Published on April 29th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor4
Who Needs The Strongest E3 This Year?
The E3 Expo is one of, if not the, largest video game events to showcase upcoming games. Every year there are surprise games, speakers, announcements, systems and much more. It’s a very busy time to be a gaming journalist because of the influx of information of new games and whatnot, but it’s also a very fun time. In light of us being a little more then a month away from E3, I have decided to look at the three console manufacturers and see who I think needs to have the biggest E3 presentations.
Microsoft is in an interesting position this year, and I think will be a bit quiet. Rumors of the Xbox 720 or ‘Durango’ have been running rampant, but I don’t see them showing anything this year. The Xbox 360 is still selling well in the US, and still has some marque titles coming later this year, such as the new Call of Duty and Halo 4. I think this year Microsoft will try to expand upon the Kinect features of the 360, as evident by the rumors of a Kinect-only 360 have shown. Microsoft is in a prime position because they do not have a handheld system, and can focus solely on promotion of the Xbox 360 and Kinect. The Kinect has sold well, but the software has been very lacking as far as “real games” are considered, and this is a great year for Microsoft to turn that around and have some interactive software to release during the holiday season. I expect a very large Halo 4 presentation as well. That should keep people satisfied with a rather quiet Microsoft showing.
Although most people probably thought Nintendo would easily top this list, I somewhat disagree. The Wii has pretty much run its course and, aside from a few Japanese imports, I do not expect much buzz with the system after that. The main focus will be on the Wii U, which is Nintendo’s next system that is launching this holiday season. It will be nice to finally have a hands-on approach to the system so we can see how ‘powerful’ it really is, and also how exactly the controller works. Although Nintendo did post a loss last year, I believe that the Wii U will help recuperate this, because it will sell well this holiday season. Some of the games that have been shown thus far are very impressive, and it will be a great time for Nintendo to showcase a few first-party titles as well. If Nintendo can captivate the consumers they got with the Wii, and bring back the true gamer’s they may have lost, it can be a very good showing.
The 3DS has been picking up steam as of late with top titles such as Resident Evil: Revelations and I expect this trend to continue. New Super Mario Bros. 2 should be a big hit at the show along with some secret titles I have heard are in development and will be shown. It will also been nice to find out more about the Nintendo Network which appears to be Nintendo’s first big step towards online play. Trying to keep up with the already established Xbox LIVE and PSN will be a big task and whether or not Nintendo can compete with that remains to be seen. I expect a big show from Nintendo and, for their sake, a strong showing of the Wii-U.
Sony is in a very interesting position this year. Much like Microsoft, I do not think they will showcase a new system this year. The PS3 has been successful this year, and should continue to do such. The PlayStation Move hasn’t been quite as successful as the Kinect, and I’m not hearing much about new titles specifically design for the Move being created. Sony may have a trick up it’s sleeve with that though.God of War: Ascesion should be a huge hit but, other then that, Sony has somewhat put themselves in an awkward position. Most of their main first-party franchises have seen recent releases, and besides the newly announced PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royal, not much has been heard from Sony’s camp. Hopefully a new Jax and Dexter may be announced or even a Crash Bandicoot return would generate some buzz.
The main thing Sony needs to focus on is the Vita, however. Although my article about the Vita has gotten some severe backlash, I stand by what I said. The Vita right now is a glorious piece of technology, but it doesn’t have an identity yet. Sony has announced after posting horrific losses that it plans to focus on gaming to revitalize the brand, but I want to see it. A price drop is risky, but can easily be justified by offering something similiar to the Ambassdaor Program that Nintendo did with the 3DS. Offer some good PS1 games for free and everyone will be happy. I also want to see more first-party announcements for the Vita as well. Show me God of War, Twisted Metal, something interesting. Sony should be begging Konami to do an all new Metal Gear Solid, not an HD remake. Also, improve on Cross Platform play. That’s a very exciting thing that only Sony is offering, but provide it for more mainstream titles other then MLB and whatnot. Sony needs to avoid the Marcus PSP route and just go strictly with kickass games that only the Vita can provide, instead of trying to be a PS3-light.
Well, that’s my analysis of this years E3 Expo. This is a very exciting time for gamer’s of all platforms and companies, and should be a very talked about E3 event well after the June display of it. Feel free to leave some comments below and assess your E3 wants and needs, because gamer’s are just as important as the gamer’s writing about the games themselves.