This is my 100th post in the Zenspace catalog. That's chump change to some guys, but I just thought I'd share what is, to me, a small milestone. This is also the reason I hadn't posted in a while, as I was trying to decide on how to best commemorate the event. I wanted to take a historical cruise through the Zenspace, highlighting a post from every ten posts or so, and remember what led me to now. Unfortunately, that seemed like a lot of work and it just wasn't getting done. Add to that my actual desire to post on a bunch of other things but then I was unable to, thanks to not wanting to ruin the 100th Post thing ... and, well, it obviously gets a little silly.

So, I decided that E3 take center stage instead, and this is undoubtedly the proper choice to make. It is E3 after all. We're only a couple days out from the Microsoft conference with less than 48 hours to go, but I've still got just enough time to lay down some predictions to see if I have my finger on the industry. Chances are, I don't. My GDC '07 predictions turned out to be pretty much a bust so far (actually, they could still be OK), so we'll see how I do this time. By company seems the best way to go about it:



Microsoft

The Wii's coming in to this E3 riding high on popular opinion, but Microsoft's the crew actually in first place. This is interesting in particular, because Microsoft's never been here before and I'm not sure they understand the delicacies of maintaining hype. They'll always have a pull thanks to Halo and Grand Theft Auto 4, but the biggest problem I foresee for Microsoft so far is the utter lack of any surprise. We know no less than 100 games headed to the 360 in the next year, and many of them are all striving for blockbuster status. The question has to be, what else could they possibly have left to announce? Not much, I think. Microsoft's biggest problem will be showing people awesome stuff from awesome games, but nothing will be a surprise. They'll rely on Banjo Threeie, Mass Effect, Too Human, maybe even Halo Wars, and all the other games that we've known about since this went down last year. In short, Microsoft blew their load early to get in first place, and now they've either got to be warming up for another go, or they're dead in the water.

If the surprises do come, it might be another of Rare's titles finally getting a trailer, or some of the Japanese games we've known were in development. Although, I wouldn't hold my breath for any of those games; we may have felt it was necessary to cut back E3 to make it a more serious affair, but that doesn't mean Japanese companies are going to be comfortable announcing their titles in rooms that aren't filled with screaming fans. In case you're wondering, I'm talking specifically about Itagaki; I don't think the rock star will be happy with Ninja Gaiden 2 in a stuffy hotel conference room.

I think the Microsoft handheld thing is a joke, and if that's announced I'll be so blown away that I might just never try to predict anything ever again. I don't care if Dean Takahashi claims they're working on it or not, it just doesn't seem realistic. At all.

- Five Predictions and Un-Predictions -

1. 60% - We'll see a demo of Devil May Cry 4 on Xbox Live.
2. 10% - There will be a 360 pricedrop announced (Just don't see it happening).
3. 60% - Capcom will announce Dead Rising 2 (This could be multi-platform).
4. .1% - Microsoft announces a handheld gaming device.
5. 10% - They do the unthinkable; Peter Moore's tattoo is Metal Gear Solid 4.

Overall Place Prediction (in hype) after the show: Second



Nintendo

Please don't think I'm a hater after all this, but it's going to sound bad. See, I'm a hardcore gamer, and for that reason, I have some real problems with the Wii. I understood all the things they were saying when they announced what the purpose of this silly little machine was, and who it was directed towards, but I didn't think they'd actually go as far as they have. Or, maybe I did, but I thought they'd do it without forsaking me. That's the big problem I think Nintendo might have at this E3. Forsaking the hardcore gamer. They've already done it at their last media summit, and all these rumors keep swirling about this game or that game being canned in favor or more casual software. I'll say it right here, if Nintendo leads off E3 with announcements of casual games for the Wii, they've lost. They might fucking win the hearts and minds of the world, but they've lost me, and I think they're going to do it.

They might have one good year left in them, obviously with Smash, Metroid, and Mario coming (and we'll get dates for at least one of the second two at E3), but Wii Health, Wii Music, My Word Coach, and whatever the hell else there is, that can not be the focus of E3! Cassamasina claimed there is going to be a franchise renewal this year, and I'll make it very clear, if it's not Kid Icarus or Punch Out, I'm well beyond pissed. Actually, Punch Out worries me in itself, because I don't think the Wiimote is, at this point, sensitive enough to make a boxing game any better than Wii Sports Boxing, which is nothing more than a clusterfuck of flailing arms.

I think we might see Mario Kart, but I was never vastly into the series anyways. I think they'll show some WiiWare titles as well, just a couple in a montage or something, but they're so far off that it won't matter much anyways. Why are they so far off though? That's the question. It has, has, has to be for Nintendo to have enough time to figure out what to do with a HDD situation. Announcing it now, I'm not so sure, but it's, at this point, a necessity. Virtual Console and WiiWare titles are going to destory the 512MB available on the Wii, and carrying 20 SD Cards isn't a realistic alternative. The Neo Geo titles coming down the pipeline are only going to exacerbate this as well.

DS redesign? No.

