E3 2011 kicks off in Los Angeles in a week’s time and, as always, there is no shortage of rumors about what we’ll see at the show. Last year we saw the announcement of a new Xbox 360 model, Valve’s Gabe Newell shocked everyone by showing up at Sony’s press conference, and the 3DS was officially unveiled.
This year we’ll be seeing the reveal of another Nintendo platform, codenamed Project Cafe. There’s been no shortage of rumors surrounding it, but which are true? Will it have a touchscreen-equipped, portable controller? Will it brew you a cup of coffee?
The scuttlebutt is hardly limited to Cafe, either. Listed below are many of the big rumors connected to this year’s E3 along with some thoughts on whether or not we’re likely to see them. We’re bound to end up being wrong about something, so feel free to share your thoughts and make your own E3 predictions in the comments below. During E3 week, be sure to check back with 20th CGN for news, impressions, and videos of all the happenings in LA.
Rumor: Nintendo’s New Console Has a Touchscreen, Camera, and No Hard Drive
The most significant aspect of this rumor has already been confirmed by Nintendo — a new console is in the works and will be out in 2012. It’s said little more than that, and in the place of official comments have been rumors about its name (Project Cafe? Nintendo Stream?), specs, and feature set. It’s rumored to lack a hard drive and feature two control options: a Wii remote-style controller and an all-new controller with a large touchscreen and a camera.
Aside from the device’s increased horsepower, A number of sources have corroborated that it will have a controller with a big touchscreen in the middle. The controller could end up being the biggest selling point for the system — besides acting as the console’s equivalent of the DS touchscreen (with the TV being the top screen), there is a notion that you can “stream” games to the controller and use it as a handheld gaming system. That’s a remarkable idea, but for a company that is involved in the handheld gaming space, why would it want to sell what could be perceived as a competing product to the 3DS and DS? That’s to say nothing of a controller with regular-sized analog sticks and buttons not being portable or the cost of an accessory capable of playing games on the go.
The lack of a hard drive is somewhat peculiar. While Nintendo has gotten away with it this generation, launching a new system in 2012 without a feature that has been standard in both currently HD consoles for a half-decade could put it a major disadvantage. But if Nintendo doesn’t think it’ll be offering high-definition games for download — or it plans to stream them — it’s not impossible that we’ll make it through E3 without any sign of a Cafe hard drive.
There’s also a matter of third-party support. Nintendo tried to feature third parties at the 3DS’s launch, something that hasn’t worked out particularly well. Regardless, if it’s now going to have a system as powerful as the competition, it’ll definitely seek the same support the 360 and PS3 currently enjoy. Rockstar Games, makers of the Grand Theft Auto series, are reportedly on board with the system. While it doesn’t look like Grand Theft Auto V will be announced at the show (more on that later), bringing Rockstar, or a company of that level, on stage to pledge support would be a really smart way to show the hardcore crowd that this is a system that will offer more than just Nintendo franchises.
Rumor: Sony Will Announce the NGP’s Name, Price, and Availability
There were rumors before last year’s E3 that Sony would announce the successor to the PSP. Instead, we had to deal with another six-plus months of rumors about it (and the Xperia Play, leading to plenty of confusion), and it wasn’t until this past January that it was finally unveiled. We know all of the basics, like its rear-facing touchpad and dual analog sticks, but nothing about its release date, price, or name — “Next Generation Portable” isn’t going to cut it, yet the rumored PS Vita is a bit odd.
The NGP is expected to be released in at least one territory by the end of the year, so getting many of the particulars out at E3 makes sense. A name and release window are probable, and perhaps some word about its specs (which are rumored to have been downgraded). With all of the claims that it’ll be a PlayStation 3 in your hands, that sort of capability won’t come cheap — and the 3G-capable model will be even pricier than the base model. As such, Sony might keep details on price close to its chest until closer to release. After the flak it took when it announced the PlayStation 3’s price, Sony’s not likely to want to detract from an otherwise strong E3 lineup by announcing a $300+ price for the NGP.
Rumor: Microsoft/Sony Will Unveil the Xbox 3/PlayStation 4
These are being lumped together because they’re both downright ridiculous. There was a report earlier this month saying that EA already had its hands on the Xbox 360’s successor, but it’s been categorically denied. That suggestion flew in the face of an earlier report that said new consoles from Microsoft and Sony aren’t expected to be out until 2014, or 2013 at the earliest.
Microsoft is the more likely of the two to announce a new system first — 360 was out a year before PS3 and Microsoft doesn’t have the track record Sony does for extending the life cycle of its systems. It makes little sense, however, for Microsoft to announce a new system right now. Kinect came out last fall and was positioned as a way to extend the life cycle of the system and appeal to the casual crowd. The 360 and PS3 are both capable of continuing to evolve through system updates in a way that previous generations of consoles could not, and with Xbox 360 routinely outselling the competition in the United States as of late, there’s little reason to believe Microsoft would undercut its own success by prematurely announcing a new system.
Rumor: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Will Be Made a Cafe Launch Title
The idea that a Zelda game could be delayed so it can be brought out alongside a new platform isn’t without precedent. That exact scenario happened with Twilight Princess: it was intended to come out in late 2005 for GameCube but was delayed until the end of 2006 so that it could also be brought out for Wii. It actually ended up coming out on Wii a few weeks before it did on GameCube in North America.
