Monday, 28 May 2012

E3 Predictions: Microsoft

E3 is only one week away and with that comes predictions as to what will be there, who will be there and how we will all react. Today I shall be having a go at what Microsoft may or may not show.

Microsoft, as usual will have a good emphasis on Kinect games. Their past showings have made more and more effort towards Kinect so this year we'll probably see even more. It's hard to predict what those games will actually be, but it's quite likely they will be much like Kinect sports, Kinectimals i.e. family fun games and not typically “hardcore”. Something new from Rare will probably be there too, having made the best selling Kinect game with Kinect sports and winning a BAFTA for Kinect Sports 2, Maybe a Kinect Sports 3 will be on the cards. If not that, then they are sure to have something new for the Kinect as that seems to be where Rare are these days.

In an effort to promote Kinect for the “hardcore” we'll probably see more games that use Kinect, like last year with Ghost Recon and Mass Effect. Steel Battalion will probably have some sort of a showing, since it is due to be out soon after E3 and we may even see new projects that use the Kinect to win people over. We may even see already announced games with Kinect features, like what happened with Mass Effect 3 last year.

With that said, Microsoft are not stupid, they know the audience who is watching E3 so will of course see some big hitters. Halo 4 is an absolute certainty, be it a new trailer, or an actual gameplay demo. Microsoft has always been the one to have a Call of Duty gameplay demo as well, so Black Ops 2 is sure to absolutely no surprise to anyone by this point. We're also sure to see some more information on the new Forza: Horizon, Since there has been so little other than a short live action trailer. While Rockstar typically aren't huge on conventions, I imagine that we'll get to see a trailer for GTA V at the very least and an announcement of the release date which is looking to be October time if the rumours are to be believed.

Non game stuff is sure to have at least a small presence during their conference. With announcements of new features that will probably end up being cancelled some time down the line, like their TV streaming or 1 vs 100. One would hope that they will also announce some sort of UI improvement for the Xbox Dashboard, but that's more wishful thinking.

What won't be there however, are a fare few games that everyone would be hoping for Bungie has said that it will have no official presence at E3. So their recently unceremoniously announced project “Destiny” won't be there at all. Neither will Respawn Entertainment's new game. in fact, the trail covering that is set to be during E3 as a happy coincidence. That means it's going to be a big news week where we'll probably find out more juicy details as to what happened inside Infinity Ward during MW2's development. The recently delayed Bioshock: Infinite won't be at E3 either which will disappoint many but I think, so long as it makes the game better, I'd rather see nothing at all. We're also not going to see any next generation hardware since Microsoft has made this clear before E3, that's something that will be saved for E3 2013.

There will of course be surprises along the way too. Microsoft has often had a few good things up it's sleeve at E3, which sometimes manage to stay hidden while other things end up getting leaked. Regardless, this year does look to be an interesting one.

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