Pre-E3 2012 events have already started, but tomorrow the real deal kicks off, as Sony, Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft hit home runs (or so we hope) with their press conferences.
But, before all the good times start, the fine staff at Rocket Chainsaw would like to share with you their hope and fears for E3 2012. We’ll all be following the events along with the rest of you, and we’ve each got our own wishes for what we’d like to see announced and revealed. And our own concerns for the worst case scenarios.
Most of the staff have shared their thoughts below. Why not share with us your own?
Hopes: I want to see Star Fox for the Wii U, as well as a return to the series’ roots after Star Fox Adventures, Assault and Command. It’s the kind of hardcore game that the Wii U needs. I’d like to see more big IPs make it into PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. It’s off to a good start, and I’m hoping we’ll see even more fan favourite characters. I’d really like for Square-Enix to come out and announce that Final Fantasy XIII-3 is in development, since XIII-2 remains one of my best gaming experiences this year. Also, the PlayStation Vita needs more big games (Ratchet and Clank could be a start), and I hope that both Sony and third party companies have a few on the way that they’ll be sharing with us. I want Naughty Dog to make an appearance, and show off some gameplay from The Last Of Us, maybe with a release date too. Nintendo should announce a new name for the Wii U, because the current one is painful. I want Luigi’s Mansion 2 and Paper Mario for 3DS to make a decent appearance, with release dates scheduled for this year. I want to see a live demo of Bioshock Infinite somewhere. I hope that Microsoft won’t focus too much on the casual market this year, but they probably will. An appearance from Yakuza 5!
Fears: That Wii U will be the final, official name for Nintendo’s new console. I worry about a lack of new IPs, there’s been a flood of sequels lately. Hopefully E3 will change that. I fear that Sega won’t make much of an appearance, since they’re not doing so well lately. A big announcement, like Sonic Generations 2, could get the audience interested though. A revision to the 3DS, like a 3DSi, would be somewhat heart-breaking at this early stage. That 90% of Microsoft’s conference will about the Kinect. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance gets pushed to 2013.
Wildcard: An appearance from Atlus, showing off Persona 5. Yeah…a man can dream. Maybe an appearance from Zone Of The Enders 3? That’s plausible enough, right? A new Valkyria Chronicles game would be great, but very unlikely. Mushroom Kingdom Hearts actually turning out to be a real game. Yeah, you know you want it! A new Kirby game for Wii U.
Hopes: I really want to see more from Star Trek by Digital Extremes. The demo I saw last year was really impressive, and with the new Star Trek movie in full production, I think it’s time we got another good Star Trek game. While I don’t necessarily want to see the PS4 or Xbox 720, I do want to start to hear about what we might be seeing from those new platforms, and how we can expect console gaming to progress. I would also hope that the big companies are over their ‘causal gaming’ phase with Kinect and Move, and will have a renewed focus on core gaming titles.
Fears: I’m fearful that Sony don’t have much in the pipeline for the Vita, and that neither do developers. We may be witnessing a repeat of the DS/PSP struggle all over again, although I do hope that Sony prove me wrong on this one and there’s plenty of original titles coming up and not just ports or remakes. I also think that no Final Fantasy news at E3 could be a detriment to Square, especially with Versus XIII missing the event with no release date in sight.
Wildcard: The Phoenix Wright movie, Gyakuten Saiban, is being remade by Hollywood… and Nathan Fillion is playing Wright.
Hopes: As much as I want it to happen, it seems as though we’re not going to see new consoles from Microsoft and Sony this year. I think this is a huge mistake, as it gives Nintendo a free launch for the Wii U. Speaking of the Wii U, I’d like to see Nintendo announce that it has 32GB of internal storage (I’d hope for 64GB, but flash memory of that size is still expensive). More importantly, I’d like to see that the touchscreen controller has 2-4GB of internal storage, for content downloaded from Wii U games that can be played away from the main game, and also for games that can run exclusively on the controller. Finally, I’m hoping Valve officially announce Steam on Linux. It’s pretty clear that Valve have been working on this for a while, and E3 seems like the right place to announce it. A solid gaming foundation is the final piece of the puzzle for Linux as a viable alternative operating system, and Valve are very much the company that can make it happen. The success of Steam on the Mac means this is a no-brainer for the future.
