The computer game trade show called E3 which is held every year in Los Angeles, is a gamer’s nirvana – and this year is no different. Gamers around the world dream of entering the hallowed halls of the Los Angeles Convention Centre but only a few lucky souls manage to live the dream. Surrounded by cutting edge tech, the latest games, unseen consoles and scantily clad women, most gamers find it hard to control themselves faced with such an onslaught of pure gaming goodness. In order to try and prepare you for the news that will be pouring out of LA next week, we are going to take a look at what we can expect to be announced at E3 both in terms of hardware and software
While there will be other hardware announcements at E3, we have decided to focus on the main players in the business and look at what they are bringing to E3.
The Japanese company is set to dominate E3 this year with the next-generation version of its Wii console. Codenamed Project Café, the Wii 2 or Wii HD as it has been dubbed will be unveiled at the show but details on what the console will look like and will be able to do are sketchy at best. One thing we do know is that Nintendo won’t be dabbling in 3D, as Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said: “It’s difficult to make 3-D images a key feature, because 3-D televisions haven’t obtained wide acceptance yet.”
A playable version of the console has been promised for E3 and we would have to expect some tie in with the 3DS. Speaking of the latest portable console from Nintendo, the 3DS store and browser will be launched on 7 June, the same time as the Project Café console is set to be unveiled.
With a PS4 still years away, Sony is going to spend its time in LA next week bigging-up its Next Generation Portable or NGP (or PlayStation Vita if you believe the rumours). In the build up to E3, Sony has released a few videos of the NGP in action and has been secretly giving hands-on demos to selected people around the world. The videos (which can be seen here, here and here) show off the touch enabled screen and touch pad on the rear in use on the latest instalment of Uncharted. We see the link up between PS3 and NGP in Wipeout HD and we get to see a quirky game where music is converted into a platform game. E3 will no doubt bring us more detail about the handheld and we hope for a concrete release date and indication of price.
Here is where we get into the realm of speculation big time. Microsoft has been very, very quiet in the build up to E3 this year. No one seems to be able to get a line on what the Redmond company will be launching in Los Angeles this year. Since the launch of the Kinect last November, Microsoft has been pretty silent on future developments. Could it be possible that we will see the Xbox 720? Very unlikely, unless Microsoft has managed to be the only technology company in the world to actually keep a secret.
No, what we really expect is a host of new titles for the Kinect to be unveiled, with Microsoft’s own Forza Motorsport 4 being the headline act. A press conference prior to E3 showed off head-tracking compatibility using the Kinect in the game and we can expect more of this in LA. While we continue to hold out hope that Microsoft has something special up its sleeve (Xbox Portable anyone?) unfortunately we reckon this will be the company’s quietest E3 for many years.