In just a few short hours, the E3 conferences begin and as we’ve all seen these can be the biggest moments of the expo and often influence the nature of the industry for the coming year and even further. In the past, these conferences have also made significant impact on who lost in the coming year as a lack of hype for certain companies made others look even greater by comparison.
The one given for this E3 above all else is that Nintendo doesn’t have anything big to reveal. While they will probably be making announcements from the show floor and through Nintendo Direct and shoving off various new games, potentially including new details on the upcoming Wii U Smash Brothers, they actually are not going to have a Nintendo Press Conference. After two years of lackluster results pushing the Wii U to the mainstream media through E3 press, Nintendo is backing off hopefully to reevaluate where the console stands in the market and figure out a way to focus back on their core audience they lost with the Wii.
Next up for sure things is the likelihood that Sony will reveal the actual PlayStation 4 console hardware itself. While the controller has been revealed along with specs, we haven’t yet seen the box itself. With Microsoft having revealed what the XBox One looks like at their big reveal press conference last month, it’d be shocking if Sony held back any longer on the PlayStation 4, especially with the system hitting stores this fall.
Up next comes the ultimate game of chicken: Prices and release dates. As we saw with the PlayStation 3 launch, the wrong price point can tremendously hurt a system in its early stages leaving lots of room to be made up for. While the Wii U’s price and launch seem to be a non-issue in this generation due to the lack of enthusiasm for the system, it really is going to come down to the XBox One and PlayStation 4 and who blinks first. Right now, the first shot is going to be in Microsoft’s court.
With the earlier of the two press conferences they are forced to go first and it’d look shocking if they didn’t make the announcement there. What Microsoft has to hope for is that they announce something earlier enough that Sony can’t push out weeks before it and also at a price point that Sony won’t undercut them by a drastic amount. Sony is definitely playing with the advantage here since there are most likely multiple cuts of their presentation ready to roll out with different price points and release dates to counter whatever Microsoft lets out hours earlier.
Up next are the games. Microsoft announced at the XBox One reveal there would be fifteen exclusive titles with eight being new and original IPs but only showed one (to lackluster reactions with the game’s FMV slant). Expect most of, if not all of these exclusives to be revealed at the press conference. At the XBox One reveal, Microsoft focused on the hardware itself.
This may have been to get those details out of the way so they could put pure focus on new titles being announced and shown for the first time. Additionally, Sony will probably show more off of their new titles than they did at the PlayStation 4 announcement. Sony will focus on Destiny while Microsoft will have end with Call of Duty: Ghosts giving Activision the biggest spotlight of the expo between the two biggest conferences.
Other notable titles to be ready to see include the Elder Scrolls Online, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Plan, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2, Infamous: Second Son, Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Plants vs. Zombies 2 and the next big announcement from Square Enix for the Final Fantasy franchise.
One title we are holding out hope for is the next entrant into the Half-Life series with a look at Half-Life 2: Episode 3, possibly to the PlayStation 4 since Valve has shown an affinity to the Sony consoles with past titles like Portal 2. There may be the final breath from the Lost Guardian, maybe even as a PlayStation 4 launch title or as a legacy title for the PlayStation 3 in its final days. There is also a good chance of there being more Halo being announced as it was seen as some as a fault that the XBox 360 didn’t launch with a Halo title and they may be remiss to repeat that mistake with the head to head launch with the PlayStation 4.
Stay tuned for recaps throughout the week from E3 2013 from the Flickcast.