E3 2012 – N’s Predictions

Posted by on May 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

If for some reason you’re not aware, E3 is the world’s biggest gaming event. All the big companies bring out their wares, both soft and hard, in a (sometimes laborious) horse and pony show for the world to see. All the major outlets are there and every gaming eye and ear is paying attention to these industry-shaking announcements. So what will happen at this year’s show? We all have our thoughts on the matter, and being FleshEatingZipper, we know a few things about this industry, so just like Rob did the other day, it’s time to make a few predictions as to what gaming’s movers and shakers will unveil in just two and a half weeks.

1. Kinect Still Won’t Have A Great Game

Yeah, there’ll be another Call of Duty. Yeah, Halo 4 is going to be Microsoft’s centerpiece. But one thing that isn’t going to show up is going to be a killer app for the Kinect. Heck, not even a killer app, just a decent reason to own one at all. Expect more sports games and mini-game collections and Kinectimals and other, minor additions to blockbuster games, but that’s all on the docket.

2. Platform Holders Will Do Similarly-priced Bundles Instead of Price Drops

Rob figures price drops are coming, but this generation has defied many of the conventions in how we pay for consoles. For $399.99 in 2005, you could buy a larger-form Xbox 360 with a whopping 20GB hard drives. Seven years later, you pay the same price for smaller, quieter hardware with a much larger drive. Still struggling to maintain profitability on the hardware, companies are finding other ways around bringing down the price to avoid value erosion. In the case of Nintendo, they’re bringing out a whole new console instead of bringing the Wii to gangbusters pricing.

3. Nintendo 3DS And PlayStation Vita Will Remain Incredibly Unexciting

The 3DS finally started to be a decent light on Nintendo’s scorecard last year, but only after a drastic price cut. In fact, initially slow 3DS and descending Wii sales led Nintendo to post their first loss in over a generation. Not a console generation, a human one. Like thirty years. PlayStation Vita sales have fallen off dramatically in Japan on a weekly basis and have never set the world on fire, a diminished echo of how the original PlayStation Portable did. Still, this E3 isn’t going to be the even that will make you run out and buy either as I predict that there won’t be any games that will make this battle more exciting against new titles announced for Android and iOS. That’s simply the disadvantage of losing clout to Angry Birds.

4. No One Will Announce Any New Hardware

This is a point that Rob and I have a bet on. Nintendo gets a pass because they announced the Wii U a year ago, but Sony and Microsoft are going to remain mum on the whole thing. They have no reason to be victim to an Osborne Effect, in which they announce hardware too early and kneecap current generation sales, because both the 360 and the PlayStation 3 are doing pretty well worldwide still. It may honestly feel like both of these companies are on auto-pilot while their big teams are preparing their big titles for next year’s big unveil. Ditto with handhelds: no announcements there.

5. Sony Will Show One 3D demo At Their Press Conference

Because Sony, under former CEO Stringer, was so hot on pushing 3D to make their TV division more profitable with negligible gain and even less content, it’s no surprise that I’m gonna hafta sit in the Memorial Sports Arena with my 3D glasses in hand to see another rubbish 3D demonstration when everyone is clearly moving on. I think they might be more excited about touting graphical fidelity over the sacrifices needed to make decent 3D work. Not that I care, I’m stereoblind.

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