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E3 Wants and Predictions

This year’s E3 is going to be interesting, that’s for sure. All the main 3 companies will have some good stuff (yes, even Nintendo) and if you look on IGN and probably every other gaming related site, you’ll see lots of predictions. Mine will be very similar but I want to talk more about my personal feelings obviously. I’m going to break it down into sections from here.

Sony

Sony will have a big show, the biggest of the 3 without doubt. Here’s what I think they’ll unveil.

PSP redesign: This won’t just be the PSP 4000, this is going to be an entire reboot for the PSP with some interesting concepts. No UMD is an interesting proposition. I hope they know what they’re doing and I hope it comes with plenty of storage on board. Two analogue sticks I want very much but I know it’s unlikely until PSP 2. There’s also talk of a touchscreen. Now that would be great, especially to cover all the bases and defend against apple with the ipod touch and iphone and nintendo with the DS. However, I think this new PSP (please don’t call it the GO, dumb name) won’t have a touchscreen. It will be as cheap as they can get it while still appearing fresh and new, which would be a cunning move by Sony indeed.

I hope what they do about UMD’s replacement is to put an external drive for ripping all your games to the internal memory bundled in with the new system. The thing about going to kiosks to do it I don’t buy. I just think that would be a poor way of dealing with the problem. Even making me pay seperatly for a UMD ripping drive would make me happier than the kiosk idea.

Oh and PSP trophies would be an unlikely but welcome announcement. Not to mention the new PSP having bluetooth so you can use any headset with it on games like resistance retribution if you wanted to.

PS3 Slim: The rumours surrounding this seem entirely plausible to me at this point. And while the ceace and decist letters could be a prank or something else, I don’t know why, I just think it’s real and hopefully Sony have figured out a way to lower the component and manufacturing costs so that this new system if there is one (and the old one!) are brought down in price significantly. IGN expects to $299 which to be honest sounds like too big of a jump to me.

The problem is that Sony are stuggling selling the PS3 to people who don’t understand that the system is actually worth more money than the 360. This is because of many reasons, but most notably, the blu-ray player, the built in wi-fi, free online play, plus the controllers can be recharged out of the box.

However, the average parent walking into a store with their kid won’t care about any of that, nor the fact the 360 is the most unreliable console in gaming history, even if it does have a decent software library and very good community features, but Sony are quickly catching them in both of those departments.

Lots of games: Sony will surely be all too pleased to show people more of GT5, God of War 3, Uncharted 2, all the cool upcoming PSP games including maybe a gran turismo game I hope. MAG, Heavy Rain and more. Plus they’ll highlight all the PSN games coming soon like Fat Princess and PixelJunk Shooter among others.

Community Stuff: Hopefully they will use this time to announce things like VidZone, which was announced here recently. It’s a music video streaming service on the XMB and sounds kinda cool, especially for free. I’m sure they’ll talk about it.

More importantly though, the PS3 needs better intergration online. Better game launching in home and from the XMB. They need cross-game parties and cross-game voice chat. It would shut a lot of people up and make everyone’s time easier finding and playing with friends online.

Microsoft:

I think microsoft are going to have some interesting things to show. Not a lot is known so they might be holding back something big. However, they might be holding back nothing big and therefore have a pretty tame show compared to Sony and Nintendo, and they really can’t let that happen. So with that said, let’s get into the predictions.

Xbox 360 Slim: Could this be the year of console hardware revisions? I don’t know but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them ditch the current 360 for a sleeker, more stylish version (that hopefully doesn’t break and has wi-fi built in). It would really help to trump Sony’s offering if in fact they do announce a slim PS3.

Xbox / Zune / handheld: This is probably just as much of an outside chance if not more so than the slim 360. Personally I hope microsoft don’t cross these brands over and keeps them seperate and instead, if they actually do bring out a handheld, make it a pure Xbox gaming machine, not a Zune or a phone.

Some kind of motion controller / camera: Honestly this doesn’t excite me one bit. Motion isn’t the future I want to see for harcore gaming. It’s fine on the wii for the most part, except in mario kart (I use the classic controller) but not on PS3 or Xbox 360. It doesn’t matter how well it works or anything like that, it’s never going to be cool, and Microsoft need to admit they’re never going to capture Nintendo’s casual audience and just deal with it and move on.

Games: They will talk Halo 3 ODST, Forza (I think 3 is the latest, but if they try to trump GT5 with that, it would be like fighting a tank with a pea shooter, not that Forza isn’t a good game, but you know what I mean). Probably something from Peter Molineux. I saw him say in an interview at Lionhead that theres another team working on something he wasn’t allowed to show, so that’s a pretty safe bet. I’m sure they’ll have other exclusives I can’t remember and parade a bunch of 3rd party games like Modern Warfare 2 as if they were exclusives too, just like last year. Maybe Beatles: Rock Band too, and the many coming Guitar and DJ Hero games.

Nintendo

I think Nintendo will be the most straight and to the point of all the press conferences, keen to make up for last year’s casual-fest. This year they will probably go straight to the hardcore stuff, announcing big new games and talking about things like wii sports resort more and motion plus, and how it ties into these big new games.

Big new games: Zelda, Mario, Pikmin, maybe (but if it’s cancelled not so much) Kid Icarus.

Lots of downloadable games: lots of DSiWare talk. Big first party games and some wiiware love too.

New Wii Bundles: New colours and / or bundles. Possibly with Wii Sports Resort and motion plus or wii fit.

Ok I think that’s pretty much everything I can think of. Maybe if I think of something else between now and E3 I’ll make some additions but otherwise I’ll be back after the big event to see how much of this (I know at least some of it will happen, but the rest is by no means confirmed). We’ll just have to wait and see, and hope we’re not deeply dissapointed by having our hopes raised too high.