- 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.
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...
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.
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.
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