E3 – What To Look Out For Part One
It's almost that time of year again. It's that time of year where the internet is flooded with the talk of new games and the renewed vigour of the eternal flame war between Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony fanboys (they're in alphabetical order there, not order of preference). It's also the time of year when games journalists survive on nothing but coffee and stale breakfast muffins while they try and keep up with the barrage of news and previews that they face.
E3 is still a very exciting time for games and, although it seems like a lot of big announcements have snuck out just before the mad rush begins there's still plenty of surprises to be had by watching the coverage of the show next week.
Microsoft will undoubtedly be wanting to show the Xbox One at its best this year. It's had a fairly rocky start with rapid policy changes and new boss Phil Spencer will be looking to unite fans and those looking to join the Xbox nation under a newly reaffirmed love of games.
To this end they'll be wheeling out the Master Chief with next year's Halo 5 as well as the Halo offering which is they have planned for release in November. This is most likely to be a remastered Halo collection featureing Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 reworked for the Xbox One.
They'll also be looking to capitalise on their other big Xbox One exclusive of the year, Insomniac's colourful shooter Sunset Overdrive as well as Sledgehammers first crack at the Call Of Duty franchise Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
There's no official press conference from Nintendo this year although they will be holding a Nintendo Direct-style live webcast to show off what they have coming for the Wii U and 3DS in the months to come.
They have Super Smash Bros which is the other main light on the horizon for the Wii U aside from the barnstorming Mario Kart 8. There's also Bayonetta 2 and X which should be hopefully getting a showing next week.
Never count Nintendo out as they always have some kind of surprise up their sleeves. The Wii U hasn't seen a Metroid game or a Zelda game as yet so one of them may very well make an appearance in their webcast. Mario Kart 8 has already created a fresh new buzz about the Wii U so expect them to try to capitalize on that feeling.
The PS4 has been hit by some key delays and so a lot of what Sony will be showing this year will not be out until 2015 at the very earliest. Their key 2014 platform-exclusive Driveclub will feature as they try and build enthusisam for Evolution's socially-enabled racer ahead of its October launch.
The Order: 1886 will also play a key role in showing off the graphical prowess of the PS4 even though Ready At Dawn's first home console effort has now been delayed into 2015.
Sony will have some new titles to show off. Rumours have been circulating that Sony Santa Monica is working on a new God Of War game under the stewardship of Cory Barlog and this is almost certainly going to make an appearance. Then there's Uncharted 4 which is now being steered to completiong by The Last of Us's creative duo Neil Druckmann and Bruce Straley.
Sony will also continue their focus on the indie scene, especially with the PS Vita, which is now thriving as a destination for top indie developers. The PS Now streaming service may also make a brief appearance. And, let's just whisper The Last Guardian under our breath and keep our fingers crossed.
That's it for the platform holders. Keep an eye open for part two of our E3 preview as we make our predictions on what to expect from the third-party crowd.