With just a few days until E3 2014 when we’ll hear about and see more new games than at any other time in the year. This is the stage for the big announcements now that the new-generation of consoles are out in the wild. What will they bring to the table? What will the publishers offer up? What surprises are in store? Who knows, but we’ll take a good guess. Below are our predictions for this year’s E3: enjoy!
Project Morpheus to be given a release window
With Sony’s own Virtual Reality headset out in the open now, I can see it getting a small amount of stage time during their E3 press conference. During such a period I would expect a release window to be announced. Something quite vague, perhaps even just a year, but ideally a quarter to go with it. My money’s on the end of 2015.
The Guardian finally reappears as a PlayStation 4 exclusive
After years of absence Team ICO’s latest title will finally be revealed. After popping up five years ago it’s time. I suspect the reason for the delay was initially due to a design shift but then was to retool the game for the new hardware that Sony were planning on releasing. Now that the PlayStation 4 is out on the market it’s time to show face.
If it fails to make an appearance then you must wonder if it will ever see the light of day and just how a studio can go ten years without releasing a title. It’s now or likely never for the hotly anticipated exclusive.
Sony go heavy on the games
No fewer than ten new games, with four of those being new IPs all announced for the PlayStation 4 – though few, if any will release this year. There will be plenty of indie titles that’s for sure, but I suspect we’ll see what many of Sony’s first-party studios have been up to over the past few years.
Microsoft migrate three franchise to Xbox One
I predict Gears of War, Crackdown and Fable but we’ll wait and see. In an attempt (and likely a successful one) to appease Xbox One fans, Microsoft will usher in the revitalisation of several of their well-known franchises. Add on top of this the strongly rumoured Halo Anniversary 2 as well.
PlayStation Now to go into open beta “tomorrow”
Sony to attempt an Apple tactic and announce that their PlayStation Now service will go into open beta “tomorrow” (i.e. June 10, 2014). The service will remain free as users trial the service before a full, official roll-out at the end of July. Obviously this will be America only.
Nintendo to announce new Metroid title
It’s hard to tell where Nintendo are going with the 3DS and Wii U. They’ve already announced Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, so that particular surprise is now gone. Knowing Nintendo though, their hand isn’t completely dealt.
Of all the franchises that Nintendo has under wraps at the moment, Metroid seems the most likely to get a new instalment. The last one we had was the misguided Metroid: Other M for the Wii by Team Ninja, a stain on an otherwise stellar franchise. Metroid Prime was perhaps the best first person shooter on the Gamecube, while the classic Metroid-vania gameplay hasn’t been properly represented since the Gameboy Advance remake of the original!
As for which platform, my money is on Wii U as it desperately needs a big system seller. Of course, I’d love to see Retro Studios (fresh off Donkey Kong Country : Tropical Freeze) to make a comeback to the classic Metroid Prime gameplay. They could do so many things with the Gamepad for this one that it seems silly not to take the chance.
That said, the installed user-base for the 3DS means that putting a throwback to the classic Metroid games wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Given their involvement with the Donkey Kong Country franchise of late, Retro Studios have a way of making 2D gameplay shine on the 3DS. A new adventure would be wonderful, though an updated version of Samus’ second adventure which debuted on the Gameboy would also sell well. If it’s developed by someone other than Retro Studios, the fans will be watching with scepticism.
Sony’s Morpheus Headset to launch in 2015
VR gaming is slowly in development. Morpheus is Sony’s answer and some members of the press have already seen demos for this project. The signs are that Sony’s pace is building with this product’s development and that we could see some kind of on-stage demo at their press conference.
It won’t be the same as putting it on, but there could be a screen showing their field of view, looking around the cockpit of a space fighter ship or walking around a dungeon with torch in hand. We probably won’t see any games for this device at E3 as it’s very likely we’re still at tech-demo stage.
As for price, they probably won’t reveal that unless it launches in early 2015. If we have another E3 to get through before the launch of Morpheus, the pricing will probably be revealed then, ranging somewhere around $150 or £100. Needless to say, PS4 owners will have things to keep them going in the meantime!
