The lights are on
Every E3 certain things are inevitable – sweaty overweight dudes posing with booth babes blocking walkways, lines around the block for Nintendo's latest announcement, and more open bars than the Sundance Film Festival. Others are not so expected, like when Square Enix left the comforts of its Sony exclusivity deal and landed on the Xbox 360, a move that shocked and dismayed much of its passionate base. So what will be the shocking announcements and wince-inducing moments from E3 2010? Like that History Channel special that runs on repeat, Game Informer misappropriated the writings of Nostradamus, mistranslated the Mayan calendar, and hired a palm reader to piece together a week-long run of predictions.
For day one, we look at Microsoft-oriented announcements.
Microsoft Debuts App StoreNow that Natal is out of the bag, many of us are wondering what Microsoft will announce for news at E3 this year. Our money's on the software experts announcing an SDK for the Xbox 360 for console based applications, officially joining the app craze. Instant streaming from Netflix and the release of last year’s Facebook, Twitter, and Last FM apps may have just been a preview of a much larger ambition for the console. Microsoft has shown time and time again that it has a great interest in growing the Xbox 360’s multimedia capabilities to bring non-gamers into the fold. Likely app candidates include Hulu, Pandora, ESPN, and YouTube.Xbox Live Anywhere ResurfacesMicrosoft is a trailing in a distant fourth place in the mobile phone operating system race, and the company needs a jolt of positive news to generate some buzz about Windows 7 Mobile. Live Anywhere, which debuted in 2006 before retreating back into seclusion, could be the catalyst. Allowing Xbox Live Gold account members to play compatible Xbox Live Arcade games right from their phone won't win consumers over alone, but it would be a great first step toward turning their gaze away from Android and Apple and back to Microsoft.
Rare Brings Back Killer InstinctRare has teased gamers about a reboot of its 1994 fighting game for years, but this E3 might give fans a reason to start memorizing Fulgore’s moves all over again. The company just redesigned its logo in honor of its 25th anniversary, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see similarly retooled versions of its older games. The rights may be complicated to sort out, but the XBLA re-release of Perfect Dark demonstrated that anything’s possible.Slim 360 Bundled With NatalWe've been living with the rumors of an Xbox 360 Slim for so long now that we'd be surprised if it wasn't true. Industry analyst Michael Pachter has dropped perhaps the biggest prediction by saying that the 360 Slim (with a 250GB hard drive, no less) will be bundled with Natal for $299 – the current price of a 120GB Elite bundle. Given that Natal will likely be over $100 itself, it seems far-fetched to believe that Microsoft would give consumers a Slim 360 AND a 250GB hard drive AND a Natal for that price. There will certainly be Natal bundles and perhaps a price drop or two for the various 360 SKUs, but let's not pray for the moon.Farmville Comes To ConsoleSay what you will about Microsoft and Sony, but those companies take notice when a game starts making millions of dollars. Considering how many acres of cash Farmville has generated lately, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Zynga start planting seeds on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Games like N+, Diner Dash, and Trials HD all started out as PC titles before they became available on Xbox Live and PSN, so would it really be that surprising to see Farmville make that jump? Microsoft seems to be more on the ball with this kind of stuff, so we're predicting that we’ll see Farmville on the Xbox 360 first. Soccer Goalkeeping Game Coming To NatalNintendo pack-in Wii Sports is the template game for introducing motion control to the masses. We expect Natal to similarly use a similar collection of minigames based on sports, like soccer and bowling, to show what the peripheral can do and provide an easy-to-play entry point for casual gamers. A goalkeeping game uses the same principle design as the dodgeball demo Natal debuted with onstage at last year's E3, but it could allow more range of movement. With the World Cup in full swing the week of E3, it's also timely. Kojima Demos Metal Gear Rising For 15 Minutes With No GameplayMetal Gear Solid games have always received star treatment at E3, usually in the form of extremely lengthy trailers. Hideo Kojima's presentations normally feature Hollywood-caliber production values that excite fans, but there's no debating that they're usually light in terms of gameplay. With little known about Metal Gear Rising, fans are clamoring for any morsels of information they can get. Considering it's a new (and apparently Raiden-centric) direction for the series, many are wondering just what the gameplay will entail. Will it continue the Tactical Espionage Action that's synonymous with the Metal Gear name? Or will Raiden's newfound badassery lend itself to a more action-oriented title? Fans want to know, but don't be surprised when Kojima serves up a dialogue-heavy presentation that answers few questions.GlaDOS Takes Over Microsoft Press EventTo our dismay, Valve recently canceled their much-anticipated Portal 2 press event. As compensation, we are promised a surprise. No details about said surprise were divulged, other than that “the time, date and content of the actual surprise will only become available as you experience the surprise.” Our thoughts? GlaDOS is most definitely behind the disaster, and we expect her to make an appearance during the Microsoft press event to wreak further havoc. Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has experience dealing with GlaDOS in this capacity, as she hijacked his Pioneer Award acceptance speech during the 2010 Game Developer Choice Awards. Let’s try the stunt again, Valve. This time bigger and better. What would be an even more exciting bombshell? If GlaDOS commandeered the Sony press conference instead.
