What thrills, spills and chills will await us E3 2013? None can be too certain, but we have some predictions for what you’ll see on stage and around the showfloor. So read our list, mull it over, have your say in the comments and check back June 11-13 for ClockWorx Gaming E3 coverage from the Los Angeles Convention Center.
1. Xbox plans press event for June 10
Microsoft will be keeping its word on an Xbox-themed event for E3 – especially now that we know the new console is called the Xbox One.
2. No Nintendo press conference
Nintendo has made the somewhat surprising decision to forgo its usual E3 press conference in favor of hosting a smaller, closed-doors events to focus primarily on software.
3. Microsoft reveal over but questionable
Microsoft had a very big Xbox announcement on May 21, where the new Xbox was revealed as the Xbox One. The event went so far as to show us the full console (unlike the PS4 tease) including specs for the Kinect and even the new Gamepad. However do we think the PS4 took it away this year…Right now, yes but who’s to say what could happen at Microsofts press conference.
5. Vita’s fate
Vita, What is there to say, except…What is Sony going to do with you? The poor PS Vita got off to a great start being one of the eye openers at lasts year E3 but has struggled with getting off the ground due to a poor part from Sony. However, will the PS4 be its saving grace? Will it be the the item customers will need to stay in touch with their fellow gamers? Or should Sony have just stuck with the undoubtedly notion that your held held devise, ie: cell phone, tablet, etc… Was the way to go. Again, we will see at this years E3.
6. The biggest titles of E3
E3 is known for surprises. Unexpected sequels and brand new IP’s all step out of the shadows and into the spotlight at this celebration of the video game industry. So what will the biggest games of the show be? Surprises aside, we’re prepared to make a few educated guesses as to what will have the fans clamoring come June.
First off, even though its been at E3 before, Watch Dogs is a game to watch. It blew audiences away with its detailed open world and insane techno-chaos. Sharp observers rightly guessed that it was next-gen title, and Ubisoft has confirmed that it will on both PS3 and PS4, as well the Xbox 360, and its successor, we presume.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U is highly anticipated title bound to create buzz. Nintendo has confirmed that the next installment of its character brawler franchise will have some presence at the show. Even if its just screens and a demo, fans will want to get their hand on it, and as entry in beloved Nintendo series, it’s exactly the shot in the arm the Wii U needs.
A new Call of Duty game would shock no one. We’d say we’re due for a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 pretty soon. Battlefield 4 is also a given, since it was announced at GDC 2013. There’s also the pirate glory of Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag looming on the horizon.
Finally, Grand Theft Auto V will be a no show, but that won’t stop anyone from talking about it. Its release has been delayed to Sept. 17, so Rockstar could demo it at the show, but that wouldn’t be their style. The studio notoriously skips most E3s, leaving the crowd to build buzz about what the heck its up to. Hey, it’s worked for them in the past!
7. Unreal Engine 4 & PS4 – A Game changer
Unreal Engine 4, the ultra-powerful game engine we got a real-time demo of during the PS4’s launch, could really rip the seams of reality if its makers unleash it on the E3 crowd. But can it live up to its self-produced hype, though? Will it elicit authentic jaw drops and awed, “Dude, that’s unreal!” exclamations?
We believe that the PS4 will do just that. As the Unreal Engine 4 is marketed as the architecture that brings to life fully dynamic lighting features and Aweee that you will expect from any game on the PS4.
We’ll be very curious to see if the touted high-end visuals are as captivating in person as they seem in demos, what is said as an architecture for a lower-end PC.
8. Ouya talking to me?
Is another buzz-breaking system. Yes, and its name is Ouya. It has captured the imagination and burrowed into the hearts of gamers and developers, the Kickstarter darling that’s launching on June 4 for $99.99
The console will be available in the U.S., U.K. and Canada and it will give many eager customers the gaming system they’ve been waiting for. With that said however, we are curious about how many launch titles there will be, and how the company plans to navigate the world of in-app purchases.
9. 4K at E3
4K tech is still very much in its infancy. Yes, we have Samsung, ViewSonic, LG, Toshiba and Panasonic readying and releasing 4K-capable TVs and displays, but the content is lagging far behind. Games, as you can imagine, are on the peripheral of the 4K conversation looking in.
