It’s that time of year again and E3 is upon us. Leading up to the event, it never fails that the information the companies think will blow people away always gets leaked ahead of time. This year we have already heard rumors spreading about Sony announcing the PSP Go. I’m sure this was going to be their big surprise and now it will be nothing more than evidence to show the rumors were correct. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo always come out showing games and new hardware to get everyone excited for the holidays. If you keep up with gaming news at all you can usually predict what games will be featured or demoed. I am almost positive we can expect to see games like Ratchet and Clank, Halo ODST, and another classic remake from Nintendo. The past few years though a lot of games have been talked about but never really shown in a playable build. Letting your audience go hands on with a game is the best thing you can do.
A game like God of War 3 already has a ton of hype around it but the moment you let someone play a demo of it you are guaranteed to get an overwhelming amount of talk going. I am hoping that this year more companies let the press and fans play their games and really get a feel for what they are doing. Also I think it’s time for Alan Wake to be shown and playable to the public. Remedy has been working on this game for years now and it will get to a point where no matter how great the game may be time will have hurt its ability to sell. Splinter Cell: Conviction is also in the same situation. We have all seen plenty of coverage and previews for it over the past few years yet the game continues to have trouble. I would hope both are far enough along that a playable demo is available because I feel both games really need it at this point. You can only speculate so much about a game before its interest starts to fade.
With services like XBLA, PSN, and Steam out there developers are given more platforms to get their games noticed and casual games are becoming a huge market. I think this year’s E3 will show a lot more focus on the casual market as well as indie developers. Braid, Flower, and Castle Crashers have shown that it doesn’t take a big team or a huge budget to produce an amazing title. I expect this year to see Fat Princess have a great showing and continue to get people excited for its release. I also hope they release more beta codes since I haven’t gotten one.
OnLive will no doubt be making another appearance to continue to try and convince everyone they have managed to develop a way to stream games over the Internet. I’m sure they have been able to secure some more publishers for their service and will again be showing Crysis running on a low spec laptop. Until this service is out in the wild and really being tested I see no reason to hype up what I’m sure many are considering the Phantom 2. I hope once E3 ends we are left with a lot of great games to look forward to and more indie developers are being given more chances to show what they can do.
I have never been one for all the hype and over the top keynotes. E3 to me is about one moment. Overlooked by all the Halo and God of War showings, hidden behind the heavily funded Bethesda and BioWare events, and surrounded by a small crowd of true gaming enthusiast will be a booth where someone has a game that will be considered the next Braid or Flower. A game that is based on a concept no one has done. A game that when played is not only an amazing experience but you can feel how much passion the developers put into what they were making. That one game is what makes events like this truly worth having.