- Five Predictions and Un-Predictions -

1. 85% - Nintendo announces Kid Icarus for the Wii.
2. 45% - Nintendo announces Metroid DS.
3. 30% - Nintendo announces New Super Mario Bros. 2 (Really feeling TGS on this one).
4. 65% - A Wii HDD is announced ...and it isn't big enough.
5. 05% - A DS redesign is announced.

Overall Place Prediction (in hype) after the show: Third



Sony

Sony. The monster. The behemoth. The $600 leviathan. Oh, excuse me, I meant $500. Sony's coming in to E3 with the world looking at them in a collective WTF? No one is exceptionally happy with their pricepoint, their handheld, their online structure (till Home anyways, and even then who knows), their non-stance on exclusives ... am I missing anything? They've got the most to prove, and here's an interesting thing from the guy without the Playstation 3; I see them pulling it off. The $100 price drop was the beginning of what I think is going to be a good week for Sony, that is if they don't rely too much on Metal Gear Solid 4. I'm not saying I don't want to see the game, but I'll say it one more time, winning E3 is about building new hype. We need to see MGS4, of course, but we need something else too. Something that is so new and unannounced it will blow our sneakers off. I think they might have something, what it is though, I have no idea. Also, if they go ahead and announce the PSP redesign as well as the PS3 price drop, they win by default. Cheaper hardware and new hardware is like, unbridled victory.

I think the PSP redesign is all but confirmed too. I could talk about their software but I don't have any idea what they've got planned. Some Final Fantasy tidbits would be nice, but like I said above, I think J-developers are going to be moving pretty heavily towards TGS these days, and in an off-the-wall prediction, I think that's where Square will announce the Final Fantasy VII remake. This year? Not so sure.

- Five Predictions and Un-Predictions -

1. 90% - A PSP redesign is announced.
2. 90% - A demo for Heavenly Sword is available on PSN. I weep at how cool it looks.
3. 60% - Little Big Planet steals another show.
4. 10% - There is no new Sony exclusives other than first party titles.
5. 01% - The Final Fantasy VII remake is announced.

Overall Place Prediction (in hype) after the show: First

- 10 Things I'm Particularly Stoked For -

1. More Smash Bros. Characters. Sonic to be FINALLY shown.
2. Condemned 2: Bloodshot being shown, and looking even more fantastic.
3. Golden Axe. Does it still exist?
4. Mario vs. Sonic at the Olympic Games videos. Sorry, I LOVE the Olympics.
5. Capcom announcing their new 2D fighter. It being THE game that ends all things.
6. New PSP games. I'm digging the lineup, but more is always better.
7. A new Castlevania DS game. A man can dream, no?
8. Seeing larger-scale planets in Mario Galaxy.
9. A new Mistwalker game, or Lost Odyssey in-depth. I'll take either.
10. Worthwhile content on Xbox's Bringing It Home E3 campaign.

4 Comments:

  1. Ishaan said...
    So, we both think Sony is going to walk away from E3 looking really good this year? Interesting. ;)

    And yea, I agree ... if Nintendo announces more casual crap than "hardcore" games at this event, I will kill someone.

    Microsoft ... I still say they're working on a portable. Whether or not they reveal it right now is completely up in the air.
    SnakeWesker said...
    I wouldn't be surprised if they released a new version of that Zune thing that played games.
    John (fjf314) Fabry said...
    I will both leap for joy and cry if that PSP redesign gets announced. It will be too awesome to not buy... but then I will have to buy it, haha.

    I had actually been wondering about Nintendo's approach with the Wii and weather they would satisfy the hardcore audience as well as the casual gamer. I know that even with the DS touchscreen I have become frustrated to some extent with how many of the games are just a little too casual for my tastes. Sure there are still some great titles I am looking forward to (Megaman ZX Advent will own all), but I would still like to see more "hardcore" 2D games coming around for the system.

    If they made a Zune that came with Lumines, their sales would probably improve. I am not joking. I got a new phone a couple of weeks ago that has Lumines and the thing has seen almost as much use as my DS.
    Jelster said...
    MS don't need to do anything. They're good at clawing away at competition and then sit at the top and one up anything thrown at them. If they can continue to bleed off Sony exclusives and come in $100-$200 cheaper than a PS3 why the hell would anyone buy a PS3? Regarding a price cut, I think they've been shrewd to milk the $400-500 price range for nearly two years now, they've got anyone that is going to buy, now they drop their price real low and get all those people who picked up PS2s on a whim once they were affordable for an occasional bit of fun.

    Nintendo. If one thing gives me hope its the hugely diverse and ever evolving DS software market. I feel the Wii is going to go through a similar phase of software evolution. Nintendo more than anything needs to be rubbing their exclusives and third party support beyond the current port fodder.

    Sony. Make or break time, I'm still seeing people get excited about hardware or graphics for Sony. Neither pushed them sales before and ultimately if they do not get developer support back on track they are going to find it hard to shake the N64 ghost of missing your mark. What is Sony going to show that we haven't seen already?

    Did I say ETQW rocks?

Post a Comment





The Zenspace Chronicles | It's The Sex.