E3 Predictions

Gaming’s little shindig is right around the corner. Get your predictions in before some PR guy beats you to the punch. Here’s my predictions. I’ve now gone on record.

Microsoft will announce a bigger hard drive for the Xbox 360

This move will largely be a response to Sony’s announcement of a 60 GB hard drive for the PS3. How big? 100 is a nice round number. This rumor has the size correct. The price, however, is another matter.

Sony will not announce a price for the Playstation 3

Some will say it’ll be a wonderful surprise for later. Others would say that we really don’t want to know. We only know it’s going to be expensive. That will have to be enough for now.

A number within a single dollar of $500 is rather likely to show up on a sign near you. Expect them to hold this news until late summer. Expect them to sell every one of the 1 or 2 million machines that they produce this year, regardless of the price tag found on the box.

Microsoft will announce a price drop … for the original Xbox

Microsoft won’t, however, announce a price drop for the suddenly price competitive Xbox 360. Why ignore the improved offspring in favor of its parent? Simple economics.

The 360 doesn’t need to shed pennies at the moment. The timing is all wrong. I count 6 months between now and the likely November release of its real competitor. The pressure continues to mount to establish a convincing lead in terms of hardware sales. That remains more of a supply than a price issue heading into the summer months. Microsoft could have a $100 price advantage when Sony finally enters the market. Don’t expect Microsoft to play with price tags until Sony finally lays its cards on the table. Even then, no promises are likely to be made.

On the other hand, the original Xbox isn’t faring so well. It’s quickly finding itself without many friends. Third-party support is quickly drying up, reflecting a lack of support from its first part developer. Microsoft began to ignore their giant black box late last year. Everyone else is about to do the same. They only need to clear the warehouse.

Sony will make you believe that Live was their idea

Sony won’t talk about Xbox Live. They are likely to deny its existence entirely. Their press conference will, however, inspire quite a bit a deja vu. Sony will outline a set of features that do more than just mimic the online capabilities currently available on Microsoft’s circle infested machine. You’ll add PlayBuddies to some type of registry. You’ll add up PlayPoints, earned from each PS3 game, to form an ultimate PlayScore.

Remember folks, their idea. All. Along.

Nintendo will be the talk to the show

Somewhere between the blaring videos of Sony’s promises and hubbub that should accompany Microsoft’s first round of real software for the next generation, you’ll find Nintendo’s tiny box. It’ll be different. It’ll have that fancy remote we’ve heard so much about. Most importantly, it’ll be unique. Unique is exactly what you want to be in a room full of jaded journalists who’ve spent a lifetime playing the same old thing. How the hell do you play with the damn thing anyway?

Nintendo might have no clue how to name the damn thing but don’t be surprised if the press is just snapping at their heels, for good or bad. I’m guessing it’ll be the former.

People will pretend that there are no PC games at the Expo.

Troy

How about 1 PC game? It’ll be called Spore.

Mark of Chaos is about the only PC title on the horizon I actually give a shit about these days.

Aww, I wanted to make this thread.

Obvious predictions: Upcoming 360 games will wow, PS3 will be underwhelming, and people will be pleasantly surprised by Wii. PS3 will have horrible playable demos along with gorgeous prerendered scenes that Sony will swear are realtime, and people will still believe them.

Killzone should be a laugh. I know some people who saw it at a pre-E3 press event, and the only thing they could say is that compared to the video they claimed was in-game, it now looks like last-gen crap.

Should be a hoot.

Blizzard will announce something amazing about World of Warcraft that has nothing to do with any subject players have any intrest in or have concerns about.

Nintendo will change the name back to Revolution.

Please?

Blizzard’s said they’re finally announcing the new Alliance expansion race at E3. A few folks are interested in/have concerns about that.

Oh please let this be true. I hope and pray that the little shitsmears who got themselves excited about a new Killzone because of omg grafix get their little shitsmear hearts torn out and spread everywhere.

woot!

Curse you, JMR. That’s what I get for “reading up.”

I imagine most of Slug’s predictions are true, except the one about lowering the price of the original Xbox. Those aren’t even being made anymore, are they? (I really don’t know – but I got the impression they weren’t.)

Actually, the one about Nintendo being the talk of the show is probably wrong too.

I don’t like predicting things, so you get this instead.

I think its rather odd that I feel like going into E3, the PS3 is the biggest question mark. My heart would like it if the console interface they revealed at E3 was as simple as the PS2, if not, simpler and there wasn’t anything about entertainment or comprehensive online programs or wacko TV settings, but my brain tells me that won’t be so. Sony can do very little to persuade me against buying a PS3 post-haste, but they could do a lot to make me feel better about how complicated consoles are getting. I don’t want an MP3 player. I don’t want to linked to everyone else. I don’t want a gamer profile. I don’t have a use for a hard drive in my console. I don’t want to wonder if the thing will even play at optimal performance if I don’t have the right TV. I know Sony will have the games, because its nearly impossible for them not to, but the system worries me a bit.

