside the press event. It’s a trend accepted by most but this year things are different. The big 3 – Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft – are set to lay all their cards on the table to prove why their expensive next-gen console should be the one tempting you to rob your local convenience store to fund it. This is why 2013 could be the biggest E3 yet.
Since the reveal of the original Wii, Nintendo’s made no more than a whimper at the consumer event. Why? Because the system severely lacked content throughout its whole life cycle. Even last year with the soon-to-be-released Wii U their presence was as underwhelming as the systems seriously outdated specs (I mean Pikmin 3, ZombiU and a 2D Mario game – come on.) Now with a console that’s already in major trouble six months after release they’re out to to flip the tables, slam classmates Sonny and Mike-ro-box against the school they saved from extinction and round up the core audience they lost when their partnership with legendary game developer Rare died. You might think their decision to forego a big press conference this year means they don’t have anything to show but you’re wrong. Nintendo gods Shigeru Miyamoto and Reggie Fils-Aime will be hosting a software showcase prior to the big event and have already confirmed a handful of big titles. Here’s what to expect.
The first of those is a new 3D Mario game which is already confirmed playable at the press event. It’s being developed by the guys that did the Super Mario Galaxy series and Super Mario 3D Land so yes, it will be good, possibly great. You know what else is good? Super Smash Bros. Next for both Wii U and 3DS. Namco Bandai Games have taken the helm this time (of Soul Calibur and Tekken fame) so you can expect some kick-ass fighting as well another trailer featuring Mario, Pikachu and other video gaming mascots. Rounding off the red plumbers appearances will be a new Wii U Mario Kart. Not much is known at this point other than it will be playable and sell-out faster than $2 hookers in a prison cell.
Those three by themselves are enough to knock most recent Nintendo E3 showings out of the park but that’s only the titles that have been confirmed. Reggie teased earlier this year that Shiggy and Retro Studios were working on ‘fantastic projects’ for the Wii U which will be unveiled ‘in all likelihood during E3.’ So expect either a Zelda unveiling or the next stage in the beloved Metroid series. If those don’t get you wet how about the bevy of games announced for Nintendo platforms – Bayonetta 2, X(Xenoblade Chronicle developers new RPG), Pokemon X and Y, The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3and that Shin Megami Tensei/Fire Emblem crossover bound to send Japanophiles into bouts of uncontrollable fist pumping. None have been confirmed for E3 yet but with most approaching their scheduled release dates it’s safe to assume a majority of them will be present.
You could easily mistake Sony’s PS4 reveal in February as hinging all their bets on one horse, but really it was only the beginning of the storm to come. With its US release date set for some time around mid-November, E3 is the perfect chance to get the console in the hands of the press – so prepare for lots of gameplay footage and hands-on impressions. But Sony’s not all about the future, they also care about the present. The company has promised to support the PS3 with content until at least 2015 and that includes titles from first party developers. Topping it all off should be the design of the PS4 itself, satisfying every last idiot who cried foul on February 21 (our sources tell us it’ll be a black rectangle.) As for the Vita, well, lets not get our hopes up.
Headlining Sony’s lineup is the next installment in the Final Fantasy franchise which was confirmed for E3 during the PS4 reveal by Square Enix’s Shinji Hashimoto. If that doesn’t rock your boat, how about a closer look at all those PS4 games you’ve been dying to see more of – Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Driveclub, Deep Down, Knack and Witness. None have been officially guaranteed but we’re willing to bet our left nut at least a couple of them pop up with hands-on time for show-goers. That’s only the PS4 games that have been announced however, there is still alot the console manufacturer has yet to show. Don’t take our word for it though, take Shuhei Yoshida’s. When pressed by IGN if it’s fair to say all of Sony’s first party studios were working on PS4 games he replied “Is it fair or not fair? It is fair to say.” How does this affect E3? Because Sony has 12 first party studios ranging Naughty Dog and Polyphony Digital to Santa Monica Studio and Japan Studio. So revealing footage of the unannounced Uncharted 4, and God of War 4 at E3 would make perfect sense. That last studio is real interesting too, they’re the guys behind ICO and the long anticipated The Last Guardian, opening speculation to whether it’s moved production from the PS3 to PS4.
The Xbox One unveiling was rather light on software, instead focusing on the systems various features to differentiate itself from Sony’s PS4. E3 has therefore been left to show off the majority of Microsoft’s next-gen titles, and prove to gamers everywhere that motion sensing technology will never spawn a great game anywhere, ever. That’s not to say we didn’t get a peek at some games though, we decided to pack all two of them here for you in one neat little package.
The only Xbox One exclusives announced were Forza Motorsport 5 and a new IP from Alan Wake developers Remedy entitled Quantum Break. Wow, great show Microsoft. Of course, E3 is the biggy for games. What can you expect? Halo 5, you better believe it exists. Before finishing work on Halo 4, 343 Industries confirmed it was only the first in a series of Halo’s called the Reclaimer Trilogy. Taking into account Halo 4 sold over 8 million copies since late last year it almost certainly exists and will once again be a system seller. Job listings and anonymous sources have also pointed to an avalanche of Xbox One announcements including Dead Rising 3 and Roman combat game called Ryse. Microsoft also announced 15 exclusives will be coming to its next-gen machine in the first year, 8 of which will be new franchises. Let us pray they’re not all tied to motion support.
…and everything else
This is where all those cross-platform games, the polygamous sons of bitches releasing on multiple consoles, appear. The best part of it all, there’s a lot. They make up the bulk of E3 and if you remember last years expo it was actually third party publisher Ubisoft (with Watch Dogs, Assassins Creed 3 and Far Cry 3) that stole the event. So prepare yourselves for multiple nerd-gasms big boys because we don’t want to leave you out in public gushing wet.
Already given the green light for E3 is mega dawgs Battlefield 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Are MMO’s and soccer your thing? How about The Elder Scrolls Online or FIFA 14. If ‘BJ’ Blazkowicz tickles your fancy then the recently announced Wolfenstein: The New Order should impress. Not satisfied yet? Fine, try this – Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Destiny, Doom 4, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3, Thief, Watch Dogs and Bethesda’s new survival horror game The Evil Within.
Relieved now? Good. Yeah this is going to be one hell of an E3.
What are you guys excited about for this years E3? Let us know in the comments below!