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Darren Waters

E3 2009: Predictions

  • Darren Waters
  • 1 Jun 09, 13:58 GMT

Last year's E3 was a bit of a letdown, in truth. The return to the Los Angeles Expo Center sparked hopes of a return to the unashamed bombast of previous years.

But the show floor took up one small, blink and you miss it, part of the centre and the rest of the conference was held in small meeting rooms, and hotel suites.

It left the big three console makers carrying the torch but here too there was little to shout about.

E3 expo banner

Microsoft tried to turn the Xbox into more of a family friendly console with its re-design for Xbox Live, while Sony stressed the long game and talk of the PlayStation 3 decade, while Nintendo pretty much rested on its laurels and announced little of note.

In all, E3 2008 was a bit of a letdown, which is why 2009 is all set to be a classic.

So here are my predictions for this show:

Microsoft Xbox 360

I'll be very surprised if the reports of a new controller for the 360 did not turn out to be true. Microsoft may not be a great innovator, but it knows when it needs to follow the innovation of others and I think a Wiimote/EyeToy-like device is on the cards.

Xbox Live will continue to iterate and I expect a raft of new digital content services for the platform - but I'd be surprised if they were anything other than North America exclusive. Hulu is the current darling of video streaming services and I can see the logic in putting the service on the 360 as an exclusive.

Last week Microsoft UK unveiled its deal with British broadcaster Sky for live and on demand video content and so I wouldn't expect anything else for the UK market in that area.

Sony PlayStation 3

A new PlayStation Portable is a certainty and one of the worst kept Sony secrets in recent years. The leaked specs, video footage and photos show a more genuinely handheld device, ditching the UMD drive and focusing on downloadable content. It looks like it is pitched squarely at the iPod touch and iPhone market.

I've been told that the rumoured PS3 Slim is indeed real but will not be announced at this E3. But Sony has to make a substantial price cut announcement if it hopes to compete.

I'm also led to believe that a game I was shown more than a year ago now, and got me quite excited, might, just might, be unveiled at this E3. And I've also been told that the game has changed enormously since I first saw it...


Nintendo Wii

I don't expect any hardware changes to the Wii and instead I think the focus for Nintendo will be games, games, games.

I expect lots more details of the already-announced Zelda game, plus plenty of details about a new Mario game. Shigeru Miyamoto is in town and I expect him to lead announcements with increasing focus on social participation online.

Nintendo also needs a price cut for the Wii if it is to re-energise sales.

GAMES

There are always big surprises but here are the games I'm expecting to make a splash at E3:

Rock Band: Beatles. Will the Beatles finally go online and offer downloadable tracks?

Halo: ODST I think the campaign mistakes of Halo 3 will be rectified in Bungie's Halo swansong

Modern Warfare 2: It looks like Infinity Ward is gunning for the biggest Hollywood-blockbuster style game of all time. And I think they are capable of pulling it off.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "...a game I was shown more than a year ago now, and got me quite excited, might, just might, be unveiled at this E3..."

    Could this be the Indiana Jones game we first saw teased at E3 '06? Give me SOMETHING more than that!

  • Comment number 2.

    Darren, you've forgotten about two of the major games we're expecting to see at E3: Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus. These are undoubtedly more important to the gaming community than such things as Halo and Rock Band!

  • Comment number 3.

    @GoodOlGrego I assume when you refer to Wii Bathroom Scales, you are joking...

    Looking forward to Sony's E3, there is alot of PS3 stuff we have been given tasters of that we want to see more. The new Uncharted2, M.A.G, perhaps a new Metal Gear Solid game, something from team ICO, Heavy Rain and so forth.

    Also talk of Epic doing a PS3 exclusive horror game from the guy that did 360's Gears Of War (Cliff Bleszinski).

  • Comment number 4.

    Also the banner gives a little hint at some Assassins Creed II footage

  • Comment number 5.

    Rock Band: Beatles? I for one will not be propping up Macca's long-overdue slide into the archives of music past. The reason Rock Band works is that it covers a wide gamut of music, picking the best from rock and roll history. The Metallica packs and the Aerosmith packs for GH barely made a dent compared to the sale figures of 2 and 3 because the popularity of the bands is that much less, aimed at a much smaller niche audience. And how many 14 year olds are going to want to play 'All you need is love'?

