Speculations are woven deep, just like always, for this year’s E3. I know I will be glued to the television and the internet over the span of July 14-17. Sure we have all heard the wish lists for the industry, but which have the greatest chance of actually coming true? Here are three possible topics that may occur and the percentage of how I feel you can count on it happening.
1. Price Cut: 95%
With the lackluster sales over the past few months, drastically falling behind Nintendo and even Sony, Microsoft will knock down the prices of the console. How much could we see the prices fall? The Elite goes to $399, the Pro now sits at $299, and the ‘starter system’ Arcade SKU rivals the Wii at $249.
Microsoft has always seen great software sales with an attachment rate around 7 per system, so a minor cut to hardware prices is not much a negative thing to do.
A price cut now would be the smart thing to do.
2. Wii-like Appeal to Gamers: 40%
Sure you might have seen the ‘leaked’ photo of 3D avatars for XBOX users, but this was taken from a market research group. Does it mean it will actually happen? My guess is more of a no than yes. True, Microsoft may want to appeal more towards the casual gamer, but adding a 3D avatar really will not draw in new consumers. I see nothing wrong with gamer pictures, as this is already a fine way to express yourself to the community.
3. Blu-ray for the 360: 15%
Shane Kim and every other spokesperson for Microsoft drives home the point that their futures lies within the digital downloading realm. HD-DVD was an utter failure, which Microsoft was apart of with the add-on, and the cards would be in their favor with digital downloads, creating more profit. Let us hope that bandwidth can keep up with Microsoft’s vision.
1: HOME: 100%
It has been two years since Sony announced this ‘upcoming’ addition to its community. Delay after delay, promise after promise, and still Home has not been delivered. There was a closed beta to a select few and we all thought the beta would open to the public. Well, we all know how that part of it turned out.
After months and months of jokes and poking being directed towards Sony, this E3 they will fianlly tell the gaming world when Home is coming, and get this–they stick to the date this time.
2. God of War 3 Appearance: 75%
This summer for Playstation has been a great one and the fall line-up is looking strong as well. Of course Sony will focus heavily on the titles that remain for 2008, but of course they will give gamers something to drool over for the next few months, and that something is God of War 3. I do not expect to see too much just yet, but I think at least a small handful of screens and a teaser trailer will end Sony’s E3 show with a bang.
3. Price Drop: 35%
It would make sense that with the rumors of Microsoft and possibly Nintendo trimming down the console prices, I find it hard that Sony will follow this month with a drop of their own. If I lost three billion on the production, marketing, etc of the system, I think dropping the price would not be a top thought. At any rate, E3 will not be the spot for an announcement such as this. Perhaps Holiday 2008.
1. New IPs Head to Nintendo: 60%
The formula of just announcing new titles might be broken this year as Nintendo shows off a new character or franchise. Let’s be reasonable, of course there will be another Mario game announced or one of his Nintendo friends (Icarus, Donkey Kong, maybe even Adventure Island). I would not be surprised if this new IP focuses on the market of the casual gamer.
2. Another Model of the Nintendo DS: 50%
Nintendo loves to pump out new variations of its successful handhleds. It always has, and this year at E3, this trend probably continues with some new ultra shiny DS. The beast of a machine that is Nintendo keeps rolling with its hardware. Maybe they should take a year off and just keep focus on their high numbers of system sales.
3. A Hard Drive for the Wii: 40%
The community has been blowing up the internet with requests and the wishing of some sort of device to store Virtual Console, Wii Ware, Saves, and the hopeful coming of DLC. However, Nintendo stuck thier foot in their mouth and said this would only appeal to geeks and otaku. It is this reluctance shown by Nintendo that makes it doubtful we will see such a device to add to the Wii.
Maybe the outcry of more gamers and some pressure from developers and publishers will make Nintendo see the error of their ways. How about some extra space to download more songs for that sleek Rock Band you now have on your system?