Are you excited yet? Arguably the biggest gaming event of the year is a little less than one week away, and we’re coming ever closer to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. I wanted to take some time to talk about my thoughts concerning the major keynote addresses throughout the week starting with Microsoft.
Going into this year, Microsoft will kick off E3 with their keynote address. With Halo 4 as one of their big exclusives of the year, and a handful of Kinect titles, there is still a lot of speculation as to what Microsoft will reveal this year. Rumors of a new console have been making the rounds since the winter, but it’s hard to say whether the rumor of a new console holds weight, especially with Microsoft adamantly denying them. Still, that’s why they’re reported as “rumors”. So what will can we expect from Microsoft this year?
Well, let’s take a look. Here are a few personal thoughts and predictions of Microsoft’s E3 conference.
What I Want To See
Allow me to get something off my chest here about the Kinect. Microsoft, I understand you’re going after a more casual audience, and even as a Sony fan, I have to admit the Kinect is a great piece of technology. So please, show off some games I, as a core gamer, would want to play using the Kinect. Yes “games” with an S, meaning plural, meaning more than one. I think I’ve seen one game in the past two years that would have me interested in playing, but Ryse hasn’t been released. Why is it every year, I see kids games, Wii Sports ripoffs, and games that look watered down? Even with the games that integrate Kinect in the gameplay, that usually involves nothing more than voice commands, and even I have to question why people with a headset can’t do the same thing. So here’s my advise Microsoft: If you bring out one child actor, for the third year in a row, I’m going to shoot the TV.
Okay, I feel better now. Another thing I’d like to see is an announcement for the successor to the 360. Even a trailer would suffice. I think an announcement of a new console would give the gaming community something to look forward to in the coming months and/or year(s). I feel that new games, applications, and system updates are only going to get you so far, especially with Nintendo releasing a new console this year (I hope you’re reading this Sony). With rumors running rampant over a new console from Microsoft (and Sony for that matter), it would be hard to see how Microsoft keeps the 360 fresh if another console isn’t announced.
At the end of the day, Microsoft needs to show off their games, and show some more exclusives besides Halo 4 and Kinect titles. I don’t think it would be a bad idea to show off some of the titles for X Box Live Arcade either. Showcasing games exclusive to XBLA could be a refreshing change of pace to those gamers that really love gaming. Not to mention it would really help the independent development companies to finally have a spotlight. Too many games are “surprise hits” simply because they’re downloadable titles, and if they got the recognition on the E3 stage, even if it’s just for a moment, somebody somewhere is going to take notice. IF nothing else Microsoft can take the time to promote their “Summer of Arcade” promotion.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will kick off the show. Aside from a handful of Kinect titles, I expect more games to be shown off that are on both the 360 and Playstation 3, such as Bioshock Infinite, Hitman: Absolution, Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3. I don’t think all of those will be shown, but maybe a surprise appearance from Rockstar games to show off Grand Theft Auto V is in order. Somewhere in the keynote, I fully expect Microsoft to do some bragging about the X Box 360 leading in sales, and how more people use the console for something other than gaming, to introduce the next big application. Finally, they’ll show off their big exclusive of the year in Halo 4. At that point, it’s a possibility they’ll have that trailer showing off the successor to the X Box 360.
The game plan in my prediction gives a lot of room for surprises, and showing off quality games people want to play. I said this last year about Microsoft and the same thing applies this year: With all the mystery surrounding Microsoft, they have the potential to steal the show. However after last year’s conference, I was underwhelmed by Microsoft’s keynote because I didn’t feel I could take much away from the conference. Still at the end of the day, Microsoft can kick off E3 with a big bang and needs to have a conference to have people asking “What are Sony and Nintendo going to do now?” After all, they are the first show of E3.