Microsoft to announce Halo 2: Anniversary in 2014, Halo 5 in 2015
The future of the Halo franchise isn’t clear cut, but chances are that 343 Industries will want to celebrate the Xbox game that popularised Xbox Live, given that it is 10 years old this year. We got Halo: Combat Evolved – Anniversary back in 2011 which saw the original game being faithfully ported while a brand new HD textures updated the game to Xbox 360 quality.
Halo 4 was a stunning looking game back in 2012 on hardware that in all fairness shouldn’t be able to run it so well. Using a variant of the same engine wouldn’t be hard, though there is the expectation of the original visuals being ported.
But then what about the multiplayer? If it is on Xbox 360, then the classic maps can just go on Halo 4 as an Anniversary Map Pack, much like Halo: Combat Evolved – Anniversary’s maps were converted to the Halo: Reach engine. If it is on Xbox One however, it would mark the first Halo title on the new console. Of course, it could be that Halo 5 would see the light of day first, meaning that 343 could port the classic maps to the Xbox One, but they could rebuild the multiplayer from the ground up on the new Microsoft console. To not include multiplayer seems a bit of an insult to the legacy of Halo 2 so, if announced, we expect them to reveal how multiplayer will work out.
EA reveal that Star Wars: Battlefront will release close to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s release date. Battlefront 3 to launch this year.
EA have been looking for something to fill in the shoes that Medal of Honor left behind. While candidates for annual franchises include Crysis and Dead Space, neither of those really fit. Dead Space is the wrong genre, while Crysis hasn’t traditionally launched in this vital period.
Having recently acquired Star Wars: Battlefront from the recent downsizing of Lucasarts, having this revived as a bi-annual franchise makes sense financially. The IP is there and the gameplay is fondly remembered. While the third person shooting gameplay is not the norm, it would be high-profile enough to get away with it.
As for gameplay, I really want to see the vision of Pandemic Studio’s Star Wars: Battlefront 3 being put into effect. That essentially means large-scale battles, with the new mechanic being that you can seamlessly transition from space combat to planetary warfare. The demonstration that Pandemic showcased proved that it was entirely possible. With next-gen hardware, it could be even better! Will there be a console exclusivity deal on DLC? More than likely!
Ubisoft to re-reveal Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Patriots and announce launch date of Tom Clancy’s The Division – possible “in memory of Tom Clancy” section in conference.
This will be the first year that Ubisoft will be talking about the late author that has inspired many of their successful shooters; Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and Splinter Cell just to name a few. No doubt they’d want to show their appreciation by launching titles under his name out of respect, so E3 2014 could see a surge in Tom Clancy titles.
We last saw Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six: Patriots at E3 2011. It was hugely impressive looking, perhaps being the first real next-gen footage we saw, before Ubisoft blew us away with Watch Dogs a year after, before Tom Clancy’s The Division took centre stage the year after that! The latter game probably seems most next-gen in terms of its multiplayer mechanics, but let’s not rule out Rainbow Six: Patriots.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see The Division take the spot that Ubisoft filled with Watch Dogs in last year’s conference and for Rainbow Six: Patriots to take the “and finally” spot. Will it be the same? I doubt it, but it will probably impress just as much!
Final Fantasy XV releasing worldwide in MMXV – on-stage demo at Sony Conference
See what I did there? Well if Square Enix wants to exploit that particular marketing gimmick, then now is the best chance to take it.
I would also love to see that new snazzy engine debuted a few years ago, showing actual gameplay. The battle system, which fans will hope is more of a throwback to the ATB system or even something turn based, given that Square Enix finally admitted that worldwide audiences actually liked JRPG game mechanics and that they somehow failed to notice this throughout the Final Fantasy XIII days.
With its recent commercial success with Bravely Default (despite some issues), there’s little doubt that the company is slowly getting over their troubles. They’re a publisher with some great studios under their belt thanks to their offshore acquisitions. Now all they need to do is step up with their core products – the games that got them to where they are now. JRPGs are still in-vogue worldwide, something the Japanese developer needs to understand quickly. Hopefully E3 will be where they demonstrate that.
New Rockstar title revealed during Sony or Microsoft conference
It’s very rare that Rockstar make an appearance at E3. Heck, when Peter Moore revealed his new GTA IV “tattoo” at E3 2006, that was a rare moment where the developer let one of the big publishers reveal their upcoming titles.
