People say it every year. This is it. The big one. Prime time. The Super Bowl of gaming. The whole shebangabang. The show that will shape the future of the gaming industry for years to come. This is the Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3. Get hype.
And yet every year, these same people usually leave the show disillusioned. They’ll say the games are too derivative, or too violent, or too gimmicky. The press conferences are too vague, or too misinformed, or too long. The show itself is too big, too crowded, or too excessive. Cries of the industry being doomed are not uncommon as the industry departs from Los Angeles.
Yes, E3 holds a special place in the hearts and minds of nearly everyone passionate about gaming in that it’s the only event that manages to simultaneous excite, inspire, disappoint and anger everybody who comes into contact with it. It’s all a bit exhausting, but reality typically ends up lying in the middle of all these extreme feelings.
But it’s a special place, filled to the brim with promising games, not promising games, industry bigwigs, piles of hardware, behind-closed-doors secrets, and an absolute truckload of announcements. It undoubtedly commands attention. It’s a big deal.
And it’s back again next week. TechnologyGuide is understandably hesitant to get its hopes up too high, but this year’s show seems as if it may actually live up to all the pomp, circumstance and hype surrounding it.
There’s a decided feeling of newness in the air this year, and that’s primarily because it’s go time for the next generation of consoles. Finally. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both out of hiding, the Wii U has months of experience under its belt, and a tidal wave of next-gen games is about to crash upon consumers’ shores.
There’s going to be a ton of news coming out of LA next week, and TG will be on hand to cover it all. Things will be explained, demoed and revealed. But to get a better idea of what could be coming, here’s a big rundown of what to expect from E3’s major players when the show kicks off next week.
Many companies and products are going to deserve attention at E3, but on a larger level the show is going to be a two-horse race. Sony and Microsoft have set themselves on a collision course with each other this holiday season, and both have their own set of issues that need to be addressed on the big stage.
Microsoft is in the hottest water amongst gamers right now. Its Xbox One reveal last month mostly impressed those with more mainstream sensibilities, but its strong emphasis on multimedia features, TV content, and well-known blockbuster titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts alienated many in the ‘core’ gaming crowd. The Xbox One came away looking like a forward-looking piece of technology for those who want a centralized entertainment device, but it didn’t look like a gaming console, and that made seasoned gamers feel uncomfortable. Microsoft’s refusal to answer questions on the Xbox One’s internet requirements and used game policies at the time certainly didn’t help either.
And now that it has confirmed that the Xbox One will require an internet connection once every 24 hours, and that its used games can be restricted by game publishers (who typically aren\’t the biggest fans of used games), the company is facing a whole new wave of wrath from the gaming public. It needs to cool people down, and undoubtedly the best way to do that is to get on with the games.
And that\’s exactly what it should do at E3. Microsoft has sworn numerous times that its previous reveal was just part one of a two-step plan—first came the multimedia stuff, and next will be the games. In its first event, the company noted that it is already investing about $1 billion in Xbox One games, with at least 15 exclusives coming to the system in its first year from Microsoft Studios alone. Expect some of the fruits of that high-spending labor to be revealed and showcased.
Since so much of these titles are being kept under wraps for now, it’s difficult to say exactly what games will be shown off. But based on the last event, there should be more details on the mysterious Remedy game Quantum Break and the racing blockbuster Forza Motorsport 5, as well as the just-leaked Titanfall and the long-discussed Kinect title Ryse.
Halo 5 is coming sooner or later, so a peak at that FPS wouldn’t be a shock. Same goes for the next Fable title. Microsoft has also teased that it’ll announce a new game based on a “historic” IP from longstanding developer Rare, which has made such classics as Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Viva Pinata and Killer Instinct, among others.
The point is that the Xbox One isn’t going to be without games, and Microsoft should be wise enough to assuage the community’s fears come next week. It may not be ready to announce an official release date or price for its new console just yet, but it should show more than television, sports and Call of Duty.
The Xbox One (and its Kinect) will be the focal point of Microsoft’s conference, but the company has already noted that it will share more about the future of its current-gen Xbox 360 at E3 as well. As the highest-selling console in America for the past two years, the Xbox 360 is still more than relevant in today’s marketplace, and Microsoft may try to increase that relevance by touting more current-gen games and possibly a console price cut.
And for those looking for a long shot? Rumors of a so-called ‘Xbox Surface’ tablet that focuses on gaming have been swirling around for months, and Microsoft did just announce a spiffy new mobile game in Halo: Spartan Assault, so perhaps that reported device could make its way out of the wild next week.
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