**UPDATE** Seems some people have a problem with some of my reasoning, so I’m going to add a bit to a few of these, the addition is in bold.
It feels like we were sitting in California Pizza Kitchen actually in California talking about our plan of action for the next days E3 events. The time has come yet again and the biggest gaming industry event of the year will be upon us in 3 weeks. While the internet is swirling with rumors of what we will see at E3 I figure like last year I’m breaking out my magic ball and make some predictions.
Motion Controls: This year is going to be all about motion controls. We know Project Natal is getting a big event prior to E3 and expect the Microsoft booth to be flooded with near launch hardware. However I doubt we’ll see any major games being demoed on Natal. More then likely we’ll get the same or similar demos as they showed off last year. Mean while we have seen Playstation Move in the wild and like Microsoft Sony will have the hardware all over, however since we have seen more real game demos I expect to see quite a few games and less tech demos on Sony’s hardware. Also both companies will announce firm launch dates. Like CES this year being about 3D TV, E3 is going to be about Motion Control.
Nintendo 3DS: It’s pretty much confirmed that it will be fully announced. I’m sure we’ll get a good look at the pre-E3 media event but I doubt the hardware is ready for our hands on the show floor. While a holiday release would be great for Nintendo, next Spring/Summer is a better bet.
Xbox 360 Mini: While it’s possible we might see a new Xbox 360 model, one possibly matched to be bundled with Project Natal, I don’t know how well they can shrink the hardware with so many RROD problems still bothering gamers. Unfortunately it has become rather well known that the current Xbox 360 model has design issues, mainly dealing with heat. One way to handle heat is by moving cool air, also the addition of newer bigger heat sinks which we have seen. Now if they were to shrink the model, they would essentially be reducing the flow of air, as well as possibly having to reduce the heatsinks to fit a smaller footprint. While yes it’s possible a new design could help the heat issues, but lets face it would we rather have a stable running console or a smaller console? I vote for stable. However they do need to update the hardware to continue to compete with the new slimmer PS3 released last year.
PSP 2: PSPgo really hasn’t set the world on fire, expect some sort of announcement. I doubt they will move back to UMDs but I could see a more powerful unit. Look at some of the great games hitting the iPad these days, many of the good ones really trump many PSP games.
Gran Turismo 5 Gets Launch Date: It should have been out by now, expect Sony to announce a solid release date more then likely the Holiday season.
Sequels: Expect lots of sequel news. New Rock Band, New Guitar Hero, New DJ Hero, New Tony Hawk, amongst others.
Xbox Live/PSN Updates: Last years update brought a bunch of new features like Twitter and Facebook, lets hope this years brings the improvements to those we all want, integration! Auto tweets about what we are playing, tweets on our achievements, Facebook updates on our status, oh and how about some Last.FM in-game streaming?
I expect Sony to hopefully announce some change to PSN as well, also dealing with social networks. Hopefully also we see something added to Home that makes it worth while to fire up.
New Console Hardware: While all companies are trying to lengthen hardware life cycles, it’s been awhile since new consoles were announced. I doubt we’ll get new consoles this year but I think, Wii HD could be announced for a launch next year, Xbox 1080(or whatever they call it) could be teased, PS4 very possible tease. I think the best bet with new consoles would be a new Wii that mainly supports HD. Consoles in the past have usually seen a 5-7 year life cycle before new hardware is announced, we are almost in that window. That being said a tease equaling nothing more then a flashed image or logo, with announcement next year and launch the following year is very possible. So while I feel we could be teased the next PS and Xbox or still about 3 years away.
This year is going to be interesting, it’s going to be a year of motion control and VGrevolution plans on bringing you tons of coverage from the floor. We will have nightly recaps and impressions, keep an eye out here and on our twitter for days and times.