We have quite a few months until E3 2012 but rumors are flying around, left and right, about what will be announced and what won’t be. Every so often, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happening.
The Wii sold a tremendous amount of units but sacrificed third-party support because of the console’s limitations. Nintendo gained non-gamers but lost hardcore gamers. They released the 3DS but it was given a sudden price cut because it wasn’t expecting the predicted numbers at launch. 2011 was a mean year for the oldest console company in the race. Sometimes you can’t win them all or can you? Last year, Nintendo revealed an ‘ace up their sleeve’ to make up for their losses. They announced the Wii U a new system that will have HD support and third party games (e.g. Darkstalkers, Ghost Recon, Tekken and Ninja Gaiden 3). It’s main feature is a innovative touch – a touch screen tablet controller that can switch from the TV to the controller. It will be playable this year on E3’s show floor and you can also expect third party announcements for the 3DS and possibly Wii.
After Nintendo threw that screwball at E3, everyone started to wonder if anyone else was going to try and compete against the Wii U. Microsoft wasn’t afraid to step up and state that they will unveil their untitled next-gen console at E3 – nicknamed the Xbox720 (but I’m guessing Xbox540). AMD declared that the graphics engine will be on par with Avatar [source] but not everyone is on board with the console. Cliffy B. is hoping that the Xbox 720 won’t be nearing an end any time soon and if the next-gen does come out, it should be a step up [source]. Microsoft has been high praising cloud service recently so that might be tied in with the new console along with high-end specs from the latest computer technology and another DVD format to prevent disc swapping.
Another expectation from Microsoft will be more exclusive titles for the current console. Of course, they’re still pushing Halo but they need more first-party titles to stand out from PlayStation. So along with the expected gaming announcements, there will also be surprise first party announcements.
Speaking of Sony…That company is surrounded by rumors about the PS4. Will the PS4 be revealed? They said, “No.” They want to stick to the “10 year lifespan for the ps3”. Then the rumors said, “Yes.” And Sony replied to the rumors again with “No”. Then the company said they’re working on the PS4 and it will be shown at E3. Sony also said they don’t want to be a step behind like last time with the Xbox 360 in 2005. There is so much confusion with Sony but that’s how they want it to be. It’s a classic marketing approach to shock everyone during their press conference. But then again, it makes sense that they want the PS3 to have a 10 year span à la their last two consoles [source]. That makes sense but they don’t want Microsoft to get a head start again [source]. So all in all, expect a console from Sony even if they’re disputing it. They might just divulge their plans for the future. Who knows?
Expect more indie-support and cloud games on the PSN (soon Sony Entertainment Network) for PS3 and Vita.
To no surprise, Call of Duty will be announced this year but to rival it will be the Medal of Honor sequel. There are talks of Battlefield 4. However, EA dropped hints of a new MOH in the packaging of Battlefield 3 last year. EA threw down their first competition with Medal of Honor against COD: Black Ops a couple years ago. This will be their third try against Activision’s franchise.
An unnamed game from the studio formerly-known-as-Midway (now NetherRealm) is currently deep in production and will appear at E3.
Grand Theft Auto V will be huge with release date information and playable demos along with several games that are already announced: Max Payne 3, Protoype 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, Halo 4, Far Cry 3, Hitman, Dust 514 and Tomb Raider to name few. Sheesh! I hope it won’t be a year of sequels.
There will be more info about the future consoles and titles pre-E3 as more details arrive. And remember, when more solid information is released, it will be covered.