But what could it be? Smart money is on one of three properties. Either the next-gen and PC versions of GTA V, something new, or the long dormant PlayStation 3 exclusive Agent.
In fact, Agent isn’t a bad shout considering the vapourware reputation that LA Noire got before it finally graced our screens. If Agent is to finally come out, it would need to be on next-gen hardware.
So why is this a possibility? Hidden in their end of tax year financial results, there was news that before the end of March 2015, Rockstar will launch a game. This is the first we’ve heard of this, so the likelihood that they’ll use the biggest stage in the world to reveal it doesn’t seem far-fetched.
Well it wouldn’t be E3 without picking out of the air some crazy predictions now would it. After last years car crash of a Microsoft conference and Sony being cheered for announcing what the people wanted, who knows what can pop out of the Los Angeles Convention Centre come the June 9.
Crash Bandicoot makes his long-awaited return
Too much happened last year regarding the Crash Bandicoot licences to just let this rumour die as Activision seem set about making a Crash game… eventually. They have admitted that they have no foreseeable plans to do a Crash game but then, when can you believe what a publisher says.
Crash Bandicoot to succeed on the current-generation needs an idea. The original series broke boundaries on what was possible in the platform genre however with open world games now becoming as common as leaves in the wind, Crash Bandicoot would have to do a Super Mario 3D World at least to have a chance of making the dent that the original series did after the brand was destroyed by the latter releases in the series.
All is needed is a teaser video at the end of the Sony conference to please a huge amount of fanboys/girls and start another round of investigating background details of every Sony video.
Avalanche Studios finally reveal Just Cause 3
The Swedish developers are currently working on the Mad Max game but what’s stopping the company from doing a tag team double team move on the PS4 & Xbox One by releasing a sequel to one of the most stunning and architecturally advanced games of the past generation.
Just Cause 2 was only outdone on scope by GTA V, which came at the end of the PS3 consoles life-cycle, so a company like Avalanche who are known for realising console potential early on creating another addition to the series would make me warm with titillation. Imagine the possibilities: grapple hook your way through buildings which result in your character being dragged through glass, wood shards, desks and all before smashing out the other side successfully attached to an enemy helicopter.
Skate 4 ollies into shot
University consisted of playing FIFA against housemates and brutal Skate 3 sessions where the aim was to beat each others spots with simple tricks. Simple in the context of Tony Hawk as it would only take a tap of ‘square + left’ to pull off a kick flip, whilst in Skate it was more like ‘push up down, twist analog stick, throw stick down’.
The added precision of the PS4 controller, the best controller ever made in my opinion, would only add to their pure technicality of the game and would allow EA to hopefully bring the same oozing addictive quality that the previous three did. On a side note, if the super ramp is in the game again, then I’m instantly sold.
Parappa the Rapper lays down the beats
There is no words to describe how much joy this would bring to a new generation of gamers. To exemplify that, just watch the video below and imagine how this could work on PS4; touch pad integration and the light bar would expand on the input methods available to the developers. A revolution in rhythm games could start on the PS4.
EA continue the Dead Space franchise
EA go back to basics and create the sequel to Dead Space 2 that was supposed to happen instead of thinking that gamers wanted the Mass Effect mould ported across to the horror genre. Keep it suspenseful EA and drop the in-app purchases. Dead Space 4 (or appropriate subtitle) can be a revolution in horror if the strict rules of the first game are obeyed and the new consoles are engineered to show their future potential.
Also, if another nursery rhyme gets Del Torro-fied by EA then the series will be back on track.
Sony to debut Uncharted 4 gameplay
With a pretty thin roster of first-party exclusives currently announced, Sony need to bring out the big guns to impress PlayStation fans. With all the apparent turmoil at Naughty Dog that has seen key figures move on from the former Crash Bandicoot developer, impressing us with gameplay for the new Uncharted title would be the ultimate statement of intent.
Ubisoft close their conference with an unannounced new project
With Watch Dogs and The Division ending the last two Ubisoft conferences on a massive high, the French publisher could very well have something new up their sleeve for this year. Expect the unexpected.
Michel Ancel shows off Beyond Good & Evil sequel
The legendary French videogame icon has been on great form recently, with his team creating two of the best platformers of last generation in Rayman Origins and Legends. I’d expect to see the limbless wonder take a break to make way the highly anticipated sequel to cult-classic Beyond Good & Evil.
