COUNTDOWN TO #E3: 2014 EDITION
Well kids, it’s that time of year again: the week of E3.. As we count down the days to the biggest event of the year for gamers, let’s take a quick look at what we can expect from the big three this year.
Details are still sketchy about what Microsoft is planning on showing; however, in recent days, rumors have been circulating that the house that Gates built has secured a special third-party exclusive for the Xbox One. According to GameSpot, the title will make its official debut during Microsoft’s press conference, and will also be a surprise that "people will be really excited about." If there is one thing the Xbox needs now, of course it’ll have to be something that could bring in a huge crowd. Current rumors on gaming sites such as NeoGAF suggest that the game could be one of those “off the radar” titles, something that has not been heard of in a very long time.
I’m thinking it’s either Shenmue 3 or Beyond Good & Evil 2, both of which had predecessors that were exclusive to Xbox at some point or another (Shenmue 2 was Xbox exclusive, while the HD version of Beyond Good & Evil was a timed exclusive on Xbox 360). On the other hand, word has it that the exclusive could also be Vanquish 2, based on previous rumors regarding a Platinum-developed exclusive title. That being said, we won’t know what that title is until the show, though expect Microsoft mainstays such as Halo and Call of Duty to make an appearance as usual, alongside titles such as Sunset Overdrive and Forza Horizon 2.
By now, everybody should already be aware that the big N isn't going to have another press conference, opting instead for a “digital event.” In addition to that, they plan on hosting the Super Smash Bros. Invitational at the nearby Nokia Theater, as well as putting up special demo kiosks at various Best Buy stores nationwide in what they are calling "Smash Fest." No doubt you can expect us to report on this special event come Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, people are still wondering what this special E3 surprise that Nintendo might show this Tuesday, and the hype has already reached a fever pitch. While some people are quite confident that the game could possibly be a new Zelda title or something, I have reason to believe the title could possibly be Youkai Watch, a popular Japanese title by Professor Layton developers Level-5. Given the game’s surprising popularity in Japan in recent times, it should come to no surprise that Nintendo might be interested in showcasing this unique title at E3 this year.
On the other hand, word on the internet suggests that the title could be something completely different, specifically in the form of something pertaining to Sony's adage of "Play. Create. Share." A leaked picture from Nintendo's E3 booth reveals a mysterious title known only as Mario Maker. While this image could possibly have been doctored up, that still hasn't stopped posters on Reddit and NeoGAF claiming the game's validity.
For the first time ever, Sony is planning on livestreaming their conference to over forty movie theaters across North America in something they are calling “The PlayStation E3 Experience.” Despite the fact that this is a free event, the show has been reported to be sold-out nationwide, with reports coming in from NeoGAF and Reddit of disappointed gamers being wait-listed. Sony appears to be quite confident with what they plan on showcasing this year, so expect something equally explosive.
That being said, we can expect showings from Sony Santa Monica this year regarding The Order: 1886, though based on recent tweets, we could also see a next-gen God of War title as well. In addition we mustn't forget the mysterious "Project Beast" that was leaked out a couple of months ago on 4chan. Coming from the Kadokawa-owned From Software and SCE Japan Studio, this game has been on our radar now here at GameDistiller, as the game's mysterious footage and design seem to remind us of a grimmer Demon's Souls.
On the third-party front, it's pretty clear that Activision will show up to demo the latest Destiny build at the show (no thanks to some leaked mailers from Activision's PR firm), and Ubisoft and Warner Bros. are expected to appear based on recent videos posted on the PlayStation Ustream site. In addition, leaked emails from various NeoGAF users reveal that attendees to the PlayStation E3 Experience will have access to a special PS4 beta for Battlefield Hardline, so expect EA's Visercal Games division to make an appearance at the show as well to present the recently-leaked spin-off.
While we still have a few hours left to imagine what could come on opening day, the hype surrounding this year's Expo has already swelled considerably. That being said, there’s still tons of news leaking out, so expect me to fill you guys in as the event draws near. For now, we can already imagine the kinds of awesome things we may expect come Monday morning.