E3 is less than a week away and we at Gaming Trend are drooling over the prospect of finally getting our grubby mitts on the newest games and even newer hardware. But that’s not to say it’s all going to be sunshine and roses, however. There are a few things that we’d better see during our time at the LA Convention Center — things that the major publishers and developers should be aware of.
Games, games, games, games, and, oh yeah, games
This is going to be a huge year for video games at E3. Well, obviously they’re huge at a video game convention, but the last couple years have been filled with rote first- and third-person military based shooters and sequels galore. And while, yes, it’d be nice to see the latest and greatest editions of our favorite franchises running on spectacular new consoles, we also want to see some surprises. We want to see even more new IPs revealed at the various press events, in addition to the ones already announced. Even so, with games like Watch_Dogs, Thief, Destiny, Dragon Age III, Beyond: Two Souls, a new Mario game, and many more, there’s still room for an unexpected twist or two to make its way onto the show floor. It’s been awhile since we’ve been genuinely amazed at E3, and it’s about damn time.
Nintendo needs to kill it this year, and we’re hoping they do
The Wii U, by all accounts, appears to be dead in the water. Having no games to speak of between December and March will tend to do that to you. Luckily, there’s still hope for the suffering console. Currently, the Wii U suffers from an identity crisis -- it’s too hardcore for the general public, but it doesn’t have enough hardcore games to appease its frothing fanbase. Nintendo has already announced that they are revealing new Mario, Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and Zelda titles at E3, but for them to really show the world that they’re a force to be reckoned with, they need more. Their recent Nintendo Direct videos have shown a Nintendo that’s hungry and ready to fight. With recent exclusives like X (from Xenoblade Chronicles developer Monolith Soft), Shin Megami Tensei IV, and Monster Hunter (the latter two shifting from Sony exclusivity), plus other surprises like a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The past and Earthbound’s appearance on the Western Virtual Console, Nintendo has shown that they still have a few cards up their sleeves. We want to see solid first party additions to established franchises (a new Metroid wouldn’t hurt), some fantastic and exciting new IP from both first and third parties, as well as some of that Nintendo insanity that we all know and love. We want to see a burgeoning indie development scene that people are excited about. But most of all, we need to know that there is a reason that this Gamepad exists. Show us games that couldn’t live without it. Nintendo has a hell of an opportunity here. We hope they don’t blow it.
Speaking of supposedly dying consoles, what’s up with Vita?
Along with the Wii U, the Vita is all but on life support at this point, with a little over ten games released since the beginning of the year. Sure, we know that there’ll be a new Killzone game as well as Media Molecule’s Tearaway. But there needs to be more than a handful of games if it plans on surviving any more than the year. With Sony planning on supporting remote play on the Vita with virtually all PS4 titles (essentially making the Vita like the Wii U’s Gamepad for PS4 games), it shows that Sony still cares about it from a hardware standpoint. Hopefully, this means that we’ll see some exciting new titles during Sony’s press conference. Lord knows it needs a kickstart.
Please, for the love of God, describe exactly what your plan is with your system’s DRM
To say Microsoft dropped the ball at the unveiling of the Xbox One is an understatement; they dropped it, tripped over their own untied shoelaces, and broke their nose on the hard pavement while the ball went careening off a cliff. Between all the back and forth with how used games will operate on the new console (Will they work? Won’t they? Do we need to buy licenses for games we’ve borrowed? Do we have to sign over any “life rights” of our unborn children?), there’s been a lot of confusion regarding how all of this stuff will actually work. Microsoft needs to sit down and explain, in basic terms, exactly what it means when we lend a friend a copy of a game we own, or what happens when we sell it. Even if it isn’t pretty, even if it’s some draconian always-on DRM scheme, knowing exactly how it will work -- even in simple, yet understandable terms -- will go a long way toward clearing the air. It may not be exactly what we want to hear, but at least we can go forward from there. Sony’s not off the hook here, either. While they’ve been garnering goodwill based on their sort of non-answer, they need to explain whether their system will have any of the same sorts of DRM “features.” We don’t expect to see pricing or dates here (though it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility). Just tell us -- what exactly are we getting into here?
Where the hell is The Last Guardian?
It’s been a looooong time since we last saw Fumito Ueda’s supposedly upcoming magnum opus, The Last Guardian, at one of Sony’s press events. Rumors have been swirling ever since -- that development has slowed, that Ueda left the company and is still working as a contractor, that it’s made its way from PS3 to PS4. If that last rumor proves true, Sony might have one of the biggest “stand up and cheer” moments of any conference in recent memory. Imagine this: Sony’s about to close out their show, and they come out with their “one last thing” segment -- The Last Guardian, launching alongside the PS4. That would absolutely demolish our expectations. Now, that’s the dream scenario. I’m still holding out hope that we’ll actually see the game before the PS5 -- but it’s nice to hold out hope.