It’s that time of the year again, fellow gamers! It’s the time of rampant speculation, guessing, and wishing, as we approach the biggest event in video games! Not to be outdone, the crew here at Gamer Horizon have compiled their list of predictions, wishes, and speculation as to what’s going to happen at the big show, and everyone’s chimed in and put in their 2 cents. And what a list we have for you today!
5. Final Fantasy XV will be shown again
Following Square Enix’s pattern for building hype with Final Fantasy, I’m certain that Final Fantasy XV will be shown again in some capacity. The real question is whether or not its development shifts thanks to the recent developments with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Bravely Default, two very forward thinking titles. We know that Final Fantasy XV is being handled by the Kingdom Hearts team and, by proxy, Tetsuya Nomura. But other than a real time battle system that uses the environments, we’re not exactly clear how it’s all going to work out. I’m predicting that all these questions will be answered this year… and perhaps even its release date will surprise us. I predict this game to come out in late 2015.
4. Nintendo shows off their brand new Zelda
This might already be a given, but many Wii U owners want a reason why they have to keep their system. There’s been plenty of reasons, granted, but one of which has always been the promise of a new Zelda title. And given that Nintendo’s latest outlook doesn’t seem to good, they might just show a glimpse or a hint of that new Zelda title even though it’s not done just to make sure the fans have something to be excited about.
3. Microsoft nets exclusive content for several key titles
Seeing as how Microsoft has been on the offensive to get the mindshare of its fan base back from Sony these past few weeks, I’m predicting that they’re going to dive into their war chest and start investing in exclusive content on their platform. The company desperately needs to prove to people that their platform is viable for gaming as well and I wouldn’t be too surprised if Microsoft has been courting companies other than Electronic Arts to deliver some exclusives to their platform.
2. Sony to unveil more first party titles
With the release of last year’s first party games, including this year’s Infamous: Second Son, aside from Uncharted 4 and The Order 1886 Sony’s first party line up is looking thin for this year as compared to previous generations of new hardware. Could we see The Last Guardian make a comeback? A lot of rumors seem to think so.
1. Reduced priced rentals on PlayStation Now for PlayStation Plus members
As it stands right now, the Xbox Live Gold service is on par with Sony’s offerings with regards to the benefits and perks of subscribing to PlayStation Plus. Granted, Sony’s service is $10 less than the competition, I’m fairly certain that Sony is trying to figure out more ways to differentiate themselves from their competition. As such, I feel that Sony will increase the PlayStation Plus benefits by allowing its members to take advantage of reduced priced rentals for PlayStation Now for being a member of their service. And since the service isn’t really required for Vita and PlayStation 3 owners, this might just be the one thing that can convince the stragglers to sign up… if the free games haven’t been enough incentive already, that is.
I’m hinging on the fact that Final Fantasy XV is going to come out sooner than what everyone thinks. Seeing as Square Enix has nothing on the horizon, the game is a safe bet to be coming out in 2015 at the latest.
5. The Last Guardian makes a comeback
Categorize this one under wishful thinking. I hope and believe that this will be the year that The Last Guardian steps back into the limelight, with a brand new trailer and a new home on the PlayStation 4.
4. Microsoft tries to play both sides
Well, they did it. They listened to their customers and decided to release an Xbox One without a Kinect so that it would have a lower price tag. The problem is, they were so gung-ho about the Kinect being an essential part of the Xbox One experience in the past, that they can’t just abandon it, but on the other hand, the customer is always right and $499.99 is too much money to ask for a gaming console. I’m expecting Microsoft to emphasize the value that a Kinect adds to the Xbox One by reminding us of its set of features while displaying a set of games that take full advantage of the peripheral. But at the same time, they will somewhat hypocritically repeat, over and over again, that the Xbox One is affordable at $399.99 while putting emphasis on how it is still a great media system even without the Kinect. They’ll spin it to suggest that they are giving their customers a choice, but in the back of their minds, they’ll regret that the need for the Kinectless sku ever came about.
3. Nintendo desperately tries to revitalize the Wii U
Well, this is awkward. What a difference a few years makes! The Wii was one of the bestselling consoles of all time, and yet the Wii U can barely be seen in its predecessor’s shadow. Nintendo, like usual, is already developing new hardware to replace it, but they can’t just abandon the Wii U. So this year, I’m expecting Nintendo to give us some concrete details—maybe even a full on trailer and release date—for the one thing that most hardcore gamers can’t resist: a new Zelda game, complete with system bundle. I also would be delighted if they announce a new Metroid product, but right now, all evidence points to Zelda. But no matter what they announce, it is desperation time for the Wii U, and I’m expecting Nintendo to hit us with everything they’ve got this year in an attempt to dig themselves out of the hole they are in. Meanwhile, the 3DS will continue to be awesome.