For Xbox, I’ll still continue to watch from a spectator position, but that’s like, “Watch as I cook dinner and talk to a friend and barely pay attention.” Until they get serious about Japan, I’m not going to ever get serious about owning one, despite the good games on it. There are products I’ve felt reluctant in buying despite the utility or appeal before, but I’ve never held off so long I’m interested in simply because I feel constantly insulted by the company who makes it.

In Wii’s case, its really, at this point, the same thing as the DS. Show me some possibilities and make them seem comfortably good ideas and I’ll be there. I neither feel like Nintendo is the angel that will save the industry or a demon whose time has long past and needs to stop dragging it down. They’re a very curious company, so I’m always very curious about them.

PSP is kind of taking a GBA role with just lots of solid, great games on it. The GBA got a lot of attention and I think it attracted many people who never got portables a chance before it came out in a certain way. I feel like the PSP isn’t getting as much attention, but attracting new people just because it does such a good job at presenting a wide variety of good games. The PSP is always solid and nice, but for some reason, it always takes a beating I don’t much agree with.

And last but not least, the DS. I have around 50 games for this thing already-- just recently having bought eight games for it in one week! (Deep breath…Super Mario 64 DS, Mr. Driller Drill Spirits, Band Bros., Jump Super Stars, Yoshi’s Touch & Go, Sawaru Made in Wario, Another Code, Detective Kibukawa Ryosuke: The Masquerade Lullaby, The Touching Detective: Ozawa Rina, Lost in Blue, Trauma Center, Gyakuten Saiban: Revived Reversal, Mario & Luigi RPG 2x2, Contact, Iron Feather, Lost Magic, Fullmetal Alchemist: Dual Symphony, Wizardry Asterisk, Age of Empires: Age of Kings, Advance Wars Dual Strike, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, Legendary Starfi 4, Metroid Prime Pinball, This Quiz Fellow!, Right Brain Masters: Mistake Museum, Brain Training, More Brain Training, Pac 'n Roll, Pac Pix, Puzzloop, Adventure King Beet: Vandel vs. Busters, Super Princess Peach, Mario Kart DS, Children of Mana, Egg Monster Hero, Guru Guru Nagetto, Rockman.exe 5, New Rainbow Islands, Slime Mori Mori Dragon Quest 2, Sonic Rush, Tenchu: Dark Shadows, Kirby: Canvas Curse, Puyo Puyo Fever, Cooking Mama, Harvest Moon: Corobockle Station, Kimishine, Where do Babies Come From?, Pokemon Torouze, Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon and the Mysterious Dungeon: Blue Rescue Force.) Yeah, they could never announce another game for this sucker and I’d still be tickled pink with it, so right now, I’ll just be happy enough to get more information on some of the cool games I know are coming.

PC, I never feel like the most exciting stuff for me gets announced at E3, and then when I find stuff that I’m excited about, the press doesn’t cover it remotely well enough. Actually, I will make a prediction. I predict that will happen again this year.

-Kitsune

Now I don’t know much about you, Kitsune, but I’m considering proposing.

I predict:

  1. People will finally wake up to what Nintendo has been saying all along - the Wii is not aimed at hardcore gamers. Most of the titles shown will be along the lines of Nintendogs and its ilk.

  2. There won’t be very many suprises. What suprises there are will be for games coming out in 2007 or later.

  3. PS3 games will look about the same as XB360 launch titles.

  4. At least half the PS3 launch titles will be from EA and be sports titles.

  5. It will be one of the leanest holiday’s ever for good games.

Nintendo’s Revolution has been changed to “Wii”? Jesus.

My predictions:

Sony’s most impressive stuff will be mostly prerendered, and there will be some confusion (and outright lying) about it being real-time. There will be a couple genuinely impressive real-time clips or demos, but they’ll be like MGS4 was - no gameplay, no AI, no control, just a real-time movie of a game 2 years away. The stuff you can actually play will be mostly unimpressive. Most of the cross-platform PS3/360 games will be shown off on the 360. Someone will uncover “PS3 footage” of an Unreal Engine 3 game or something that is actually running on, or was recorded from, the 360 version. They’ll masterfully market their machine such that lots of attendees still go “omg did you saw how awesome that PS3 game was?” even if the game is two years away, or just rendered video. It’ll be a lot of smoke and mirrors, and it’ll work. Sony’s past broken promises will be ignored, and the overall gamer consciousness will take everything they say as gospel.

