E3 2013: What we expect to see, what we’re excited for and what might happen

E3 is almost upon us! In just a few short days, megatons will be unleashed, we’ll know what Sony and Microsoft has in store for next-gen and the slate of games we’ll be playing in the next few years. Of course, this can’t be an E3 without people weighing in on what they want and expect to see. Below are each Pixel Enemy staff member’s thoughts and expectations on what looks to be the biggest E3 we’ve had in years.

Andrew Esposito:

This E3 is going to be one of the biggest shows since the convention began. We have two companies in the middle of a console launch, fighting for supremacy, as well as one company trying to keep people interested in their console. This E3 needs to be all about games, games, games. Each company has something to prove,

Nintendo – Is poised to be the dark horse of this year’s E3. In order for them to be successful, they need to bring all of their first party “big-gun” titles. In particular, they need to announce (and possibly show) a new 3D Mario game, a new Mario KartSuper Smash Brothers 4, and a new Zelda game. I would also like to see a new Metroid game if possible. Important to remember is Nintendo won’t have an E3 presser like in years prior; instead, they will host an E3 Nintendo Direct where we hope they’ll announce the games that matter to turn the Wii U ship around.

Sony – After the initial batch of “unveiling” press conferences, people have pinned Sony and the PlayStation 4 as the front-runner for this console generation. Before we put the crown on, there are a few things we need to know about the console. The two main ones are price and release date. While the PlayStation 4 might (allegedly) be more powerful than the Xbox One, if it comes out 3-4 months after then, it might segregate some of its user base. I know a lot of people who can’t wait to have the latest and greatest and would jump on the Xbox One wagon because they couldn’t wait another four months while their friends are playing on next-gen. As far as the pricing goes, the PS4 is an impressive piece of hardware. That means that it might come with an impressive price tag. Look for the PS4 to be anywhere from $350 to $400.

Microsoft –Ah, the system/company everybody loves to hate right now. Microsoft has not had any good press since its Xbox One unveiling. There are a lot of questions that the company needs to clear up, including the used games issue. While I don’t think that will be part of their press event, they need to get that information to consumers. Microsoft also needs to bring with it a strong lineup of games, and not just Kinect ones. Hopefully (most likely) we will see some of those 12 exclusives that were announced at the Xbox One reveal. If the leaked list is any indication, it looks they are going to have some strong titles to show off. Microsoft is in the same boat as Sony. We need to know the release date and the price of the Xbox One. Whoever gets into the next-gen market will have a leg up on the competition and it will be interesting to see whom that is. Hopefully Microsoft will stray away from the entertainment stuff and focus mostly on games….it is E3, after all.

Rob Newberry:I have to admit, I’m pretty excited for E3. I was a little disappointed to hear that Valve wouldn’t be presenting anything much, but given all the rumors we’ve been hearing about Left For Dead 3, and stories about Source 2, it wouldn’t surprise me if they came up with something.

Looking forward to hearing about Mirror’s Edge 2, if it’s true that it’s on the way. I’m a huge fan of the original, so a sequel would be outstanding – so long as they don’t make it a shooter. Oh, and it better not be an Xbox One exclusive or anything like that.

Speaking of Xbox One, Microsoft needs to dig themselves out of this PR deficit they’ve found themselves in after the less than stellar launch a few weeks ago. Would be good to hear they have been keeping an eye on all the feedback they’ve been getting on their ‘always on’ DRM debacle…and I’ll bet we don’t hear much at all about the ‘television’ aspects of the new console. They made that mistake once already.

E3 is really about the games, and it’s why we’re all here. Some great trailers (with gameplay, not CGI) are expected. The hype that surrounded Watch Dogs and The Last of Us at last year’s E3 was really exciting – so I’m anxious to see what other titles will generate as much discussion and speculation.Last but not least, Rockstar would be in my good books if they announced a PC version of GTA 5 this week. That alone would be worth the price of admission.

