With E3 less than a week away it's time to give my annual prognostications of what we'll see at the show this year. Before we get into this years prognostications it's a good idea to look back at last year's article
and see how I did. Here's a list of the predictions from last year.
- Large decrease in coverage due to fewer outlets being let in - Fail:Coverage dropped off a bit but not as much as everyone expected. Seems like everyone who should have gotten in got in.
- Lots of complaints from journalists about the setup - Win: Faced with wandering around Santa Monica and a 30 minute trip to see games on the "show floor", journalists complained in droves
- Does Sony get it right this year? - Win: A humble Sony blew everyone away with a solid showing and introduced a ton of good looking games like echochrome, inFamous, and more Killzone 2 footage
- Price Drops - Fail: No big price drops were announced at the show last year
- Alan Wake will have a strong showing and blow people away - Epic Fail: The game didn't appear at the show in any form.
- Games For Windows - Win: Microsoft made a decent push with Games for Windows, one that seems to have petered out for this years show
- Nintendo's discovers the Internet? - Semi Win - No centralized service but Mario Kart Wii had built in friends codes.
- GameCock is going to get a lot of press will have some cool things but not enough to makeup for the lack of Kentia - Win: GameCock got a lot of press for their E3 Funeral but independent and small publishers were few and far between.
- Casual games are every where - Win - This was kind of an easy one but with EA and other companies dedicating large portions of their press conferences to the genre there's not doubt that casual was a big topic last year.
By my count I got six of nine correct for a 67% accuracy rate which puts me soundly in Michael Pachter territory. If any Wall Street analysts want to e-mail me about a job my e-mail address is at the top of the page and we can work something out. With that out of the way let's get into the fun stuff.
Will Sony matches the Xbox 360 price cut?
- With an Xbox 360 price cut all but officially confirmed there is now some pressure on Sony to match the price cut. But will Sony announce a price cut at E3 or wait until later this year? I'm still surprised Microsoft is cutting the price so far in advance of the holiday season as it seems a bit desperate but we'll see if Sony feels a need to trim prices now or not. They still have the value add of the Blu Ray player but I'm not sure that's much of a motivator anymore with Blu Ray movie sales failing to set the world on fire. I get the feeling that they want to hold the line on the price of the PS3 but they will probably make the cut to stay even with Microsoft from a perception point.
What will go on at the Activision event?
- When we broke the news that Activision wasn't going to be at E3 this year and that they were no longer a member of the ESRB I started wondering what Activision was going to do to get the word about their upcoming games. It turns out that Activision is having a press event and coincidentally enough the event is being held in LA the same week as E3 (how convenient). With the Activision/Vivendi merger going through this week it's unclear if this event will only be Activision titles or if they will be showing off Vivendi/Sierra titles as well. I'm guessing this will strictly be an Activision event but I'm hoping we'll get to see (and play) some of the titles from the other companies likes Ghostbusters and Prototype.
Can Sony build on their momentum?
- Sony rebounded nicely from a horrible, horrible show in 2006 with a lot of great games and a strong outlook for the future. This year they've got an even stronger lineup and some of the most creative games in their pocket (Pixel Junk Eden, Little Big Planet). I'm hoping we get a date for Home, a long look at Killzone 3, Resistance Fall of Man 2, and a nice long look at God of War 3.
Does Microsoft have anything new to roll-out?
- There are rumors on the Internet that Microsoft has something big planned for E3 and the words "game changing" have even been bandied about. Unfortunately, it is hard not to be jaded after the megaton buildup for the Pac-Man Championship Edition game but I think Microsoft might actually be able to pull something off this year. Rumors of motion controls, a dashboard update, and a new Halo game lead some credence to Microsoft being able to pull a win off but after last year's mediocre show. I'm also guessing we'll get stuck with yet another Xbox 360 SKU as Microsoft can't leave well enough alone. Personally I'm hoping we get some guidance on not only what Microsoft is releasing this year but what they have planned for next years show. Oh, and something on Alan Wake would be nice.
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