Gaming Websites Get More Traffic For Booth Babe Pics Than Game AnnouncementsCongratulations, everybody. Gamers look like a classy and sophisticated bunch every year when booth babe photo galleries get more page views than game announcements during E3. My god, there are models in LA who are happy to dress in revealing game-related costumes for a couple hundred bucks a day?! We hate to break it to you, but every time you click one of those pics, you give social critics and game publishers another reason to treat us gamers as randy 14-year-olds. Yeah, yeah, we know that some of you are randy 14-year-olds, and you're forgiven. For now.
Also check out:
E3 Prediction Week: Day Two
Email the author Matt Bertz, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.
I hate farmville if it comes to consoles I may buy it to burn it
What?!? Randy 14-year olds? I am offended! ...What does randy mean?
I am a PS3 gamer and I am very interested in getting an Xbox 360 so I am really looking forward to the Xbox 360 slim Natal bundle. That's the key for me.
Yay for a bunch of useless BS. I wanna see more about Bioware/LA's mmo, Star Wars: The Old Republic and NCsoft's Guild Wars 2. Come on GI, there's gamers out there that play more than just CONSOLES!! Try not to forget about us, or I might just forget to pay my subscription... :P
there has gotta be somthing better than that!
Oh, man, Mildoze! Them's fightin' words where I come from! With a threat like that, I bet we'll see GameInformer make a pretty swift change in their behavior. Lord knows there's no way they could afford to operate if they lost -you- as a customer.
Did you neglect to read the title of the arctile? E3 Prediction Week: Day One. In case you didn't know, there are actually a whole seven days in a week. Crazy, I know. Take a moment to let that sink in...
...okay, now that we've established that there are a whole six other days that you might get news about upcoming PC/MMO titles, I think it's safe to move on with our day.
New Killer Instinct? I will cry so hard if that happens. And I'll forgive Rare for taking the iconic "Spinning Coin that has a weird half 'R' on it" away. And I'm with Treestump with the remade Jet Force Gemini. I love Rare.
I want Glados to take over the event, E3 needs more cameos like that. Though this is the Microsoft list, by that same token I want Kevin Butler to show up in the Sony press conference. (Sony press conferences are boring to watch. Mainly its the sizzle reels fault.)
I expect Microsoft's press conference will be consistently good and fun to watch, even if Natal sucks.
So who's this Randy we speak of, hmm?
Killer Instinct? I think I'd be more in-shock if Rare showed Perfect Dark 2. And it actually looked good!!!
Anyway, I still don't think Natal will be over $100. And if it is, the guy who announces it may as well say, "I am Microsoft," as he takes a gun and shoots himself in the foot so we can see a live demonstration of exactly what it is Microsoft is doing.
I wouldn't be surprised if there was a Doom 4 announcement exclusive for 360. I'm pretty sure it's been in the works for awhile, not to mention all of the re-releases of the first three games onto Xbox Live. That would be a huge announcement.
XD Kojima...at least we'll get some sort of news
I'm a betting man and right now i'd put my savings ($63.55) on the line that there will be a half-life 3 announcement. But I honestly think Microsoft and nintendo are holding back and we really have no idea what's in store.
I wouldn't doubt the application idea.
It would be the best thing ever if GlaDOS hijaked the Microsoft Press Event, who wouldn't love that? I will add a little more to that prediction: GlaDOS takes over the press conference, and also, everyone gets a slice of some tasty chocolate cake! :D
I'm very much looking forward to what Kojima has planned. I can't wait to hear more about the new Metal Gear title.
Why not look at booth babes? Our wallets speak louder than any booth babe traffic statistics. Great games always outsell cheap sexual games everytime each is released. Chill Matt.
all i want to hear about is half life 3. nothing else.
maybe the wii will have farmville since its like farmville on a console