The entire gaming world is waiting with bated breath for next week, the most important Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) since the conference went public in 2009.
E3 is the annual video game conference held in Los Angeles, where the biggest news and biggest games of the industry are announced. And with the next generation of the console wars gearing up this holiday season, plus all of the new intellectual properties (IPs) that go along with it, this E3 is going to be a big one.
First and foremost, we are waiting to see more details on the new consoles.
Microsoft is getting a lot of attention right now, and is being very unclear on many crucial details about its new Xbox One console. How it will handle used or lent games and always-online gaming still haven't been fully fleshed out. Moreover, their big Xbox One reveal concentrated so much on the Xbox's multimedia capabilities that they neglected to say much about gaming at all. Hopefully, they will use E3 to rectify that and win over the hardcore market.
Sony, in the meantime, has been much less controversial with its PS4 announcements so far. While no glaring controversial issues have been raised about the console, no great fanfare has greeted it either. Sony will have to drum up a lot of excitement about its console to regain its losses from this generation, and we can expect them to try to do that starting next week.
The Wii U, which arrived with a whisper last holiday season, has a lot of ground to cover if the new Nintendo console wants to avoid an early death. The Wii U simply suffers from a lack of good games, and only a strong showing at this E3 will be enough to convince gamers that the console is worth its price tag. Definitely expect demos of either a new Mario game, a new Super Smash Bros., or a new Zelda or Metroid game from the Japanese retro-gaming giant.
All of this cannot overshadow the new games expected to be announced at this E3. Coming at the end of a long-stale console cycle filled with Assassin's Call of the Halo Battlefield 9, or whatever those franchises are up to now, fresh blood in the games themselves is as important as in the consoles.
Along with new entries into the biggest franchises of this generation (EA's Battlefield and Activision's Call of Duty are also going to be present with new games), eight new IPs are being released as Xbox One exclusives alone, showing this year's emphasis on creating new franchises. Most of these are unknowns, indicating how little we know about many of the surprises we are going to see next week.
One of the games (that we do know about) getting the most attention is Watch Dogs, an upcoming futuristic hacker thriller from Ubisoft with some intriguing multiplayer concepts. Ubisoft is really bringing the heat to this E3: it is also demo the next Assassin's Creed, Rayman, South Park, and Splinter Cell games.
Another game to watch going into next week is Destiny. Destiny, a massively multiplayer first person shooter, will be Bungie's first outing since they left the Halo franchise. Bungie has promised gameplay in this year's E3, and that is big news. Bungie changed the face of gaming when it introduced the world to Halo over a decade ago, and only time will tell whether they can do it again.
I am incredibly excited about this year's E3, and will be watching very closely next week. A lot of very important news will be coming out, and, as a Microsoft fan (I even own a Zune), I can't wait to see how the Xbox One address its criticisms.
What do you think? What are you most looking forward to seeing next week?