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e3 2016

E3 Hardware Rumor Roundup

by Game Informer Editorial on Jun 07, 2016 at 10:00 AM

We once again have many hardware mysteries going into E3 – a new Nintendo platform that won’t be at the show, the possibility of iterative design consoles becoming a reality for Microsoft and Sony, and of course, the presence of VR in the gaming landscape of today.

Can PlayStation VR bring virtual reality to the masses, and can it even do so on PlayStation 4, or is the new rumored “PlayStation 4.5” a necessity to experience the new technology? Will other VR platforms have some big guns to fire going into this next attempt to get virtual reality to stick? We have lots of questions going into E3, and when the dust settles, perhaps we’ll have some answers.

Nintendo’s Mystery Box

As curious as a ? block circling above Mario’s head, the NX has been the subject of plenty of rumors, from bizarre controllers to a mobile-integrated core unit. Perhaps the most curious factor at this point is that the system has a launch window that isn’t too far away – March 2017 – but we know almost nothing about it, save that it will feature the new Zelda game, the flagship Nintendo title being showcased at E3 in Wii U format. 

Perhaps there will be some interesting tidbits to glean from Zelda’s gameplay that will hint at what the NX could be, but more than likely we’ll be waiting for a Nintendo Direct or some other major event to show off the upcoming hardware. Zelda may blow us all out of the water, but it’s frankly a little odd (and perhaps even a bit concerning) that the next console from Big N will still be kept completely under wraps during one of gaming’s most important annual events. On the flip side of the rumor mill, it’s possible that we may end up seeing glimpses of the NX at E3 anyway, whether it’s a video of the hardware that takes us by surprise or perhaps via a third party. Whatever the case, we can’t wait to see Nintendo’s next big thing.

Console And A Half

Both Sony and Microsoft are rumored to be working on “.5” versions of their current-gen consoles, meaning for the first time we’ll have a sort of strange period with upgraded consoles before the next true shift to the next generation of hardware. There are all kinds of rumors floating around, including the possibility that PlayStation VR requires the updated console to function at a reasonable level or that Xbox may actually be prepping to get into the VR game with their updated version. 

Updated consoles available for better performance will be an enticing option if the rumors are true, but adding yet another major console purchase “mid-generation” with the added potential VR pricetags may lead to a bit of sticker shock to the console consumer. Seeing what kind of ammunition these companies bring to the table alongside these possible hardware shifts is going to be quite interesting, and we expect both to have some big surprises to go along with the new hardware options.

VR’s Big Day

The world will be looking to VR and its potential at E3 2016 – can Sony’s PlayStation VR bring the emerging tech to the living room with big titles and out-of-this-world experiences? Will Microsoft be boarding the VR train? Will we see some big “system sellers” for the tech emerge? Even more interesting, is it possible that one of the other VR companies could strike out on their own and create their own VR console to go with their existing hardware – an Oculus box for all your social and gaming needs plopped right in front of your TV? Perhaps new control options for existing VR hardware?

While advocates and enthusiasts will argue that VR is already here in force, it has some serious distance to achieve with the standard consumer. This is especially true given the rumors that users may need the updated PS 4.5 in order to get the most out of the experience, meaning that price points for a console VR setup may fall out of the mass market window even before they have a chance to shine. VR has a lot of potential in gaming in the years to come, but is this really the year of VR, and will we see that at E3?

Check out E3 predictions for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. Also check out our bold predictions for the show!