Star Wars: Battlefront will win ‘Game of the Show’
The PlayStation 2 generation’s best shooter franchise is finally getting a new instalment, and with DICE at the helm the new Battlefront could blow people away. Perhaps the most anticipated game for this year’s EA conference, I can see Star Wars: Battlefront stealing the whole show.
A Tomb Raider sequel will be announced
Although sales of Square Enix’s Tomb Raider re-boot initially disappointed the legendary publisher, the game put Lara Croft firmly back in vogue and a sequel can surely be expected – before the Definitive Edition on next-gen ensured the title turned a profit. With the game already said to be in the works, I’d expect a full-scale announcement at E3.
A bunch of reveals for Pokémon Omega Red and Alpha Sapphire:
Following the brief (and vaguely rushed) announcement trailer Nintendo put out last month, more in-depth information is on the cards.
Fans will hope for a mention of Secret Bases, but we’ll most likely just see key areas of the Hoenn region remastered in Pokémon X/Y style. There’s reasonable odds of being able to change the player’s skin tone and clothing, but Pokémon games tend not to transfer features between their games.
Ubisoft continues to push Watch Dogs:
You thought the overly forced hype train was over? Nope! Even though Ubisoft is not best friends with Nintendo right now, the production of the WiiU version of Watch Dogs will definitely give them something to talk about. Not putting the Game Pad to good use would be a crime.
It won’t be directly announced, but depending on the game’s reception, Ubisoft may release new Watch Dogs titles on the regular, similar to what they already do with Assassin’s Creed. Maybe a crossover is on the cards?
Sony continues to push Indie Gaming… on Vita:
The Vita is not dead, Sony promise you. They’ve always had a big commitment to releasing Indie titles on their hardware, and if Hotline Miami, OlliOlli and Luftrausers are anything to go by, they like releasing them on the Vita’s PSN store.
Transistor is already doing so well, I would figure a port of that would be likely (maybe even Bastion too – it’s already on most other platforms). The likes of Mercenary Kings with Ad Hoc play would be marvelous.
Square Enix will release concrete info on their big upcoming titles:
We’ve been teased by shiny trailers and screenshots of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 all year – and now it’s time for the publisher to put up or shut up.
I’m hoping for some solid 5-10 minute demos from both games, along with some numbers about release windows (late 2015 most likely) and breadth of content. Because Final Fantasy XIV is still a big deal, expect some cross-over content with the MMO.
Oh, and maybe something from the Eidos side of things too, I guess.
There will be some solid information on that dope-looking Zelda/Dynasty Warriors crossover. We already have a host of new screens and Impa announced as a playable character, so a playable build is very likely.
There will be both local and online Co-Op, several characters from across the franchise will be playable including Zelda, Ghirahim and maybe even some Link Between Worlds cast members, and it will be perfect and amazing.The villain’s massive chest notwithstanding.
Limited Edition Halo 5 Xbox One announced
Microsoft will reveal and announce an Xbox One limited edition console for Halo 5. As they have so often done with their triple-A blockbusters, a new Halo 5 themed Xbox One seems likely.
Finally, Alan Wake gets the sequel it deserves
Alan Wake will see a sequel! It has been too long since the original and American Nightmare. Surely a sequel for what I consider Xbox 360s most unique game is on the table? Though I fear they may try to tailor it to a wider audience with more action, less suspense and possibly co-op play.
An larger capacity Xbox One to be made available
A new 750GB or 1TB Xbox One to be released. In a desperate attempt to compete with the PS4, Microsoft may use a bigger is better approach and up the disk space for the Xbox One. Perhaps dubbing it the XBO “Elite” and replacing the original Kinect bundled SKU to sit alongside the new Kinect-less package. This would tempt customers to go for the Elite bundle and keep Kinect in the limelight.
Xbox 360 gets an official price cut
Price cut for the Xbox 360 to be announced, possibly via a cheaper iteration – perhaps one without a disk drive. Much like the Wii received a cheaper digital only version, I can see Microsoft doing the same with the 360. A cheap and cheerful system with access to the vast library of digital content.
