It’s almost time for E3!


It’s nearly that time of year again.  That special time when gamers from around the world impatiently and excitingly wait around their computers or TV as all the information, trailers, and surprises come out from the floors of E3.  It’s so tense that it probably devirginizes many of those that stand in its wake.  From June 15 to June 17 (technically June 13 is when Microsoft is kicking things off), it will be gaming bliss and this year looks to be a big year for E3 because of the different elements that are being brought.  We have a battle of motion controls, 3D taking its next step, and of course a ton of games.  We can’t also forget all the crazy surprises that E3 tends to conjure up.  Sometimes those announcements just come out of nowhere and you just can’t help but be excited.  So with all the big names gathered around in one convention center, what kind of things should we expect this year?

A lot of speculation going around is that this E3 will be dominated by 3D.  I just don’t see that being the case though.  While I do heavily agree that this is the breakout year for 3D as is evident by all the commercializing and products being made available, I see this E3 being more focused on the motion, but we’ll get to that later.  There is no doubt though that there will be some 3D tech going on at E3 with the biggest being the 3DS – Nintendo’s new handheld.  There are a lot of people waiting to see what Nintendo is doing with their next gen handheld device and I think E3 is going to give us about all the answers we need.  We already know that it doesn’t require glasses and has the ability to turn 3D off.  We also know that it has some boastful processing power.  But the main selling point here is the 3D aspect.  If anything 3D related is going to make headlines at E3, it’s going to be Nintendo.  Expect a finalized name, pricing, hardware specs, and probably even some release dates thrown out.

In other 3D related news, we can expect to hear a lot more about it out of the Sony camp.  Sure, the 3D firmware update will be here soon, but I suspect Sony is going to push this quite a bit at E3 in an attempt to also sell their upcoming line of 3D TV’s.  Obviously they will have games there to show off in 3D to show us how exciting it will be on the PS3.  But I would assume there will be some big news concerning the direction they want to take the 3D enabled PS3 and the details on the eventual movie support.   So it should make for some interesting news.

Motion control appears to be the big appeal this year even though Nintendo started this trend with the Wii years ago.  Of course the big one will be Natal from Microsoft.  They started the hype last year at E3 and we will now be seeing if all the hype was worth it.  Expectations are that the big M will come out guns blazing with Natal as it is scheduled to be released later this year and with a Natal exclusive event prepared, we’ll be getting a ton of information regarding it.  There will be a lot of games shown off for Natal and we should be getting the launch line-up and pricing.  Whether you hate, love, care, or not care about Microsoft and Natal, you’re going to want to see what it can offer and it will garner the attention of nearly all of the press since Microsoft seems to be touting this as the next big innovation in motion control.

Sony isn’t going to sit there and let Microsoft shine however.  We’ve seen a lot about the Playstation Move, but we haven’t seen everything yet and I expect Sony will be showcasing quite a few games for it.   Expect them to also bring a lot to the show to try to drown out Natal’s noise because if they can’t then chances are they probably have lost the motion control war with Microsoft.  They know this and they aren’t stupid.  While Nintendo goes in a different direction, Microsoft and Sony will be battling for motion control power which is why you should expect to see a ton from both of these including some surprises. That is why I think E3 is going to be focused on motion control because they both want a piece of that market and they’ll do whatever they can to grab it.

Ah, but for those who aren’t fans of the direction E3 seems to be heading this year, don’t worry, there will be plenty of games for all!

It gets rather difficult here to go through each developer and what their plans might be because there are so many of them.  Activision should definitely be showing more of Call of Duty: Black Ops and perhaps even discuss where they are planning on taking the Call of Duty franchise since the controversial events a few months back between Infinity Ward.  Speaking of them, a lot of the ex-employees there are now working under EA in the form of Respawn Entertainment.  Now, we won’t be seeing anything from them but that doesn’t mean we won’t get some interesting announcements on what they may plan on doing.  Keep in mind that EA also has the new Medal of Honor that they are probably dying to show off at E3.  Oh and let’s not forget to mention Gears of War 3.  We were teased awhile back with a trailer and some news, but with the game having an early 2011 release, it shouldn’t be surprising if we see another trailer or even some gameplay footage of that and even Bulletstorm.

EA usually has a lot to show off and this year shouldn’t be different.  They have some big plans for their new MMA line of games and while we haven’t seen a ton of it yet, there is no doubt that it will be at E3 while EA tries to take a lot of the interest away from the recently released UFC Undisputed 2010.  They also have their usual sports line-up such as Madden and NHL.  We were teased a few weeks ago with a screenshot and some vague information about NHL 11.  But with only a few months until it’s NHL time again, fans of the franchise should look forward to seeing some more news concerning it and their recently announced NHL Slapshot for the Wii, which will see EA attempt its first hockey game on that console.

Fans of the music-rhythm genre will be pleased as there seems to be some extra gasoline thrown on the fire in an attempt to bring some life back into the genre.  We know that Activision will be showing off Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock which plans to take the series in a different-adventurous route.  The folks at Harmonix are being a little hush-hush about Rock Band 3, but there are rumors floating around that they are planning some interesting changes in the way that you play it.  And we’re just not talking about the Keytar news either.  This should be something to check out if Harmonix brings the noise at E3.  We also have the newcomer in Power Gig: Rise of the Six String which has been gaining excitement.   They are attempting to bring a uniqueness to the genre while utilizing a real six string guitar.  We should be hearing plenty about that and its mechanics.  Overall though, while the genre has died down tremendously, it looks to be evolving.

There are of course many other titles that will be at E3 but it’s all on you to check it out.  Will we get some news on Team Ico’s ‘The Last Guardian’?  What about the rumors of Hulu making its way onto the 360?  Will we get some more details on the single-player aspects of Halo: Reach and possibly some videos and hands-on impressions?  Will Nintendo bore us to death with another lame press conference or will they announce something interesting like say… a new Legend of Zelda?  Sony has announced some big games already including Killzone 3 and Little Big Planet 2, so what games do they have planned for E3?  Expect a lot of surprises.  It’s partly what makes E3 so exciting.  You know, besides the games and booth babes.  So be prepared by checking out live streams on your favorite gaming sites or if you have G4TV, they always show great E3 coverage.

If you are interested, here are some dates and times for some of the big press conferences:

Monday, June 14th

Microsoft Press Conference:  1:30 PM EST (this is apparently being broadcasted on SpikeTV live)

Electronic Arts:  5:00PM EST

Ubisoft:  8:00PM EST

Activision:  9:00PM EST

Tuesday, June 15th:

Nintendo Press Conference:  12:00PM EST

Sony Press Conference:  3:00PM EST

Don’t forget that Microsoft plans on having a Natal event on Sunday, June 13th where we should be given a lot of information on it.

And finally, here is a list of games that I’m looking forward to hearing about at E3 2010:

XCOM

Naughty Bear

Fallout: New Vegas

Dead Rising 2

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

Bulletstorm

Crysis 2

Dead Space 2

EA Sports MMA

NHL 11

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge – Special Edition

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Rock Band 3

Fable III

Gears of War 3

Halo: Reach

Clash of the Titans

Splatterhouse

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Yakuza 4

Power Gig: Rise of the SixString

Killzone 3

Gran Turismo 5

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep

The 3rd Birthday (Parasite Eve)

The Last Guardian

Enjoy E3 folks!  It will be a load of fun!

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