E3 is upon us once more with the first press conferences on Monday. E3’s no fun without rampant speculation so here’s our list of what we’re hoping or expecting to see over the next week. We’re not going to include anything already confirmed like Assassin’s Creed Unity of Far Cry 4, so here’s some possible surprises.
Halo 2 Anniversary/ Warchest
There’s been rumours about this one for a while but while 343 Studios might still be a long way off letting us play Halo 5, Halo 2 Anniversary should be coming by the end of the year. Recently there’s been some exciting whispers about a collection of the first three games upscaled and running at 60fps. While it’d be a re-release, we’d love to play through the campaigns in co-op with a shiny new coat of paint
Grand Theft Auto Online
While Grand Theft Auto 5 is the clear choice if Rockstar is going to announce anything in one of the press conferences, we think the focus will be on Grand Theft Auto Online. One of the major publisher’s shows would be a great place to show off online heists running on the new consoles with an increased player count and better graphics. Expect to see the full GTA5 released alongside it but Online is going to be what they’re selling.
Gears of War 4
It’s been a long while since a core Gears of War and as it’s such a strong graphically impressive series that’s performed consistently well, it seems unthinkable for them not to announce something about a current-gen entry. Our money is on this coming out this year, in November. The release schedule is getting barer and barer there but a Gears of War game would be a nice way to get a potential system seller on the shelves before Christmas.
Viva Pinata 3
Rare have been hit by layoffs recently after the poor performance of Kinect Sports, but the studio hasn’t closed. With Kinect becoming less of a focus we’re hoping to see a brand new Viva Pinata for another Holiday 2014 release to try and grab that family market.
A partnership with Oculus Rift/ Facebook
We’ve known Microsoft have been exploring their VR options for a while now and honestly we’re not expecting them to announce their own model at this point, it seems too late in the game. It’s possible they could be getting behind Totem but we think a joint venture with Oculus is much more likely. The Oculus would be coming to Windows and Xbox One with some dodgy Playstation-Home-esque experience to show it off with. Everyone would ignore that of course but then they’d show it off with something truly spectacular. Like DayZ. If Dayz is announced for Xbox One using Oculus Rift we will be very, very happy.
An MMO-style game for Gold subscribers that uses F2P microtransactions
Microsoft needs to demonstrate the power of the cloud and they need to prove value for Xbox Live Gold. Why not have an MMO that uses Azure in a significant way and is free-to-play for Gold members but features microtransactions prominently. We think it’d be something new rather than a port of an existing MMO, or possible a new version of something old with a name that means something. Our guess would be Runescape.
While Sony have done incredibly well with sales of the Playstation 4, there’s very little unique software available that’s going to turn heads. Killzone and Infamous were ‘ok’ rather than amazing, Driveclub is less and less exciting every time we see it and all their other announcements seem to be remakes. Uncharted 4 is going to open their show and blow us away with visuals and scale. It needs a new hook to differentiate it from the older games, so perhaps a campaign that features drop-in drop-out co-op?
Team Fortress 2
Sony have created a good relationship with Valve over the last decade and they’ve also been pushing free to play games with the Playstation 4 with great success (Warframe and War Thunder are awesome on the PS4). Why not bring over one of the most widely played free to play games in the world? It’d be a great showcase for the versatility of the console and be popular with fans. Of course Team Fortress 3 would be better but Valve doesn’t do 3s. We think this could be the kind of announcement we love where it goes live during the conference.
We’re expecting Media Molecule to shake things up a bit with a third entry in the very successful LittleBigPlanet Series. Maybe it’ll feature persistent expansive worlds like Terraria, maybe it’ll be a full-blown RPG. We’re expecting to see it this year, but we don’t know what form it will take.
Project Morpheus with tech demos
We’re really hoping Morpheus will be on the show floor, not just on stage because VR only works when you get to try it. That being said we’re sure Sony will be convincing us of its value from the show with a variety of tech demos. There’s very few Sony games where we can imagine it would work well, with the possible exception of Motorstorm. If they can manage it without making us sick, we’d love to see a new Motorstorm with VR.
A New Family-focused IP
Knack was a flop really which leaves Sony without any strong family-friendly IPs of their own. We’d love to see them do something spectacular and cel-shaded with a strong game rather than a gimmick. Think back to Spyro or Crash Bandicoot, something of that ilk but with a new world and new characters that can really show off what the PS4 can do, even better if there’s a similar title out for the Vita.
This has been partly leaked so it’s more than a rumour at some point but we’re low on details. It appears to be a Mario Bros level creator for 3DS and Wii U. We’re hoping it’ll be the flagship title for the new NFC figures so you can create levels using tilesets from NES and SNES games, but then play through those levels (that you can share online) as whichever characters you have figures for. This could be an awesome LittleBigPlanet style online community of progressively harder levels and a genuinely good use of those figures.
The New Zelda
We’re all expecting Nintendo to show off a new Zelda title during their Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, but what form will it take? We’re hoping for something much more open world than we’re used to, with busier cities and great expansive areas like Hyrule Field rather than individual isolated arenas joined by small corridors. We’d love a cel-shaded look to make sure the game doesn’t appear dated alongside current-gen games, but Nintendo have a habit of being able to surprise us with Zelda titles so we can’t wait.
Even with Mario Kart 8 Nintendo still haven’t cracked online, it’s awkward to use and too difficult to get playing the way you want. What we need is a new 32-player F-Zero with extensive online options. This is a title we sorely missed from the Wii generation and in HD it could be absolutely beautiful.
Mario Galaxy 3
This is probably the most outlandish title on the list but it’s one we really, really want to see. The Wii U seems built for a visually stunning Mario Galaxy title and we’re shocked one hasn’t appeared already. Super Mario 3D World was great but we want something bigger, more like Mario 64. If not’s not a new Galaxy then at least a new Mario franchise altogether with the same spirit.