After a few years of hiatus, it is good to see that E3 has been resurrected from the ashes. I was quite saddened by the death of E3 a few years ago. It is one of my favorite gaming events of the year, even though I’ve never actually gone (if anyone would like to donate money for me to go I’m all ears!). Luckily for them, no other convention has really stepped in. DICE and GDC both grew a bit I think, but neither really was filling in so E3 wll be again the big event of the year.
Like everyone else on the web these days, I’d like to take a crack at the rampant speculation and lay down a few of my own hopes as well. My main emphasis here is going to be Nintendo. Why? Well first, I like Nintendo but also they are the main ones who tend to bring out the big surprises. And I do think that they have a couple of really big surprises that will hit this year.
The Big N
First the obvious. I believe the rumor of the WiiFit Plus is true, and is going to be one of the big announcements of the show for Nintendo. It will feature Motion Plus capability which is a no-brainer, and I think may actually be packed with a new Motion Plus sensor in it. I think this is a good idea by Nintendo just because the first WiiFit sold the Balance Board and I don’t think that the Wii Sports Resort is going to be strong enough to sell it on its own. Sports Resort will sell well, but only for the reasons that WiiPlay did. WiiFit will actually sell the add-on. I do think that unfortunately the Motion Plus is going to be a big player in this year’s Nintendo E3.
There are hopes by a lot of people that Nintendo will show off a new Zelda and/or Mario. I don’t think this is going to happen this year. Mario is completely out of the question. Zelda MAY get light because it has likely been in development a little longer, but even if it does get announced, I don’t see it coming out this year.
I do think that Nintendo will have some big guns for Mature gamers this year. I think they realized that even though their core gamer is the casual gamer, it still matters to sell the older crowd and I think 2009 is the year of the Mature game on the Wii. Obviously they are going to tout the Metroid Prime Trilogy. But I also think there will be showings of at least two new games that have been rumored for awhile now. I think Kid Icarus is a given this year at E3. Rumor had it that it was yanked last minute from E3 last year. It should be ready for the show this year.
[amazonify]B001CTL5GQ:left[/amazonify]In a more all around gaming stand point, I think we will finally see Pikmin 3 this year. With the recent re-release of Pikmin and Pikmin 2 on its way, I think it is natural to expect Pikmin 3. And I actually expect it in time for Christmas 2009. I do think that Nintendo will likely show off a new title that we didn’t know about before, and honestly I believe this title will be geard towards both camps like Pikmin tends to run.
Wii Price cut? Or something else?
My last prediction from Nintendo is that they won’t be announcing a price cut as of yet. They still lead in sales in much of the world, though those sales have been slipping in Japan which is worrisome. Still, it leads anyway and with Monster Hunter 3 due out in August in Japan I expect that they aren’t overly concerned about the sales of the winter season in Japan. After all Monster Hunter for the PSP sky-rocketed sales of that system finally giving it legitimate numbers that put it consistently selling high until the DSi came out. I think it will have the same effect for the Wii in Japan which is scarey.
That being said, I do think that Nintendo will show off new colors of Wiis. They finally have gotten production stabilized and can now begin to diversify the colors. I expect we will see at least black Nintendo Wiis and I also wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an even larger array of Wiimote colors shown off.
I also reserve the right for Nintendo to come with something completely crazy that no one saw coming like the Wii 1.5 or something.
MMORPG hopes for E3
Lastly, my hopes for the MMO world. MMOs don’t generally need E3 and as such they aren’t usually one of the focuses of the event. Still, they do tend to get shown. I remember the year that Star Wars Galaxies was really given a good look for the first time at E3 years ago and even just a couple of years ago Conan got its first real glimpse. I hope that this E3 we see some real solid outtings from
[amazonify]B0024FA6EY::text::::Champions Online[/amazonify], Knights of the Old Republic Online and even Hero’s Journey (though I think this is less likely due to the size of Simultronics). These are my three most anticipated MMOs right now and none of him I’ve seen real solid information on. So I’d like to see this stuff come out.