In June, anyone who is anyone in the games industry will be descending on Los Angeles for the Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3. Each year, MIcrosoft, Sony, and Nintendo, as well as many big publishers, hold press conferences, and many often speculate on what will be shown each year. Here are my predictions for E3 2012:
1) Call of Duty: With the spectacle shown at Microsoft's conference last year over Modern Warfare 3, it is not too farfetched to believe that Black Ops 2 will have a large presence in this year's show. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the information about BO2 is kept under wraps until the show.
2) Kinect: Ever hoping to up the adoption rate of their latest gimmick, Microsoft will most likely attempt to make gamers warm up to Kinect. This could take form in a few different ways. One possibility is that we will see a price drop from 150 to 99 dollars. Another less likely route is that we will see more and more AAA titles have some form of integration. The reason this is not as probable is that we have already seen this attempted in games like Halo Anniversary and, most recently, Skyrim.
3) Families: Aside from the Wii, consoles do not tend to appeal to the family demographic, specifically because they don't market themselves to that market from the get-go. While Microsoft has tried to pull in families with offers like the Xbox Live Family Plan, it hasn't managed to perform its intended job very well. This new push will either be seen through a plethora of new shovelware Kinect games or possibly a section of XBL devoted and more easily accessible to families.
4) The $99 Xbox: WIth the recent announcement of how there will be a new, cheaper 360, I think there will be a heavy push to try to sway wary gamers who have somehow managed to not pick up a system in its long lifespan.
5) The Durango/Xbox 720/Nextbox: With the rumors and speculation swirling around the next generation of consoles, it is possible that a bit more information could be announced (or leaked), despite a push for a longer lifecycle for current gen systems.
1) Success Speech: With the problems both Playstation and Sony as a whole faced in the past year, it's not hard to imagine that several PR representatives will come out at the beginning of the conference, similar to the speech given after the PSN breach, and discuss the successes Sony has made since then.
2) Pushing the Vita: As many industry analysts expected, the Vita is not doing as well as Sony would like it to. This is often a common problem with handhelds and, seeing as the Vita was released in a time of few releases, many blockbuster titles will be coming out later this year. Expect to see a nod to the Vita's sales numbers and a video showing the great titles that will be flowing onto the platform in the coming months.
3) The Move: With the resurrection of the highly anticipated Sorcery, a Playstation Move titile that seemed to carry some promise, it could lead a pack of new retail and downloadable titles that are move enabled.
4) PS3 Price Drop/Bundle: With the recent news of a $99 Xbox 360, it is possible to see a price drop, although with the price of the current systems being as low as they are, it isn't extremely likely. At the very least some updated bundles will be shown that include more recent installments in popular Sony franchises.
5) Playstation Plus: With the news of a recent survey being given about Playstation Plus and how it could improve, such as more free games being offered and the possibility of Call of Duty Elite being offered as part of the subscription, it is clear that Sony will hint at, if not show, the changes coming to the service to try to increase the adoption rate.
1) The Wii U: Expect tons of information to be given about the Wii U as we fast approach the release, including trailers for launch window releases and tech demos. To not present the Wii U as the focus of the conference would be an unfortunate misstep for Nintendo.
2) The Future of the WIi: Possible talks of how the Wii will be supported alongside the release of the Wii U and its eventual phasing out.
3) The 3DS: Nintendo has attributed the price drop of the 3DS as part of the reason for its loss in 2011. This may be because not many people are buying the system and Nintendo isn't making as much as it could have off of the people who have already made the investment and their continued, though diminished, support of the DS. To combat this, I see many announcements for in demand titles that will be coming to the 3DS.
1) Valve: Valve will make an appearance and either outright confirm or deny that they are working on a possible "Steambox", similar to what OnLive has done with their home console.
2) Ubisoft: Much more information will be shown about Assassins Creed 3, including at least 2 story related trailers.