With E3 2012 less than three months away, you might be wondering what new games will be receiving their first showing. The following guide considers rumors and information given by developers to determine what we might see at E3 2012. Unfortunately, I’m not covering handheld or mobile games – I’m letting the home consoles duke it out. One the verge of a new generation, this could be a very exciting year for gaming.
Wii U’s “Final Format”
Wii U was announced and shown at last year’s E3 with no more than tech demos (which Zelda looked amazing) and games available on other consoles. This year we will get our first look at Wii U exclusives. With the system’s launch not far away, according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, we will see Wii U in its “final format,” which should entail extra features and could include a second tablet controller, as well as the console’s rumored name change. It is also possible we will get Wii U’s release date, presumably this fall. Wii U is pretty exciting stuff, but what games can we expect for it?
Pikmin 3 is almost a shoe-in. The third entry in the Pikmin series was developed for Wii but was held off for release on Wii U. If not a launch title, Pikmin 3 is surely on the Wii U’s horizon. Wii U should be released along with first party support to avoid a disappointing launch like the 3DS, making Pikmin 3 a likely launch candidate. Hopefully the game has been fully developed for Wii U and is not simply an unreleased Wii game ported to a new console (looking at you, Twilight Princess). Wii U’s tablet controller could work well directing armies of Pikmin in full gorgeous HD – the perfect opportunity to show off what Wii U is capable of.
At last year’s E3, Masahiro Sakurai announced he was returning to Super Smash Bros. – for Wii U and 3DS. Even more surprises followed when he revealed that the two games would be playable together. A year later, there might be a teaser to look at, or at least an announcement of the official title. Gameplay footage is not going to happen, as Kid Icarus Uprising has taken Sakurai longer than expected to get out the door, pushing development for a new Smash Bros. back further.
One might also wonder what third-party exclusives will be announced for Wii U. Going out on a limb, many hope a sequel to 2002’s Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem will surface, especially after this quote from developer Silicon Knights.
“The company is currently refocusing and returning to its roots, working on one of its most requested titles for the next generation.”
Let’s just say there aren’t too many people crying for a Too Human 2. Eternal Darkness 2 might not make it to E3 2012 – or exist at all – but the anticipation of what’s to come is half the fun.
Sony Sticks With PlayStation 3
I think it’s pretty obvious that ‘PlayStation 4’ isn’t going to be at E3 2012 – Sony has blatantly said so. The following possible reveals prove that PlayStation 3 still has plenty of fight left before Sony crosses over into a new gen.
God of War 4 is coming at some point – why wouldn’t it? The massively successful franchise is bound to have another entry, and it may just be closer than you think. In a recent article, Joystiq noted a retailer who is already taking preorders for God of War 4, as well as composer Timothy William’s inclusion of the title on his résumé as an upcoming game. E3 2012 might just be God of War 4’s big reveal.
Syphon Filter 4 has been talked about for a while. Sources like Play magazine have stated that 2012 is the year when Syphon Filter 4 will be announced and released. If the stealth action classic is to be released this year, an E3 reveal is the latest Sony can wait. An announcement of the long-awaited sequel could be one of Sony’s biggest showings. I’m excited to see how the developers have brought the series into current gen gaming while drawing the best from the series’ past.
Microsoft and the XBOX ‘720’
The internet is currently flooded with rumors of the Xbox ‘720’, ranging from not using discs to adapting to a Wii U style tablet controller. It’s reasonable to assume the new console is almost upon us, stealing E3 from Nintendo and Sony’s grasp with a big reveal. But alas, sources seem to suggest that a new Xbox is just not going to appear at E3 2012. Microsoft’s senior director of marketing Jose Pinero told Gamespot the current state of the 360.
“What we have seen with the Xbox 360 is that the Kinect has extended the life of the console.”
There is still plenty to potentially look forward to. Halo creators Bungie have yet to reveal their new IP. While many expected it to debut at past E3s, the game has continued to be kept under wraps. It was speculated that the new game would be a Massive Multiplayer Action game, but no confirmation from Bungie has been given. With Halo 4 receiving a showing at this year’s E3 under new developer 343 Studios, many at the expo will be wondering what Bungie has been up to. With Halo being such a huge franchise, Bungie has big shoes to fill, and if this year’s E3 isn’t the one to wow us with a new IP, so be it. You can bet we’ll still be excited next year.
What Else Can We Expect?
Plenty of games from third-party developers will also be unveiled at E3. With Nintendo joining the HD world, these games should find themselves available on all three platforms.
Dead Space 3 is an obvious assumption, given that modern sequels have a quick turnaround and that poor Isaac Clarke’s terrifying misadventure isn’t finished. Reports from inside EA’s Redwood Shores office have shown logos for Dead Space 3. Even plot details, such as the game taking place on a frozen planet, have all surfaced. I’d bet that Dead Space 3 will be announced at E3 for a 2013 release, for 360, PS3, and Wii U.
Dragon Age 3’s development has been confirmed by BioWare. They have even mentioned details about the game, such as a larger open world à la Skyrim, and how it would address the criticisms of Dragon Age 2. With the success of Mass Effect 3, it seems reasonable to keep the momentum up by showing a shiny new Dragon Age 3 trailer. The probability of a Dragon Age 3 showing at E3 is high. As if BioWare games haven’t been eating your life enough recently.
One can dream. Beyond Good and Evil 2 was announced with a teaser back at E3 2008. Since then, we have received little on the sequel to the commercial flop/cult favorite Beyond Good and Evil. I am hoping for a re-announcement of Beyond Good and Evil 2 this year (like every year), but it still seems unlikely, as series creator Michel Ancel just got done with Rayman Origins. However, some signs point to the possibility of an E3 showing. Last year saw the release of Beyond Good and Evil HD for Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network. Does this mean the world is ready for Beyond Good and Evil 2?
For the sake of it, I’ll also include the possibility of Star Wars Battlefront 3. Maybe. Although the game was seen as test footage years ago only to be removed, many fans still have hopes that this game exists. I wouldn’t bet on this one making any appearance at E3 2012. If it does, I will eat my red Mario hat.
Get Ready For E3
There are still plenty of potential titles to be announced that I unwittingly missed – anything from a new Hideo Kojima game to a Mario Wii U launch title are possible. The games you never saw coming will be the ones that surprise you most.
E3 2012 will run from June 5th through the 7th. Do these possible showings excite you? Or are you still waiting on the next-gen Xbox and Playstation? Let us know what you think will debut at E3 this year!