E3 2011: A load of crystal balls

We could be making some Big mistakes here.


E3 is so close now, you can almost smell the sweat of thousands of journos crowded together in a heated building. Ew. If you thought that we’d decided to ignore the opportunity to embarrass ourselves with swiftly destroyed predictions this year, think again!

A handful of us at CG are brave/stupid enough to offer you our carefully considered opinions/blind guesses on what surprises this year’s sweatfest will bring. As editor, I’ll go first. That way, you’ll hopefully have forgotten what I said by the time you get to the end of the article.

Despite all the rumours and alleged leaks, I think that there’ll be at least one huge surprise regarding Nintendo’s new console. I’m not quite foolhardy enough to be more specific than that but, if pushed, I’d say that it will relate to the functionality of the (allegedly touchscreenised) controller. I do however expect Resident Evil 6 to be announced as a timed exclusive for this console; though not necessarily at this year’s E3.

New console!

Sony have two options at E3; pretend the hack never happened, or run straight into it headfirst (which they almost certainly will do). The security breach has hurt Sony both in terms of image and of finances. Because of this – and the knowledge that Nintendo will be showing off a previously secret console – Sony need to pull out all the stops this year. In order to do that at short notice, they’d have to show off something unexpected that’s not long come off the drawing board. Tantalising as it is, the NGP will not be enough.

Microsoft are hardest to guess this year. There are conflicting reports from within the industry regarding their next console. If it is in development, I’d still be shocked to see it announced any time soon. We’ll probably see a big push for Kinect, as this is (I think) the do-or-die year for it. I’d expect this to include a long on-stage presentation for Child of Eden. Ironically, this multiformat title could prove to be Kinect’s killer app.

Kevin says: At E3 this year I expect/hope to see Nintendo giving us 3DS owners some decent games to play. I’m looking forward to seeing the new Mario game, but would love to see them create a new franchise, rather than remakes or sequels to existing franchises.

I expect MS to have some new arm waving Kinect games on show for the hardcore. Will we see Xbox 720 previewed? I doubt it as they are only just starting to see the dollars rolling in now from the 360, and wouldn’t want to stop consumers investing in Kinect. I think a new Halo will be teased.

As for Sony I think they’ll spend most of their 5 hour conference apologising for the PSN hack, and Kaz Hirai will get very publically flogged by Kevin Butler, much to the amusement of the baying crowd. Obviously NGP will be getting a lot of exposure and we may get a good look at Uncharted and Call of Duty on the portable.

Anthony says: As far as major platform holders are concerned, I reckon Nintendo are going to win E3 again this year. With a new console to unveil, that may or may not have a new and innovative angle to it, Sony and Microsoft really need to pull rose scented fingers out of their R&D departments to compete. Sony could probably get a big cheer by simply telling us their full online service works again.

New handheld!

Looking at individual game reveals, my soft spot lies with Hitman: Absolution, as long as IO and Square Enix don’t draw inspiration from Kane & Lynch…

Editor’s note: Anthony was the only one who stuck to the suggested 100 words for contributions to this piece. Brownie points (and much less room for embarrassment) for him.

Steven, AKA Grumpy Gurevitz, says: Nintendo: Show off new console. Promises some amazing third and first party games which won’t be released till at least 2013. Amazing content and online connectivity will be suggested, but no concrete plans laid out. 3DS will be relaunched with E-Store and possibly upgraded ‘friends’ functionality as core components. E-Store will underwhelm with lack of content from launch.

Sony: 3D, 3D, 3D. Did I mention 3D? Much more on the PSP2/NGP. Possible PS3 price cut. Lots of Uncharted 3. Google TV implementation.

Microsoft: 3D as well! Kinect hardcore game demonstration (Call of Duty implementation?), Halo future, and past revisited and remastered; Gears of War 3.

What will be missing from previous E3s…… Any reference to Music/Instrument based games…..

Stephen (his higher ph value means he’s an alkali) says: Let’s face it: motion controls aren’t working out very well. At the very least, they’re not particularly well-liked. Sony and Microsoft will probably have to defend this trend, but Nintendo is in a different situation. Most of us are probably hoping that the beloved company returns to their roots with a new console at least slightly more appropriate for traditional games, but is that a realistic notion? The Wii was, of course, wildly successful, but its glory days are waning. While their competitors fumble about with magic wands and 3D glasses, perhaps Nintendo will initiate phase two of their secret plan. Now that the casual demographic has been hooked, is it time to teach them about Star Fox and RPGs? Could all those waggle shenanigans have served the purpose of actually broadening the audience to deepen the gaming experience? Is that a load of wishful nonsense? Regardless, if Nintendo plans to reclaim their previous splendour and make a shift towards (forgive my condescension) “real” games, the time is now!

We're not quite sure!

Our lovable self-declared philanthropist – sorry, misanthropist – Ian says: My prediction is that it will involve lots of horrible, scripted back and forth between 40+ year old men pretending to be in their 20s, especially if they waste stage time on Cliffy B or any of the Gears 3 team while morons applaud at nothing. Or did you mean something other than that?

Wii 2 and it’ll be just about as good as a 360, barely. Might have 3D aspects, but it’s a long shot they’ll even move up to HD so we’ll see.

Nintendo will quietly hide how poor the 3DS has done and probably try and build it back up with more Zelda, Mario, blah blah.

More on the next Devil May Cry, I suspect they might even give in and change Dante’s look to something closer to how he should look.

Mass Effect 3 trailer/dev walkthrough that’ll amaze everyone and disguise the fact that it’ll just be more of the same untweaked game.

Dead Island 4-player co-op playable (cheating here, they stated it will be there). Dark Souls will be getting attention but I doubt that’d be a surprise. Might be a War for Cybertron 2 reveal, not that anyone besides me is interested in that.

Steam will announce global economic control and begin killing long time hold-outs and protestors of their methods (it’s been nice knowing you all).

I personally hope for a lot of NGP info because Sony is going to have to do something big to survive. Watching them awkwardly talk about the attacks is going to be hilarious.

I doubt there will be any really big surprises outside of new console/handheld news (I don’t count things like MW3 gameplay or similar as a surprise…or interesting).

Isn’t he adorable?

So, there are our predictions and hopes for E3 2011. All that remains is to watch them all slowly but surely fall from the skies in flames, wincing and cringing with each failure. The good news is, Snezana will come back with some reports on what actually happened. Stay tuned!

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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