E3 is just a couple of weeks away, so it’s time to start thinking about what to expect. Rumors are already flying and everyone is making predictions. Now, it’s my turn. Rather than making predictions based on rumors from questionable sources, I’m going to detail what I want to see at E3 this year. I may venture into the “this will probably never happen, but I want it” zone a bit, but this year there is plenty to be excited about without making wild guesses.
Today, I’m going to look at what Sony has to offer. There is plenty to be excited about this year, but unfortunately (for Sony) it’s probably not enough to get me to buy a PlayStation 3 or their new handheld, the “Next Generation Portable.”
The Last Guardian
The Last Guardian is the third game in the “Ico series” and currently one of a very short list of exclusive PlayStation 3 games that I wish I could own. The game has been shown before, and it was recently pushed back to a 2012 release after we were originally told it would be out this year. The Last Guardian sounds very similar to Ico. You play an unarmed character and must use the environment to solve puzzles along with your griffin-like friend.
Puzzle-adventure games are nothing new, but developer Fumito Ueda’s last two games (Ico and Shadow of the Colossus) were both fantastic and set high expectations for this new game. I’m a big fan of both Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (though I do enjoy Shadow of the Colossus quite a bit more), and I’ve been excited about The Last Guardian from day one. Unfortunately, I wont be playing the game much.
Hopefully, we’ll get a concrete release date and an extensive playable demo this year.
There’s no avoiding this. The last month has been a nightmare for Sony’s online service, and while they have already apologized and provided identity theft protection for their users I still expect them to spend several minutes talking about the problems, apologizing for the problems, and explaining how they will avoid future problems.
Next Generation Portable
Sony is fortunate to have a major announcement to cover up their troubles from the past month. They will also need it to steal some of the headlines from Nintendo, who are expected to announce a new game console.
Earlier this year, Sony announced their new portable gaming device code-named “Next Generation Portable.” What we already know is a list of impressive features that are supposed to bring a PlayStation 3-like experience to the small screen. What we don’t know is a release date, the cost, the final name of the product, or games. I expect most of Sony’s presentation to be focused on this device, and I expect all of the major questions to be answered.
Less Focus on Move
Last year, Sony’s major focus was the new Move accessory for the PlayStation 3. This year, I still expect their to be some focus on Move, but I think it will be overshadowed by the Next Generation Portable and other more traditional gaming experiences from Sony.
Major Franchises Make an Appearance
I expect to see another God of War and the latest Uncharted games along with high profile third party titles. God of War could make an appearance on the Next Generation Portable.
Lately, SquareEnix has been working hard to improve their struggling MMO, Final Fantasy XIV. They are expected to release the game for PlayStation 3 at some point, and they may take this opportunity to put the spotlight on the project. Of course, there’s always the possibility of a Final Fantasy XV announcement or more information on the long-lost Final Fantasy XIII Versus.
Regardless of what games are announced, I expect the PlayStation Network fiasco and Next Generation Portable to be the highlights of the show.