Fears: That there won’t be reveals of new consoles from Sony or Microsoft. The current systems are running on 2005-era hardware, and technology, especially GPU technology, has evolved a huge amount since then. Features like unified shaders and CUDA offer developers much more flexibility and capability when designing and developing games. While this stuff has been available on the PC for a while, making it available as consoles will benefit everyone because developers won’t need to “dumb down” their games for the console release.
Wildcard: Sony brings out Apple CEO Tim Cook who then announces that Apple are buying Sony’s video game business. Well may you all laugh now, but when this does happen, you’ll all remember who totally called it first.
Hopes: I’ve got a lot of hopes this time around for E3. I’m crossing my fingers that the Wii U will deliver and we’ll get a far better sense of what it’s capable of and the software it’s going to launch with or at least have in the pipeline. Id really like to see news of a Donkey Kong Country game for the Wii U. Donkey Kong Country Returns came out of nowhere at E3 a few years back and it proved to be one of the best platformers of the generation, somehow managing to successfully revive the series with a sense of both familiarity and new tricks on display.
Fears: I’m a little worried that we’re going to have either a complete lack of information or announcement of delays on some key games. The Last Guardian has been pushed back once, and I fear it may happen again. The news on some 3DS releases such as Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney has been very quiet recently, and I’m a bit worried that we’re not going to get any word of an English-language release for some time yet. Given the immense popularity of both series, it’s a bit surprising that there has been so little to hear.
Wildcard: A full-fledged Pokemon game for the Wii U. One can dream…
Hopes: This year, I would love to see an E3 that surprises and entertains. Unexpected announcements and a raft of interesting games would elevate the annual event over the trollop that has been the last few years. Being at the tail end of this generation and no new hardware in sight from Sony or Microsoft, publishers should be focusing on developing new content. Hopefully the big three can focus on releasing new intellectual properties and fresh iterations of their classic franchises. If Nintendo especially can draw upon their in-house talent, we might see some quality software for the so far underwhelming Wii U. If the third party powerhouses can ignore the gimmicky and money-printing shovelware, we gamers just might be in for a good show.
Fears: E3 2012 is redux of E3 2011. Caffeine-induced celebrities and annoying children taking stage to show off an uninspiring mass of software. Microsoft show they are bringing the weather channel to Xbox 360, Toddler’s Kinect Field Day 2 and Halo 4. Sony attempt to justify the Vita with a miniscule offering of first-party titles and ports of bygone blockbusters. Nintendo show but a handful of games, and round out their presentation with a confusing and boring rereveal of the Wii U. Activision has Call of Duty version 188.8.131.52, EA play catch-up with Medal of Honor: Warfighter, and Hideo Kojima shows us a prototype of a prototype for Metal Fear something-or-other. No Bungie, no Respawn Entertinament … oh, the horror!
Wildcard: A new Syphon Filter (I have cut and pasted this in my last four pre-E3 articles).
Hopes: After last year’s disastrous Wii U show (no-show might be more appropriate), I’m hoping Nintendo show their console is more than a current generation system with a tablet. Unlike iOS devices, linking to the TV has potential for unique, asymmetrical game design, so it would be nice to see some creative stuff from Nintendo in that realm. And, of course, there better be great games to back up the system’s re-reveal. From everybody else, I’d like to see less reliance on sequels and more original IPs. And in the case of sequels, I’d like to see them returning to franchise roots than catering to the masses. Dead Space 3 = Dead Space, not Dead Space 2, thanks. Last year’s E3 was, as a whole, a bit flat. I’m hoping this year makes up for that.
Fears: Underwhelming Wii U reveal. Given Nintendo still makes some of the best games in the industry, I’ll be buying the system regardless, but it would be nice for the system to be actually good. I fear Nintendo will be too busy repackaging existing concepts and hardware to offer something really unique and special. I’m also worried this year, from everybody, will be all about safe sequels. We’re nearing the end of a generation, so I think publishers are opting to go with franchises they know will sell well, rather than really experimental stuff that is best saved for next generation. Also, please, no more iOS tie-in crap. Not unless it’s good. Looking at you, EA. Consumers are tired for being nickel and dimmed.
Wildcard: That horrible Metroid x Star Fox crossover turns out to be real.