2. Square Enix gives us something new
I could have gone the easy way and predicted that Square Enix would march out on stage, act extremely proud of themselves, and then show us nothing but old trailers without announcing so much as a release date. After all, I’ve been attempting to, “Please be excited,” for too long now. It’s time for something real, something new! It is my hope and baseless belief that this year will be different for the company that created many of the best games of my youth. With Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn being the success that Final Fantasy XIV should have been, and with the success of recent games like Bravely Default, Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster, Square Enix should be feeling pretty confident right now. Might as well keep that ball rolling, right? So here’s what I’m expecting: New trailers for both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, with a 2nd half of 2015 release date for the former. And the cherry on top will be—dare I say it?—a trailer for Final Fantasy XVI. I can dream, can’t I? Though I won’t go so far as to hope for a new Chrono game… that would just be too much.
1. Sony declares victory
“We won the console wars! Neener, neener, neener!” #PSwon
5. Ubisoft will show off another brand new, jaw-dropping IP
I’m basing this off of the past 2 E3’s in which we first saw Watch Dogs (2012) and Tom Clancy’s The Division (2013). Can Ubisoft pull off a hat trick by showing a 3rd, brand new IP that gets everyone talking? I’m going to go out on a reasonably safe limb and say “yes.”
4. EA is going to tease Amy Hennig and Visceral’s new Star Wars game.
Seeing as how Hennig just joined the team, I can’t imagine that much work has been done on this game beyond the engine and some art work. That being said, fans are rabid for something Star Wars and now that Battlefront is a known quantity, teasing this would be enough to get people excited even more.
3. Microsoft will tease Gears of War
This is about as much a prediction as saying water is wet, I know. Personally I couldn’t be less interested in another Gears of War game, having only played the first two and not really caring about Gears of War 3 or Gear of War Judgment, and I think putting their next gen studio, Black Tusk, on it excites me even less. But for a great many Xbox fans, Gears of War matters and this will get them excited.
2. Sony will reveal a next gen Syphon Filter
Syphon Filter was noticeably absent from the entire last gen console cycle (I don’t count PSP games in this) and it’s time for Gabe and company to make their console re-debut.
1. Sony will show off the new Uncharted
After 2 key departures from Naughty Dog, Amy Hennig and Justin Richmond (and 2 more that really don’t matter), there has been some rampant Chicken Littling going on in which people think that not only the studio but the game is in trouble. As such, I think Sony and Naughty Dog are going to show up with a jaw dropping trailer, and hopefully gameplay, that will not only silence the irrational, but be the talk of the show.
This is all we got of Uncharted last year. I’m with Sean on this: We’ll see more of this at the show.
5. Sony announces date for PlayStation Now
This streaming service that’s supposed to solve the PS4’s backwards compatibility problem is already in closed beta on PS3 and PS4. I don’t know much about it, but I have a feeling we’ll see it go live before the end of 2014. I also expect to hear about some pricing schemes and more concrete details
4. Some kind of update on Project Morpheus
The VR system from Sony has been revealed, and I expect an update at E3. Maybe a vague release date at best, but I think we’ll see some software that uses it demoed at the Sony stage. I expect at least one AAA game from a major studio to be one of these titles.
3. Destiny playable on show floor
Bungie has a history of showing a non-playable section of live gameplay at one E3, and having it playable the next. Halo 2 had that famous city battle in 2003, and in 2004 there was multiplayer on Ivory Tower. I fully expect some small section of Destiny, a few quests meant to be played in multiplayer, to be playable.
2. A Halo announcement that isn’t Halo 5
This is basically confirmed, with Microsoft saying that the Halo journey will resume in 2014. We’ve heard everything from Halo 2 Anniversary Edition to Halo 1-4 HD Collection. I wonder if for some reason this will reignite Halo fever. Perhaps seeing the game on a new platform like the Xbox One will do it. I’d love a Halo HD Collection, even if Halo 1 already got one in 2011.
1. Nintendo actually doing stuff in the leaked memo
Smash Brothers 3DS in July. Bayonetta 2 in August. GameCube Virtual Console. Metroid for 3DS. Zelda for Wii U. Let this all be true. I’m begging you. Nintendo for the second year in a row isn’t doing a formal E3 presentation, and this sort of thing does hurt their image in the eyes of the core gamer. Having already been outsold by their competitors, even with a one-year headstart, they need to do something. They need to come out and just drop bombs. Scorched earth policy. Maybe Nintendo has lost relevancy for many of us with their business decisions, but I don’t think anyone benefits if Nintendo gets out of the industry.
It’ll only be a matter of time before we find out whether these things hold true or not, but we’d like to hear your predictions for this year’s E3. Post it on the comments below and we’ll see if we all got it right when E3 2014 actually arrives on June 10-12!