Friday, June 1, 2012

Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) Preview: What We Hope to See at E3 2012

The Electronic Entertainment Expo opens in Los Angeles next week, and PCWorld will cover it live from the show floor. Here's what we expect to see at E3 2012.

E3 2012 Preview

PCWorld - The 17th annual Electronic Entertainment Expo kicks off next week in Los Angeles, and PCWorld editors will be scouring the show floor all week in search of the most interesting gaming hardware and software. We learned a lot from our time at E3 2011, but it’s still tough to predict what the big news will be at E3 this year. Some of PCWorld’s most passionate gamers took time to share their opinions on what to expect from E3 2012; read on for their thoughts, share your own in the comments, and bookmark PCWorld’s Game On blog to stay on top of our E3 2012 coverage.

E3 2012 Preview

Alex Wawro covers games, how-tos, and security for PCWorld.

What to Expect: It will be a quiet E3 this year, if you’re hoping for surprise announcements about the next generation of gaming consoles. I predict that we won’t see any new hardware from Microsoft or Sony; at best, we’ll get sizzle reels during their respective press conferences that tease us with the features and specs of a new Xbox or PlayStation in 2013. Given the success of Microsoft’s subscription-subsidized $99 Xbox 360, it’s not crazy to think that Sony may release a budget version of the PS3 this holiday season that costs less than $100 and requires a multiyear subscription to the PlayStation Plus program. I bet we’ll get confirmation of Nintendo’s plans to release the Wii U console this year, plus a firm commitment on the games that will be available at launch; after spending some time playing the Wii U at E3 last year, however, I’m not terribly excited about the device.

Also, there’s absolutely zero chance that Apple will ever release a home gaming console. Stop asking.

E3 2012 Preview 

What I Want to See: I'm hoping for something wonderful and unexpected. We know that E3 2012 will be dominated by established game franchises; whether you’re interested in Assassin’s Creed, Halo, or Madden, you’re guaranteed to hear plenty of details coming out of Los Angeles next week about the latest installment in your favorite franchise. What I want, though, is something out of left field, a surprise announcement akin to the revelation that Nintendo’s next console will include an idiosyncratic tablet controller. It could even be something as simple as a fantastic new game that lets me explore a fresh world in a completely unexpected way; the motion-control capabilities of current-gen technology such as the PlayStation Move controller or the PlayStation Vita would be perfect for such a game, and I really hope we see something this year that nobody could predict.
In fact, I’d really like to see something wonderful from Sony this year. I thought Sony put on a fantastic show at E3 last year, but the PlayStation Vita has had a rough launch worldwide. I love the device, and I hope Sony shows us something next week that makes PlayStation Vita owners happy.

What I Don’t Want to See: I'm tired of games that require you to kill people. It’s boring, and almost everyone is doing it. In modern games, it’s pretty much impossible to play through without being asked to obliterate someone or some thing by shooting/stabbing/smashing it on the head, so a game like Fez is a breath of fresh air. Although I certainly won’t get through E3 2012 without having to shoot someone in a video game (Halo 4, Black Ops 2, and Borderlands 2 will make sure of that), it would be nice to see some big-budget titles that challenge players to accomplish something more cerebral than blasting through wave after wave of seemingly suicidal enemies. Let's hope that I’ll get some hands-on time with SimCity and The Last Guardian to soothe my shattered psyche.