Thursday, May 28, 2009

E3 '09 predictions

Why not? Here's my reply to Q's prod on GamerDNA:

Most of the big hits of this E3 are already known, and almost all sequels: Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Bioshock, Mass Effect, God of War, The Sims, etc. Smaller titles like The Saboteur and BrĂ¼tal Legend will impress with hands-on previews, but remain only moderate interests for most people due to so much crowding of blockbuster titles. I'm looking forward to seeing those in action, though.

Though I see no reason to get excited about Alan Wake yet considering how little has been shown, it was made such a big deal years ago and has been talked up enough since that a little gameplay footage at E3 would generate a lot of hype. A sequel to Left 4 Dead would also generate a lot of press, even if it's nothing more than the same gameplay in new levels. If Zelda or another famous franchise gets a new installment, there will be much ado regardless of quality.

Borderlands might have the most to gain. It looks impressive, but few gamers know or care about it so far. They'll need some savvy marketing to supplement good gameplay. I'm also hoping to see some progress on Backbreaker, and perhaps Bloodbowl on the 360.

If The Agency and Huxley are ready to show off, those could dominate MMO news. A lot will be revealed about many upcoming MMOs.

Overall, Microsoft will do well mostly because of their flurry of great games this year, but they'll likely overhype 1-vs-100 and similar content. They need more than one new use for avatars. If they're revealing a motion-capture system, they'll need something better than In the Movies to win over critics. An announcement of another service in the vein of Netflix would be huge.

Sony's got more to show this year than last year, but they'll still come in last. I don't think Heavy Rain will draw as many gamers as they think it will. They'll talk about the success of Little Big Planet and talk about their non-game services.

Nintendo will talk up the Wii Fit's success, but their strong point this year is hardcore games. The Grinder, Dead Space: Extraction and Dead Rising are wins for them... but The Grinder will have to live up to its promises regarding online co-op. Wii Motion Plus has to wow consumers with great game applications, because another "must have" peripheral will irritate frugal gamers. And there will of course be handheld game announcements.

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