For anyone interested in the gaming industry, E3 is the most exciting time of the year. Every summer, gamers can expect big announcements and lots of surprises, both good and bad. With the current generation reaching its apex and offering a wealth of triple-A titles all year long, how will the biggest publishers be able to outdo each other? We only have a week left until we find out. In the meantime, we're going to make educated guesses, do plenty of painstaking research, and blindly speculate about what announcements will be coming out of this year's big press conferences. Here are Gamervision's E3 2010 predictions.
Last year was my first trip to E3, and I had high hopes for Nintendo’s press conference. Really high hopes. Their 2008 press conference was very disappointing, but I honestly felt like the Big N was going to redeem itself. I was expecting exciting surprises, an appearance by Miyamoto, a new Zelda. Instead, Nintendo’s 2009 press conference was filled with open laughter from the industry members in the audience, and the announcement of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M couldn’t wash the bad taste of the Vitality Sensor out of our mouths. Will Nintendo come back strong this year? Here are some things I can see happening.
Vitality Sensor Will Get a Release Date, More Laughter.
I literally thought that the Vitality Sensor was a joke when it was announced last year. I thought that Nintendo was fucking with the journalists in the audience after their negative reaction to the 2008 presser. While liveblogging the press conference, I actually wrote, “Wii Vitality Sensor. It... takes your pulse. No, this has to be a joke. Everyone is laughing... except Iwata. God, he's totally serious.” A year later, we still don’t know much more about the Vitality Sensor, but that will probably change after this year’s press conference. Perhaps in addition to a release date (or at least a release window), Nintendo will tell us some of the games it will work with, and how it will enhance the gaming experience. Theoretically.
The Exer-Game Craze Continues.
Don’t get me wrong: Wii Fit was great when it first came out, but it’s since been usurped by EA Sports Active as the Wii’s best and most effective workout program. Nintendo and their balance board were there first, so why wouldn’t they want to strike back with something more than a simple expansion pack? Expect something along the lines of Wii Fit 2, the next iteration of the Wii Fit series, with more of a focus on aerobics and calorie burning. Hey, I’d be interested.
Epic Mickey Will Get an Epic Presentation.
This game, though loaded with potential, is still shrouded in mystery. I’m not the only one who wants more information, like an actual release date. This could be one of the best games of the year, and it’s already one of the most anticipated. Nintendo would be stupid not to show off a Wii exclusive that can appeal to almost all gamers.
Pokemon Black and White Will See the Light of Day.
Even if Pokemon isn’t your bag, the announcement of new games in the long-running series, as well as a potential revamp of the gameplay, is a big deal. So far, all we know about Pokemon Black and White is what legendary Pokemon will grace their colors, and what the three starter creatures look like. I want to know how this one is going to be different than the usual “get a Pokemon, get gym badge, stop Team Rocket, repeat” formula.
Cammie Dunaway Will Promise Innovation, Then Not Deliver.
Poor Cammie Dunaway. I almost feel bad for her, because she seems like a nice lady, and she gets torn apart by the press after every conference. Last year, she promised the audience “examples of risk-taking and innovation”. Instead, we got a look at James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club, C.O.P.: The Recruit, and of course, Style Savvy. Right, an appearance by Cammie Dunaway also goes hand-in-hand with insulting the intelligence of every female gamer, I almost forgot.
Reggie Fils-Aime Will Play Video Games Awkwardly.
When he’s not rattling off impressive sales numbers or talking about appealing to casual gamers, “the Regginator” is a gaming machine. Well, not quite. Beating Cammie Dunaway in Wii Sports Resort doesn’t exactly make one a hardcore gamer, and most of the time, Reggie’s onstage demonstrations are a little embarrassing. As for what game he shows off, I’m going to put my money on Wii Party. It seems like the appropriate title to be played poorly by Nintendo’s top executives.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii 2 Will Be Announced.
This would be a no-brainer for Nintendo, and I couldn’t fault them for it at all. New Super Mario Bros. Wii was a huge hit last year, and a ton of fun. Why not release a sequel, since it will probably be years before we get another 3D Mario game? This one might even have online co-op and Wii Speak support, which the first one was sorely missing. If it’s as enjoyable as NSMBW, I’ll play the hell out of it, and I won’t complain if this is one of Nintendo’s big announcements.
Golden Sun DS Finally Gets a Release Date.
The announcement of Golden Sun DS was one of the high points of last year’s Nintendo presser. Though I’ve never played a Golden Sun game, it was hard not to feel the excitement in the room when the return of the RPG series was announced. Since then, we’ve heard next to nothing about it, and it still doesn’t even have a release window. Since this is one of the few things Nintendo did at last year’s E3 that didn’t upset everyone, they should probably capitalize on that and win some brownie points.
The New DS System, Codenamed 3DS, Will Be Unveiled.
Nintendo pretty much already said this was happening, so it won’t be that surprising when we find out what the publisher’s next handheld is really all about. I’m guessing that 3DS won’t be its real name, and it would be nice if we could put some of the rumors about it to rest. Holiday 2010 might be a little too soon to release it, since the DSi just came out last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised by a spring/summer 2011 date.
None of it Will Matter When Miyamoto Comes Out to Announce a New Zelda.
We already know Nintendo is working on a new Zelda game for the Wii. They neglected to announce it at their 2009 presser for reasons I still don’t understand, instead revealing it quietly later at E3. It’s time to unveil this game to the world. I want a big announcement. I want Shigeru Miyamoto, possibly armed with a sword and shield, taking the stage. I want to see grown men in the audience in tears, or peeing their pants. Make it happen, Nintendo. Make. It. Happen.
Overall, I’m expecting a lot of ups and downs at Nintendo’s press conference, but I’m hoping the highs outnumber the lows. There might be some cringe-worthy announcements or demos, Cammie Dunaway and Reggie Fils-Aime might be mocked mercilessly, but if Nintendo can improve their performance from last year, then in the end reactions should be mostly positive. If the presser is capped off by a big, impressive Zelda reveal, then Nintendo might just win E3. At the very least, I expect less open laughter from the audience.
I know Luke thinks he knows what’s going down with Microsoft’s E3 press conference, but we’ll see which one of us gets the most guesses correct. Don’t forget, Coop’s Sony predictions are coming this afternoon, and by the end of next Tuesday we’ll know which of us is the best at speculation. We’ll also be covering the big E3 pressers live from Los Angeles, so stick with us through next week and beyond.