10 Predictions: E3 Gaming Expo 2014

E3-2014By Sean Molloy

Informer Media Group

Can you feel it gamers? That sense of excitement and buzz is filling the air again. Every gaming outlet and journalist (including yours truly) is going to be descending on Los Angeles for the annual E3 Gaming Expo. Every year fans from across the globe, chomping at the bit to receive the biggest news stores, game reveals and more opportunities to take sides in the console war. So who IS going to win the battle of E3 2014? With new consoles out, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Sony and Microsoft, but can we figure out what each player is going to do? Nope, but that’s the fun. Here are my 10 predictions for things to come in the next four days. Oh and I forgot to mention Nintendo is there too, HI Nintendo. 

Sony is going to drop the price of the Playstation 3- this makes sense for the company. With their new flagship console, the Playstation 4 already being profitable, why not lower the price of the previous generation’s machine and move even farther ahead in international sales than the Xbox 360. Could the price point be lower than 150? Sure. But we’re not talking about a fire sale here.

At some point, Kevin Spacey is going to walk on stage at the Xbox Presser- Perhaps the biggest name in the business right now having massive success with Netflix’s “House of Cards” is also the main villain in this years Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare being made by Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. How baller would it be for Microsoft to pay Mr. Spacey a huge amount of money to walk out and deliver some intense monologue. Talk about buzz.

Nintendo will unveil the 2DS XL- ok so everyone can write this one up as a “most likely not.” The idea isn’t so far fetched though if we take a moment to think about it. Every iteration of a Nintendo handheld has had some kind of supersized edition. What makes the 2ds any different? Think about a table sized Nintendo handheld that could possible take some mindshare aware from the iPads and Tabs of the world. Nintendo is a company of bold moves so let’s have it!

Playstation Now will be available day and date with E3- Sony acquired the Gaikai cloud based gaming service a couple years back to be able to deliver all older Playstation games to the current generation of consoles and devices. PS Now has been in closed beta for a while now and I personally can assure you that it works exactly as it should. What’s stopping Sony from merely flipping the switch and allowing their audience to see what the fuss is about? Wellllll probably a lot but here’s hoping.

Microsoft will talk a lot about things that aren’t games- Yes the title to this prediction sounds like a negative, yet what the Xbox One has been touted about from the beginning is being the one thing we need in the living room. That being said, look out for presentations about the original programming coming to Xbox One and 360, the new features a gamer can utilize the Kinect 2.0 for (even though a console without the camera is coming out that same day, June 9th) and finally new partnerships with entertainment companies.

New characters fro Super Smash Bros. Wii U (and its delay)- Smash is always a heavy hitter (pun intended) fro Nintendo. It’s no secret that not all of the characters in the game have been announced, in fact some of the regular characters of previous titles are not on the roster, Captain Falcon I’m looking at you bro. Fans should look forward to at least 3 new fighters to enter the arena with and my choices would be; the aforementioned Captain Falcon, Ness and for the sake of it Princess Peach.

Uncharted 4- Okay Naughty Dog, it’s finally time to get to the bottom of whatever is going on with Uncharted 4, or whatever it’s going to be named. Give me something here; a new trailer, a title, a release window (I’m not even wanting an exact date). It’s not a secret that the internet is brimming with speculation over the state of the game with departures of key members of what the last 3 games so special. Can magic be captured a fourth time? My answer is a resounding yes. The studio is too talented to let something ruin their beloved franchise. Give me something, gimme gimme gimme.

Halo, Halo, Halo– You see how I wrote Halo three times? It’s for a reason. Xbox has 3 major Halo events that I can see being announced and presented on June 9th. The first is an update of the Halo television series, Steven Spielberg is already known to be involved and the hype train is already full steam ahead. There is some sort of collection of remastered Halo games that is being rumored for the Xbox One. Within it, gamers can expect Halo 1 & 2 Anniversary editions as well as Halo 3 & 4 getting a net coat of paint also. Finally Halo 5, last year gamers were shown a mysterious trailer of Master Chief walking through the desert. And that’s it. So why was our helmeted hero wearing that poncho and who is this new Spartan that is on the box art for the game? For answers, stay tuned.

New games breathe new life into the Wii U- The failing Nintendo console needs desperate help, and the first part developers are coming to the rescue. I don’t see just one major title being announced at E3 for the company. I gaze into my crystal ball and see new games from secure franchises like The Legend of Zelda, Mario Galaxy AND Metroid. Nintendo needs these titles in order to ensure the life of the Wii U, that thing is the Titanic pre-iceberg right now, it needs to see into the future and correct course, fast.

2015 is going to be the best year of gaming, ever.- Although 2014 is far from over, the majority of new games being announced are going to be given a 2015 release date. Off the top of my head I can name Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Halo 5 and in all likelihood, Uncharted 4 that will be released next year. 2014 is going to be a great year for games as the Playstation 4 and Xbox One are getting into their own grooves, but make no mistakes….2015 is going to be better.

So there we have it gamers, 10 predictions for next week’s E3…we’ll see how many new surprises are shown to keep us excited. Stay tuned to the site for my ongoing coverage from Los Angeles all conference long, including full press conference coverage from Xbox, EA, Ubisoft and Sony as well as booth tours, live tweeting news as it happens and giveaways.

Sean can be reached via his twitter @sean_p_molloy and through the comments.

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