Project Gotham makes a return
A new Project Gotham. This one is a long shot, but Microsoft maybe looking for a racer to compete with the less serious Driveclub on PS4. Project Gotham was always arcade racing that would shine with a social orientated build much like Driveclub. Forza is great but it is for the serious race fans, leaving space to slot in a not so serious arcade racer.
Vita TV launches in the west
Vita TV to be released in Europe and the US. I expect it to be announced that such a great little device will not be kept from us eager western gamers anymore. This coupled with a demo or video of remote play working via Vita TV. Release date and price also revealed.
A second round of Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2 announced for new-generation upgrade. With it already on PC, transferring it to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One shouldn’t be too much bother. With both games lacking a decent RPG catalogue I wouldn’t be surprised to see them announce Dark Souls 2 for the new systems.
A wild Rockstar appears
Rockstar reveal Red Dead something! Following the success of GTA Online, I expect a Red Dead sequel to get the same treatment. Following John Marston’s son, it will be bigger, better and full of all the great narrative that makes a Rockstar game really come to life.
Gears of War heads to Xbox One
Microsoft to reveal new Gears of War game: there has been talk of Gears in development, but with all the trouble Microsoft have faced lately they will be wanting to appeal to Xbox fans by highlighting old favourites for a new era.
Halo Anniversary 2 gets a gameplay debut
Definitely going to see some form of Halo gameplay and the reveal of all previous Halo games being re-released onto the Xbox One. This will be for release before Halo 5, to tide over the Halo lovers and introduce new gamers to the game(s) that made the Xbox and 360 such a big hit.
The long-awaited new Zelda title is officially revealed
For Wii U, more info and maybe some gameplay on the new Legend of Zelda game which has been quite silent since the initial reveal. The game is said to resemble Dark Souls but with less of the insane difficulty and more of the fantastic Legend of Zelda lore.
Fable on Xbox One
Fable is a must have game on Xbox 360, so I wouldn’t be surprised if either a re-release or a new game was announced for the Xbox One, possibly set in the timeline after Fable III but could be a complete revamp of the Fable universe for a new console and a new era.
This year is the year
I think this year will be the year we see what the hell The Last Guardian is. It’s been on too long before we’ve had a solid update, and I fear if we’re going to see it at all in the future, it has to turn up at this E3 as a PS4 game, either releasing this year or next. I’ve heard rumblings that it’s all hands on deck for it (with even Sony’s European XDev helping out), so it still exists in some form at least.
Gears of War by Black Tusk
Microsoft recently purchased the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, with developer Black Tusk helming the series’ first next-gen entry. I wouldn’t expect to see gameplay yet, but we’ll probably get a trailer with a name, logo and a possible hint at what the new entry will entail.
Despite what they say…
Media Molecule have been pretty quiet in the home console space for a few years. Of course they recently released the delightful Tearaway on Vita, but that was made by a small team within the overall studio. We’ve heard bits and pieces about what their new-gen title would be, and it will probably involve the Move and Morpheus in some form, and I expect us to hear at least some details about it this E3.
A new game from thatgamecompany
thatgamecompany, creators of stellar titles like Flower and Journey, just recently secured funding for their new, emotionally charged game. E3 seems like the right time for us to see what that project is, but what platform(s) it will be on, I could only guess. They’re free of their three game deal with Sony allowing them to go multiplatform, although whether that means releasing on a Microsoft console or going mobile remains to be seen. By the way, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Journey PS4 announcement at the Sony conference either.
After having recently decided to drop Kinect from the Xbox One, Microsoft to issue an apology for the camera before showcasing the software side of Xbox One in an attempt to misdirect and focus the attention on the console’s versatility.
Ubisoft bring the big hitters
Ubisoft to predominantly showcase The Division, show the first gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Unity – revealing the previous-gen version in the process – and revealing a new Splinter Cell game.
EA do what you expect
EA will reveal its roster of sports titles (Madden, NHL, FIFA, etc) and speak of the new technology behind each, and Mirror’s Edge 2. The highlight for most will be the latter, but some will enjoy the next Battlefield presentation.
The other conferences fail to impress
Konami will show off The Phantom Pain in an otherwise painful conference. Nintendo will again be the silent party, waiting until E3 is wrapped up to reveal something big. Sony will present a fairly functional conference with only a few highlights… until a Hail Mary move shows off a new major IP. Either that, or Uncharted 4.