We now find ourselves in almost the exact same position. A new Zelda is coming out for Nintendo’s current console later this year with a new system planned for release next year. If Skyward Sword does come out this year, it’ll be a long wait before the next game in the series can be developed for Cafe. With the 3DS struggling out of the gate due in part to a weak first-party lineup, holding onto what’s sure to a big seller like Skyward Sword for the Cafe’s launch would be an understandable decision. Nintendo hasn’t given any indication that it plans to delay the game, but don’t be surprised if we end up without a 2011 release date being announced at E3.
Rumor: Grand Theft Auto V Will Make its Debut
It’s hard to say whether or not we’ll hear about the next Grand Theft Auto at E3. On the one hand, it’s been more than three years since the last game came out, and there’s been no shortage of evidence that it’s being worked on from domains to casting calls to the man-boy love activist.
Besides the fact that Rockstar could announce a new GTA at any point — it doesn’t need to be a part of E3 — Take-Two’s recent financial results showed no signs of a GTA release in the current fiscal year. It does, however, look as if a GTA-sized game will be out in fiscal ’13 (running from April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013). As a result, it’s not necessary to reveal the game this soon, and it probably makes more sense for an announcement to be held off for at least a little while longer.
Rumor: Microsoft Will Cut the Price of the Xbox 360
Microsoft could opt to cut the price of the Xbox 360 at any time. In light of how frequent those “$50 gift card with Xbox 360 purchase” offers are, a price cut is only a matter of time. The attempts with Kinect to lure the casual gamers to Xbox 360 would be made a whole lot easier if Microsoft could say its high-def system is as cheap as any console (Wii included) on the market. A price drop would also stick it to Sony, particularly if it comes out that the NGP will cost twice as much — and you know Microsoft would love to do that.
Rumor: We’ll Learn Something About Bungie’s New Game
Bungie said earlier this month it won’t “officially be at E3 this year.” That’s pretty damning to hopes that it will reveal its new, Activision-published game at E3, but it doesn’t prevent them from showing up during, say, Sony’s media briefing to surprise everyone like Gabe Newell did last year. There’s been talks about it being an MMO named Destiny, but whether or not that’s actually the case, we probably won’t be finding out about it next week.
Rumor: Microsoft Will Show a New Halo Title
Bungie has moved on to new things, but that doesn’t mean Halo is gone by any stretch of the imagination. A new Halo being shown at E3 will likely depend on your definition of “new” — a remake of the original Halo has been rumored for some time now. It’s said to be coming later this year, which makes sense because the series’ 10-year anniversary is coming up in November. Gears of War 3 will keep Xbox 360 shooter fans occupied this fall, so a full Halo release isn’t really needed. Microsoft does need first-party titles to show at E3, and a Halo remake would definitely fit the bill without detracting too much from the attention Gears will get later this year.
Rumor: Respawn Entertainment’s First Game Will be Revealed
There has been surprisingly little talk about Respawn Entertainment, the company founded by the former heads of Infinity Ward. And that’s probably with good reason — although the studio has now existed for more than a year, the scale for its first game was said to be on par with a “huge, summer blockbuster,” and that isn’t the sort of thing a new studio brings together in a year. That’s not to mention the fact that its publisher is Electronic Arts, the same company that’s currently busy trying to beat Call of Duty with Battlefield 3.
Whether or not that’s a realistic goal, the early response from the press to Modern Warfare 3 hasn’t been as glowing as one would expect, whereas Battlefield 3 — at least as far as its visuals go — has generally left people blown away. There’s no reason for EA to take the wind out of BF3’s sails just as it seems to be generating a more positive buzz than Activision’s heavy hitter.
There’s also the fact that Respawn has outright said it won’t announce anything at E3.
Rumor: Metal Gear Solid: Rising is Being Developed by Platinum Games
Metal Gear Solid: Rising looks different from your average MGS game and, as a result, not everyone is terribly excited for it. In an interesting twist, it’s been suggested by former gamespot editor and knower-of-things Shane Bettenhausen that Platinum Games — developer of MadWorld, Bayonetta, and Vanquish — is secretly developing Rising. It’s currently working on Anarchy Reigns for Sega, but looking at the fairly short gaps between its previous releases, it’s shown it has the capacity to be at work on more than one project at a time.
If true, it would mark the first time the company has done a game for publisher other than Sega. As an independent studio, though, it’s free to work with whomever it wishes, so this might very well turn out to be the big new reveal when the game is shown for the third E3 in a row this year.
After word reached Japanese websites, Platinum’s Hideki Kamiya said (via Andriasang) on Twitter, “So this rumor has also come to Japan,” to which Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima responded, “But it would be nice if it were true.” You would think they would avoid commenting on the matter if it’s true, or maybe this is misdirection and it really is true.
Rumor: Half-Life (Episode) 3 Will be Announced or Acknowledged in Some Capacity
Okay, so this one isn’t so much a rumor as it is wishful thinking. Valve isn’t opposed to surprises, as it proved with the aforementioned appearance by boss Gabe Newell at Sony’s media briefing at E3 2010. It’s already made it clear to the press that it won’t be showing any titles at this year’s show — not even Dota 2, which we know is in development. But if there were anything Valve could do to top last’s year surprise, it would be to announce Episode 3 (or, better yet, Half-Life 3 proper). Such a reveal seems incredibly unlikely, but that won’t stop me and every other Half-Life fan from praying Valve shocks us all again this year.
By : 20th CGN.
Source : 1UP.