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Mack Ashworth:

Nintendo –Despite the absence of a traditional E3 presser, Nintendo will be holding a video conference on June 11th, as well as showing off gameplay and trailers for upcoming titles. Mario is, of course, expected to make at least one appearance, perhaps in the next Mario Kart and/or new 3D Super Mario game. Super Smash Brothers, which I’m hoping Nintendo shows a significant bit of gameplay for, as well as maybe revealing a few new characters, is another game I’m excited for. However, what do I really want to see from Nintendo? The Legend of Zelda! Give me more Zelda. We’ll probably see more about the The Wind Waker HD remake, but I’m more curious about the Wii Ugame that will “rethink the conventions of Zelda“, according to Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma. The Wii U is not really being taken too seriously right now and, in comparison to Sony and Microsoft’s announcements, I feel that they will be left far behind in the dust.

Sony –  Next up we have Sony, who are in an incredible position. While Microsoft are suffering hatred at all angles, Sony are clearly enjoying themselves. They will of course (finally) show off the PlayStation 4 console, while also hopefully giving details of the PS4′s price and release date. The pricing of both next-gen consoles is incredibly important this year, as they are much more comparable to PCs. If the price is too high, the appeal may be lost on some. Sony have already covered a lot of PS4 games at their reveal event, but I’m sure there are still more to follow. I’m particularly eager to see more about Killzone: Shadow Fall, as the gameplay released so far makes it look very tasty indeed. However, the game I’m most curious about is the PS3 (PS4?) exclusive The Last Guardian, which was unfortunately not revealed at the launch event, and hasn’t been heard of for quite some time… Hopefully we’ll hear more soon!

As for the PS Vita, it needs more tantalising titles to get people interested, and chopping the price wouldn’t hurt either. Most people’s hunger for portable gaming is satiated by their smartphones; so Sony really need to step up their game with their handheld. I imagine we’ll hear more about how the PS4 and PS Vita will come together digitally, as well as perhaps physically, with PS4/PS Vita bundles seeming like a good idea to me.

Microsoft – So now I’m left with Microsoft. It really hasn’t been the best time for them so far. However, I think that they will really surprise us all at E3. They now know exactly what consumers want, and I think if they come out all guns blazing, they can really make a difference to how the Xbox One is being perceived. Microsoft have promised that their E3 press conference is going to be “all about the games”. If I’m honest, I’m not too fussed about what they show, providing their focus isn’t held for too long upon the new Kinect. At the Xbox One reveal, Microsoft announced that they have 15 Xbox One exclusives coming, with eight of them being new IPs. Microsoft will therefore, I predict at least, prove to us that they have not forgotten about gamers, showing off live gameplay for numerous triple-A titles.

As for the publisher I’m most looking forward to seeing content from… I’m going to say UbisoftSplinter Cell Blacklist and Watch_Dogs have both definitely caught my eye, and will definitely be shown off at E3. Ubisoft will no doubt have more secrets ready to be revealed as well, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got in store for us.

Matt Hadden:

So what exactly are we going to see at E3, I honestly have no idea but here’s a few guesses and what we might see.

Sony – They revealed a lot of games for the PlayStation 4 at the launch event, it’s safe to say that this could well be carried over into E3, they might even show off a few console features as well.

Microsoft –This is a no-brainer, Microsoft will be showing a lot of games that are coming to the Xbox One, probably focusing on the exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 5.

EA/DICE – I should think a lot of details about BF4, the new NFS, possibly some stuff about the Star Wars franchise will be revealed. EA have a lot going on with the sports side of things as well for Xbox One so I think they’re going to have a lot of attention on that.

Ubisoft – Ubisoft have got a few games coming to the Xbox One at launch (Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Watch Dogs) but they have also stated that they’re bringing four new IPs/franchises etc. as well, wonder if we’ll be seeing some of those appearing at E3.All in all it could be an interesting E3, especially for Microsoft who will be trying to win back fans with some amazing games that they say they have coming, also looking forward to see the developments being made on Watch Dogs.

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Patrick Day-Childs:

Microsoft – E3 will be the turning point for Microsoft. After their reveal, they know that people want games and that’s what they’ll focus on, games. Obviously the focus has been on making the Xbox One an entertainment hub; and that’s what it’ll be but without much, if any sacrifice on the gaming side of entertainment.

