Closing out a busy Monday is Sony, whose E3 show is set to begin at 6PM Pacific (9PM Eastern) on June 4.
Sony’s conference last year was dominated by three things: Move, 3D gaming, and Vita. From the announcement of 3D and Move support for various titles, to the unveiling of a low-cost 3D display bundle, and finally the unveiling of a slew of Vita games as well as the system’s pricing, Sony’s E3 2011 conference wasn’t short on content. Of course, after the debacle that was the PSN outage just a month before, Sony had to have some good news for gamers.
This year, expect Vita to be the star of Sony’s show, as the company needs to promote the system in the wake of less-than-stellar sales. Let’s take a look at our expectations:
Heavy focus on Vita games – This is a no-brainer. After a decently strong launch lineup, Vita kind of fell by the wayside in the game releases department. Expect plenty of new announcements as well as some solid release dates on already announced games. Some of the big hitters we wouldn’t be surprised to see: Killzone, Assassin’s Creed, and Call of Duty.
Chances: 200%, though less so on the actual games unveiled.
PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale characters unveiled – Sony announced its Super Smash Bros. clone about a month ago and we got to see a few of the characters and stages included in the game. Expect to see some other characters shown at E3, possibly during a trailer.
Chances: Pretty good, especially if a new trailer is shown during E3.
PSAS:BR Vita announced – Speaking of which, it wouldn’t be farfetched to expect a Vita release for the currently PS3-exclusive Battle Royale. It might be a little close to the game’s announcement for a Vita release to be unveiled though, and plus the game seems like it would benefit more from a console release.
Vita price drop – In the midst of slow sales, Sony may pull a Nintendo and aggressively drop the price of its new handheld. That’s a big maybe though, because the company is already losing money on the system. Not only that, the major hurdle that Vita has to overcome isn’t necessarily price, it’s a lackluster game library.
Chances: Don’t count on it.
Cross-platform PS3/Vita push – Sony announced last year that PS3 and Vita would be cross-platform compatible, and this year we expect that functionality to be front and center. Expect cross-platform games and features to be touted all throughout the conference.
Chances: Pretty damn good.
3D! 3D! 3D! – Sony’s push for 3D gaming hasn’t been as successful as they’ve hoped, but they’ll be damned if they’ll give up that easily. Last year, every other sentence was “Put on your 3D glasses.” We don’t expect quite as much emphasis on 3D this year, but it’ll be there.
Move games – You don’t hear much about Move these days, even with Sorcery being released just last week. Still, don’t expect Sony to give up on its motion controller. Look for games designed especially for Move as well as traditional games with added Move functionality.
BioShock: Infinite – Speaking of games with Move functionality, expect Infinite to be shown off during the conference. Despite its delay into 2013, Ken Levine’s latest BioShock epic is one of the most anticipated games of the show.
Chances: As much as Sony pushed this last year, we’d be surprised not to see it.
BioShock Vita – A Vita-exclusive BioShock game was announced at last year’s show, and could very well be shown off here. Recent statements by Ken Levine, however, have made what should have been a “definitely” into a “maybe not” – the game is being put on the back burner until Infinite is finished.
Chances: Not so great.
Dead Space 3 – Rumors have been flying around about EA showing off a demo of its yet-to-be-announced survival horror sequel at this year’s E3. Considering how much they pushed the PS3 version of Dead Space 2, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see the reveal of DS3 at Sony’s conference.
Chances: Things are looking good, if not during Sony’s show then probably at some point during E3.
LittleBigPlanet Karting – Sony always likes to show off titles with broad appeal, and Sackboy’s answer to Mario Kart certainly fits that bill. At the very least, we’ll get a trailer, but we also expect a demo and maybe even a solid release date.
Chances: Definitely at least a trailer.
New HD Collections – With the recent announcement of the Ratchet & Clank collection, Sony has proven that it still has interest in remastering PS2 classics in HD. While there are some blatantly obvious titles we’d like to see (for crap’s sake, just give us Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix Collection already, Square), we expect them to stay in the realm of first-party titles. Problem is, they’ve pretty much exhausted their mainstream first party series with previous collections and R&C on the way.
Chances: A distinct possibility.
God of War: Ascension – Sony has a new PS3 God of War title on the way. It’s a given that it will be shown at E3 – but don’t expect a Vita release.
Final Fantasy Type-0 – The game has been out in Japan since last October but since then we’ve seen no signs of a North American localization. With the PSP practically dead, at this point, things don’t look too promising. Still, Sony could decide to give its old handheld one final hurrah.
The Last of Us demo – Naughty Dog showed off the first gameplay demo of its newest epic just a week or two ago at Sony’s E3 Judges event, and it’s pretty much a given that the highly-anticipated PS3 game will be shown off during the conference.
Chances: Almost assured.
The Last Guardian – Since being unveiled at E3 2009, we’ve learned precious few details about Team Ico’s next game. The Last Guardian had been set for a 2012 release, but Fumito Ueda’s departure from Sony has left the game in limbo. Don’t expect a 2012 release, and it seems unlikely that we’ll see anything about it at E3 or anytime in the forseeable future.
Chances: Not too promising.
inFamous 3 – We haven’t heard much from Sucker Punch since inFamous 2 was released last year. Sony has made the statement that they have two major games to announce (one being revealed as PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale), and this is our guess as to the second.
Uncharted 4 – We’ve had two Uncharted releases in less than a year, and Naughty Dog is busy with The Last of Us, but that hasn’t stopped gamers from speculating about a new Uncharted being revealed at E3. Our prediction? Drake gets a rest for this year.
Chances: Extremely unlikely.
Cloud gaming – Microsoft has introduced cloud gaming for the 360, and rumors are buzzing about Sony partnering with a “leading cloud gaming service” with an announcement to come at E3. Gaikai and OnLive have been mentioned as possibilities, and neither one seems unlikely.
Chances: Very promising.
If all these predictions come true, it could be a very busy year for Sony fans. Come back and see what really happens in just over a week!