Agreed on the PS3 online offering. It will be an almost bullet-for-bullet clone of Live, and Sony will make it sound like a revolutionary offering. Sony won’t actually demo it in action, though. They’ll show a couple mockups, maybe even animated canned demos that aren’t hooked up to a real network. It’ll be unclear how many of those features will actually be working when the machine ships, or how many downloadable games they’ll have, etc. But they’ll make it sound like the bounty will be unlimited. Specific downloadable games will not be announced.

Microsoft will announce some new Live/dashboard features coming late summer or fall. The partnership with DirectTV will be fleshed out - maybe downloadable shows or movies. There will be some kind of announcement to bring out a bunch of retro arcade classics, but probably not the “MAME-like emulator for thousands of games” we really want. The overall Microsoft message will be “we’re here now, we have everything you need, we’re just as next-gen as the other guy, and by the time the other guy launches we’ll have dozens of awesome games out.” The failures in Japan will be sidestepped completely, but they’ll show some nice games from Japanese developers, and Blue Dragon will look good. There’s a good chance we’ll see or hear about a new Square game, but it won’t be a Final Fantasy.

Nintendo will “steal the show” with the (snicker) Wii. Maybe Wii games will be great, maybe they won’t, but one thing is for sure: they’ll be great “first five minutes” games. You know, some games you need to get into for awhile before you realize how awesome they are (graphics aside). Like a Final Fantasy or Oblivion. Others you can spend five minutes with and “get it” immediately. I think, due to the controller, Wii games stand a better than average chance of being games that are absolutely thrilling at first, and maybe get tiresome after a few hours. But nobody has a few hours per game at E3. You’ll have just enough time to have a blast waving your arm around before you have to move on, and the Wii will seem like every game is as if Mario ate pure joy and shitted out a highly compressed Joy Diamond in video game form. People will freak out about games we all know are coming and can all imagine exactly what they’ll be like already: Zelda, Mario Kart, etc.

Sony won’t announce their price or a firm launch date. There’s simply no need, and they could sell the first couple million even if it was $1,000. Nintendo might give a rough launch time for the Wii (like “late summer” or “October”), and there’s a 50/50 chance we’ll hear about a price.

Despite all the attention on the PS3 and Wii, which they deserve since they’re launching (even if the PS3 was supposed to launch by now), “game of the show” will once again be a PC game. Maybe Crysis or something, I dunno.

  • We will get another AWESOME TRAILER for METAL GEAR SOLID!

I find these comments fascinating - as someone who doesn’t follow the console stuff very well, is that because a hardware guy like you finds the PS3 unimpressive compared to the 360, or just because it’s been presented in such a shady way you don’t think the announced specs are real?

No, I think the PS3 is roughly equivalent in power to the 360. The CPU is maybe 20% more powerful (assuming high optimization on both platforms), but the GPU is slightly less so (the embedded DRAM thing) and it’s got segmented memory. I stand by my early statement that, in the long run, 360 and PS3 games will be pretty comparable and neither one will have a significant performance advantage.

I say that because to date the PS3 demos that involve any actual control/gameplay have been spectacularly lame. The “pretty much graphics only” demos have been great. It seems apparent to me that the PS3 is really easy to get something up and running on, and really hard to turn that “something up and running” into a game. The graphics side is easy, the physics middleware is fine, but you start writing your own code and managing SPEs and their local RAM and all that, and it gets to be, shall we say, a challenge. That, and developers still don’t even have final dev kits. The best-looking PS3 stuff with be cross-platform PS3/360 stuff, where the more mature development environment of the 360 has let the coders get a lot further, and then they’ve spent the last several months porting to and bringing the PS3 version up to speed.

It’s just plain early for the PS3. It’s launch titles vs. second-gen 360 stuff, when the platforms aren’t very far apart in performance.

I don’t find the PS3 unimpressive, but I do think that Sony made some poor design decisions in the hardware, and some of it makes me think they really didn’t plan to go with an outside source for a graphics chip and that was added relatively late in the process. It’s got a lot of brute force, but I personally consider it inelegant. That’s not my problem, though. It’s the game developers’.

My comments about Sony’s “dazzle 'em with smoke and mirrors and BS” technique doesn’t have anything to do with the capabilites of the PS3. It’s just Sony’s M.O., going all the way back. The PSP still doesn’t run at its advertised clock speed, as far as I know.

I’ll add two predictions for E3:

Bungie’s next project, a Halo something game, will show up in some sort of limited video form, and fans will go apeshit. It’ll look great, it’ll be in-engine, but it won’t be “the game.” Forza Motorsport 2 will also make some sort of appearance, and it’ll make PGR3 pale by comparison.

Oh, and this is Shadowrun, I betcha. (yay!)