I’m hopeful Microsoft will debunk some of the rumours, they’ve seen some very overwhelming feedback on some of their less popular moves recently, always online, always watching Kinect and a very bizarre pre-owned game system.  Microsoft will have to either remove some of these or have a very, very clever way of putting those systems in place, and I imagine it will be the latter.

They’ve probably got some damn strong IPs lined up, and no doubt one of them will be Halo 5, which will work a little like Defiance.  The TV series of Halo will see characters leave from the series and go into the game. So we’ll be able to interact with the TV characters in game. I imagine other announced games will include Dragon Age 3, Mirror’s Edge 2 and probably Gears of War.

Sony – Sony will use the PlayStation 4 to try and boost the PlayStation Vita, we’ll see them coming up with innovative ways for users to want both a PlayStation 4 and Vita. I’m not sure what we’ll see from Sony, maybe a revival of some of their old IPs,

Nintendo – Nintendo  has a Nintendo Direct on June 9, which will probably reveal a Super Smash Bros. and they’ll then use E3 to show it off more, looking deeper at the gameplay and characters. There’ll no doubt be more Mario, Zelda and all usual Nintendo stuff. But I think they have an ace in their sleeve. I don’t know what, but it better not be the Wii U slim.

It’s likely both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will launch before Christmas, which I’m betting on is November. I think this year E3 will be a real brawl, each company will bring out the big guns – Nintendo included.

Paulie Byrne:

I believe that Sony Santa Monica studios will announce a new God of War game; most likely on the PlayStation 4 and if not, something for the PS Vita.  I have a feeling they’re going to try and push the Vita as hard at this year’s E3.

I also think DICE are going to show off something they are working on in their L.A .branch hopefully something Star Wars-related.

Williams Pelegrin:

Nintendo – It almost feels like do or die for Nintendo. While its 3DS is doing just fine, the Wii U is struggling to find a foothold anywhere. For E3, Nintendo might add another Wii U SKU and make the 32GB Deluxe version the $299 variant. Nintendo will lose money doing so, but I believe it is a move that is crucial if the company wants to move Wii U units. Speaking of units, Mario and Legend of Zelda Wii U games are almost certainly going to be announced, as well as footage for the Super Smash Bros. game headed to the 3DS and Wii U, but that’s all a sure thing. Nintendo can be unpredictable when it wants to be, so we might see something that will truly amaze. One thing is certain, however: Nintendo will once again rely on its first-party titles to attempt and turn this train wreck into something salvageable.

Sony – Is in the awkward position of revealing everything about the PlayStation 4. If anything good came out of Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal event, it’s that Microsoft tackled the tough questions, as badly as it did. Sony will have to discuss how used games work on the PlayStation 4, if there is DRM, etc. The PS4 hardware will get some love, while we get a more in-depth look at the next-gen console’s games. I feel that the time is ripe for the Vita to steal the PS4’s thunder. I’m expecting several first-party titles for the Vita announced (Infamous Vita, anyone?), as well as stronger third-party support. Indie developers are loving the Vita right now, and I believe enough negative build-up has accumulated that Sony will finally address the lack of games for the Vita.

Microsoft – I believe, will have the most laid-back press conference. While the company still needs to clarify its stance on used games for the Xbox One and how that will all work, it was still able to address several huge questions about the Xbox One. With most of that clutter dealt with, albeit badly, Microsoft can focus on what will ultimately make the Xbox One sell: games, games, and more games. We’ll see reveal trailers, and possibly gameplay footage, for 343 Industries’ Halo 5, a new Dead Rising, a new Fable, and more footage for Quantum Break, among other titles we leaked. Shocking as it might sound, I actually believe Microsoft will have the strongest showing at E3 among the Big Three.

To be honest, I’m most looking forward to what Ubisoft has to reveal, more specifically with Rainbow 6 Patriots. Purely from a concept standpoint, Patriots looks to be an entirely unique experience that can be found nowhere else. While morality in first- and third-person shooters is not a new topic, Patriots looks to tackle that issue from a new perspective, making the game feel different and refreshing. Whether the concept properly translates to gameplay is a different story, however. Still, I’m optimistic Ubisoft will deliver.