Sony confirmed 4K video output for the PS4, but so far not for games. 4K games could be something it’s working on right now, however, and the company may be ready to make that known at E3.
Microsoft has thus far stayed out of the 4K foray, but might E3 be where we can get them in a corner, so to speak, and pick the company’s brains on the tech? Might they let slip a little 4K ambition of their own?
The issues of making 4K games extend beyond console makers and into processor and content makers as well.
AMD recently revealed its Radeon HD 7990 “Malta” GPU, capable of playing titles in eye-popping 4K. Nvidia, AMD’s arch nemesis, might want to cook up an answer to the hyper-drive graphics card.
4K is a few years off from making it into mainstream gaming, but we fully expect it to be part of the conversation at this year’s E3. 4K is not just a facet of gaming future but the future of all digital content, and it’s a topic that continues to be fascinating for many.
10. Playstation 4
What does the PS4 look like?
We’ve got at least a hint about this one; Sony released a blurry teaser trailer that showed us glimpses that were too tightly shot to give any real indication of the whole.
All in all, we wouldn’t mind if the new console didn’t take any cues from the launch PS3’s giant oval design. But if the PS4 wanted to take after the slim version’s thinner look, that’d probably be slightly more OK. From what little we can piece together though, it’s probably going to be squarish and black. Go figure, right?
Can we replace the hard drive?
On the PS3, you could not only pull out the hard drive yourself, but also replace it with pretty much any 2.5-inch SATA notebook hard disk you wanted. We’re hoping that’s a feature the PS4 will inherit, especially since the Xbox One is going to the built-in, irremovable route. The PS4 will have some storage built-in, but whether that’s all the storage is still up in the air.
We’ve been speculating and spilling them for months, but Sony has finally revealed, at least partially, the basic spec sheet for the PS4. Sony has gone on record saying that the PS4 will have a “very large hard drive,” which hopefully doesn’t mean we’re going to get stuck with zero DIY options. If it’s big enough though (1TB?), and the price of the system is low enough, we could probably be convinced to not mind.
Is the PS4 Eye required?
While the Xbox One’s mandatory Kinect can maybe be justified by playing the it’s-HAL-in-your-living-room-but-not-homicidal card, the role of the Playstation 4 Eye is a little less clear. From what we know of it in action, there’s a pretty big AR push, as well as some of the facial recognition stuff that the Kinect also implements. It’s cool, but so far it doesn’t seem super-duper integral to the PS4’s gaming identity like the Kinect is to the Xbox One’s big media push. So here’s to hoping it’s optional.
Is online multiplayer still free?
Xbox Live Gold is an obnoxious expense, especially if all you want to do is use Netflix. Meanwhile the PS3’s gratis online functionality has been a great haven for the cost-conscious. But can it really stay that way forever, or is the currently optional Playstation Plus going to evolve into a mandatory service for online play?
Will used games have a fee?
The state of used games on the Xbox One is a huge, indecipherable mess that’s getting people awfully riled up. The PS4? Beyond the fact that it’ll play used games, we don’t know anything at all.
On the Xbox One, all games need to be installed to the hard drive. No exceptions. And that being the case, the disc is just an artifice. The disc isn’t where you play the game; it’s just a really fast download. You know, like how disc versions of games work on PC. So mandatory installation and used-game confusion sort of go hand-in-hand, and Sony is keeping its lips tightly sealed on both counts.
Is the PS4 going to be the anti-Xbox One?
We’re working with a whole lot of TBDs, but it all really comes down to this one question: is the PS4 going to position itself as the answer to everything that’s frustrating about the Xbox One? Microsoft caught a lot of heat by going first, and some of its “mistakes” are arguably just unpopular steps toward an inevitable all-digital future.
Microsoft’s pre-emptive flak-taking is going to make it a lot easier for Sony to sidle up to the exact same unpopular decisions without looking like the villain because it didn’t make them first. But we’re hoping the Sony will stick to its historic guns on this stuff and keep repping “free” and “open.” Sony’s CEO Kaz Hirai has come out and said that the PS4 is “first and foremost [a] game console,” as far as Sony is concerned, which seems like something you’d say if you wanted to appeal to the Microsoft-doesn’t-care-about-gamers crowd. But he also said Sony doesn’t plan to stop there, and that could mean just about anything. Come on Sony, let’s make this a fight.