The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly referred to as E3, is only 27 days away. Each company has much to gain, or lose, depending on their showings at their pre-E3 press conferences. Sony, coming in hot off of a majorly successful console launch. Microsoft, having just today announced the $400 Kinect-less Xbox One bundle. Nintendo, running off of Pokemon and Smash Bros. hype, has a lot of ground to make up. This year’s E3 is going to be crazy; I’m here to talk about what I think each company needs to do to capitalize this year, and what they absolutely need to avoid. Welcome to my Pre-E3 Objective Outlook Projections, better known as P.O.O.P
Nintendo probably has the most ground to cover in the next-gen race. After a year and a half of the worst sales since the Virtual Boy, Nintendo needs to do what Nintendo does best, show off their first party exclusives. Smash Bros. footage will probably lead off the show; New character reveals to get the fans pumping, along with new trophies and items will get fans excited for the show if they weren’t already.
Next, we need to be shown status updates on games that have already been announced. Bayonetta 2 and the recently announced Pokemon Alpa Sapphire and Omega Ruby both come to mind; titles fans are excited to see and hear more about.
Afterwards come the new reveals, an area Nintendo has been lacking in for a few years. Nintendo MUST show off new games this year, a new Zelda title is more than overdue and would certainly see an increase in interest towards the Wii U. Nintendo also has fan favorite franchises that we haven’t seen in a long while. Sequels in the Star Fox, Metroid, Earthbound, Kid Icarus, Fire Emblem, or Mario would be more than welcomed by fans.
The biggest thing I think Nintendo needs to get across to people is that the Wii U is worth buying. It’s worth buying because it has the first party exclusives that people want to play from the franchises they grew up with. Focusing on the Wii U over the 3DS should be a no-brainer this year, along with showing off exclusives. I feel like these are Nintendo’s best bets, they specialize in making Nintendo games and they’ve been more than lacking. They need to ramp it up!
Sony is the most well-off out of the Big 3, but this lead can only last if they impress again as much as they did last year. With over 7 million units sold in half a year, the Playstation 4 is up to an incredible start, and Sony isn’t just trying to just win the starting battle; they know this can potentially be a decade-long war, and they will undoubtedly unleash the big guns.
Maintaining is the name of the game for Sony. They showed off a few exclusives last year, most of which have been released, and haven’t been too amazing. We know of some games already in development, like Uncharted 4 and The Order: 1886, so we will most likely see updates on those. New reveals for games like God of War and Little Big Planet would surely be a hit, and continuing the focus on new free to play and indie titles will show players that Sony is committed to offering the best possible value for their PS+ membership.
Sony just needs to keep doing what they’re doing, taking what they did last year and putting it into full effect. We know Sony is capable of making blockbuster exclusives, and, as much as this might sting to some, I can’t remember the last year a PS exclusive hasn’t dominated in the Game of the Year category in almost every GotY publication I read. Playstation Vita owners would like to see the $300 handheld finally get some more use than a couple of game release every few months. Either the Vita will see a ramp up in support this year, or it’ll go the way of the PSP.
There isn’t much Sony can do that will harm then other than not having an exciting show. Show off awesome, free to play, AAA, and indie titles and Sony should be fine.
Microsoft has had a very shaky year in terms of PR and their image; dropping Kinect half a year after launch and reversing their policies on digital offerings. The Xbox One needs to have something that makes it unique now, either in new IP and exclusives or in value, because the PS4 is the same price and it’s more powerful, not to mention it has much more positive hype around it at the moment.
We know off of the bat that Microsoft is coming into E3 STRONG, the proof is in the fact that they’re making many major announcements this far ahead of E3, –announcing Halo 5: Guardians, the Kinect-less Xbox One bundle and Games With Gold coming to Xbox One. Microsoft has said that this E3 will be all about the games and not about executives. So, what can this mean? First things we KNOW we’re going to see are updates on Halo 5: Guardians, Quantum Break, D4, and possibly Halo 2: Anniversary –or the recently rumored Halo: Master Chief Collection. Beyond that we might see more from Sunset Overdrive, but they might omit that since they’ve released so much new info on the game within the last couple of weeks.
On the new announcement front, we can assume MS will show off 2 or 3 new major IP for the Xbox One and we’ll probably hear about sequels in the Forza Horizon series and possibly what Black Tusk has been up to on the next Gears of War game, although they must be VERY early in development. Call of Duty will most likely be making an appearance and announcing more timed exclusive DLC for the Xbox One. Microsoft has also stated that we don’t know about all of their first party developers, so something new from one of these studios would be a huge surprise.
Microsoft has everything to gain and the most to lose at E3 this year. They need to define what the Xbox One is and why it’s worth passing up the more powerful Playstation 4, anything else will result in failure. Don’t count MS down though, they have a proven E3 track record that tells me they won’t disappoint.
E3 is always the most exciting time of the year, and this year will be the biggest in recent memory. All of the next-gen consoles are released so all there is to look forward to is the games!
What do you think about each company’s position? What are you excited to see at the show? Let us know in the comments! And yes, I wrote this article because I was able to come up with a good acronym for poop!