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Zarmena Khan: I’m more excited about E3 this year than I ever was before, and it’s mainly because of next-gen. If there’s one thing we can all unanimously agree on, it’s that we’re going to see some fierce competition between Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. There are other consoles in the race such as well, but it’s not quite the same as watching two of the biggest companies in the games industry battling it out in the arena.

Sony – What I’m expecting from Sony (and hoping to see) is not just them drawing the curtains and showing us the PS4, but also sharing their detailed plans for it. I want to know where they stand on the pre-owned games/DRM issue, the region-locking issue, and online multiplayer. If Sony has learned any lessons from the past, then this year they will have done their homework and will unveil some AAA exclusives.

Microsoft – It doesn’t take a lot to predict that Microsoft will be revealing some AAA games and exclusives as well. Not just because they already planned on a two-step reveal process for the Xbox One (with the second event being games-related), but also because of the backlash that they have received following the initial Xbox One release. Despite the company stating that they planned to focus on the hardware itself at the unveiling, gamers were still hoping to see some games, which were absent from the event. Just how I’m expecting some answers from Sony, I’m expecting Microsoft to make a wise decision for once and start answering people’s questions, especially those pertaining to the pre-owned games issue. I can’t stress on this enough.

Nintendo – To be quite honest, I haven’t thought about Nintendo. Wii U was almost dead on arrival, and I don’t expect things to change much. I would like for them to fully participate in E3 and try and revive their console by showing off some big budget titles, but I don’t have my hopes up. As far as developers are concerned,

Ubisoft – I’ll be watching Ubisoft like a hawk. I’m interested in knowing where they’re taking the Assassin’s Creed franchise with AC: IV, and what they have in store for next-gen. Watch Dogs looks impressive so far. Other notable developers that I’m looking out for include Square Enix and Rockstar, although I’m a little disappointed that we won’t see more of GTA V. The countdown to E3 begins!

Alex Co:

In all my years spent gaming and writing about it, this might be one of the biggest E3s we’re ever going to experience. We’re not only seeing the “birth” of next-gen, but we’ll see two heavyweights lay out their cards, too.  Aside from the Big Three, I’m honestly excited to see what EA — DICE, to be specific — has in store. A new Mirror’s Edge game? New Mass Effect? Oh, and of course, multiplayer for Battlefield 4!

Microsoft – Possibly with the most to prove next week, Microsoft still has to address some of the Xbox One’s used games and DRM issues. Yes, they detailed it this week, but there’s still a lot of things left unanswered. For now, I’m not a fan of what they’re doing with that, but if they can compensate it (a lot) with games, then the gaming public might not have a choice but to accept whatever it is Microsoft is feeding them.

I expect new titles to be announced, with the likes of a new Halo or Gears of War game at the forefront Will this be enough to sway people? I honestly don’t know.

Nintendo – What can we say about Nintendo that hasn’t been said already? Sure, the Wii U is starving for third-party support now, but that’s the same thing that happened to the Wii and Gamecube. By now, I think people who buy Nintendo consoles are doing it for Nintendo games; third-party exclusives and ports are just the icing on the cake. Still, I wouldn’t rule the Big N out. If they showcase Mario Bros. Wii U, Zelda Wii U ,Super Mario Bros. and Mario Kart, people will be very happy.

Sony – Ah, the console some people deem as the “savior” of console gaming. What’s worrying here is what Sony hasn’t told us. They might have a different kind of DRM, or heck, they might have the same restrictions as the Xbox One. We don’t know at this point and that’s worrying.

In all honesty, Sony doesn’t need to announce a lot to win me over. Declare online gaming is free, continue with PlayStation Plus’ free games, allow used games and I’m sold. Alright, maybe a new game from Naughty Dog and a few other surprise reveals wouldn’t hurt. But for now, Sony has E3 — and some would say next-gen — to lose. Let’s hope they know that and act on it accordingly.

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Don’t forget that Pixel Enemy will be covering E3 and all its madness. Stay tuned to the site for live-streams of the presser, as well as up to date news on everything gaming-related at the event.