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm personally looking forward to more details on Brink (http://www.brinkthegame.com/) from popular publisher Bethesda and respected UK developer Splash Damage!

  • Comment number 7.

    'Nintendo also needs a price cut for the Wii if it is to re-energise sales.'

    Maybe in Japan they need a price cut, but they are shifting 100k+ a month in each of the other significant regions (EU and North America). And there's a bunch of other measures (e.g. motion +, new colours) they have still to unveil, which will stimulate the Japanese market before a price cut is required.

  • Comment number 8.

    im iching to find out more about Modern warfare 2. ill will be keeping a close eye on updates.

    In terms of the wii, i hope they have something more than another mario game...

  • Comment number 9.

    For me - Crackdown 2 was something I was DYING to happen. 1000 times yes to that!

  • Comment number 10.

    The biggest game being shown at this years E3 is Star Wars: The Old Republic.

    Its developed by BioWare, partnered with LucasArts and EA. I think it will take World of Warcraft on more successfully than any MMO we've seen since WoW was released back in 2004.

    It would be nice to see more games coverage on the BBC. Many games are more immersive, have deeper stories and have more longevity than books, films, or any other kind of media, therefore they deserve as much importance when it comes to entertainment news.

  • Comment number 11.

    Well Darren was the PS3 game shown???

  • Comment number 12.

    OK, so Sony showed a far more complete product, with a real live (and VERY impressive) demonstration.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgLN7uOj8Jg

    Lets see if BBC give that headline news like they gave the very faked smoke and mirrors Microsoft demo...

  • Comment number 13.

    Oh dear mgillespie, you are such a little fanboy.

    I wondered if you 'actually' thought that PS3 Wiimote demonstration was VERY impressive or not, but it's clear from your previous comments you are just adhering to the stereotype and have viewed the demonstration through those particular tinted glasses.

    The demo was ok, but really nothing groundbreaking (or even VERY impressive). That said, it's also something that is clearly 18-24 months away from market, so I'm keeping an open mind and hope that Sony can really pull something out of the bag with it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Foozen,

    I'm pretty sure he was talking about The Last Guardian from Team Ico, which was shown at Sony's conference. That fits with Darren speaking about it over a year ago, as what we saw at the conference was an improved version of the trailer being shown internally over a year ago (and recently leaked).

  • Comment number 15.

    lol @ The people mocking Microsoft! All three presentations had thier weak points. The whole Lionhead/Milo thing was odd... Really not sure about that as a whole.

    lmao @ the 'scripted' thing! That's right... Microsoft were the ONLY ones to script their presentation...

    Sony spent FAR too much time on the PSP. Why do they insist on pouring so much money into something that doesn't do particulary great anyway? For crying out loud, put the money and time into some games. Then they metion that the PS2 is getting 100 TITLES this year and then they show us but a handfull of ps3 stuff? It was pretty poor. More PS3 stuff would have been nice.
    I found it a better presentation that Nintendo though, that was horrendously dissapointing. What with the making out all these games were BRAND NEW when they were just more old characters revived once more? Mario Galaxy 2 and M&L looked decent, but I was little gutted that Zelda got no more than a passing mention.

    The Last Guardian looks SUPERB. Me likey..

  • Comment number 16.

    ButterflyEdge,

    The PSP has sold somewhere in the region of 50m, making it a pretty big success story. I know there are issues with poor software support (which is primarily because of poor sales/piracy), but each piece of hardware sold makes a profit.

    And profit is clearly the defining factor for Sony with the PSP Go. Smaller footprint, smaller screen, no UMD Drive should mean significant cost savings which will far outweigh the cost of implementing 16GB local storage, but if they can sell 10-20 million at the price points mentioned it will do a lot to help the bottom line in Sony's game division.

  • Comment number 17.

    "I'm also led to believe that a game I was shown more than a year ago now, and got me quite excited, might, just might, be unveiled at this E3. And I've also been told that the game has changed enormously since I first saw it..."

    Darren, PLEASE , more info about the mistery game!!!
    PLEASE!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    whydoi,

    It's not a mystery game, it was shown yesterday. The Last Guardian (of Team ICO fame) is the title he spoke of over a year ago and was "launched" at Sony's E3 conference yesterday.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Guardian

    From Darren's twitter "Last Guardian. PS3. Finally."

    http://twitter.com/darrenwaters

 

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