E3 2012: What to Expect
posted on 06.01.12 at 03:41 PM EST by (@gematsucom)
The big show begins in three days.

Another E3, another week planned without sleep. A lot is going to be happening in the next few days, and to get you prepared, we’ve put together a little expectations guide, attaching both what we know and what we think will occur at the industry’s largest trade event.

We’ll start with not the big three, but with the big one. That’s us.

Gematsu

We’re rolling into E3 this year two staffers deep. Olivia Slayton and Kevin Grismore are providing on-the-floor coverage of the event, while Sal Romano will remain on the homefront after two consecutive years of covering the show live. Expect a consistent flow of news updated on the minute throughout the day, as well as original content from Olivia and Kevin. We’ve already booked plenty of appointments and are scheduled to check out some of the expo’s and our readers’ most anticipated games, including Assassin’s Creed III, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Kingdom Hearts 3D, and more. And we’ll certainly go hands-on with the Wii U, as well.

But we’re not that important, so let’s move on.

Microsoft

Microsoft will officially kick off the E3 festivities on June 4 with their ‘Xbox: Entertainment Evolved’ media briefing in the A.M., California time. Find your local time here. You’ll be able to watch the 90-minute press conference on Spike TV, if you’re in the U.S., on GameTrailers.com, on Facebook, on Xbox.com, or through your Xbox 360 console.

Microsoft’s showcase will include world premieres of Halo 4, the next Gears of War (which we imagine to be a prequel) [update: it is a prequel], Forza Horizon, and titles from publishers including Capcom, EA Sports, Harmonix, Square Enix, THQ, and Ubisoft. However, their conference is said to be less about the games and more about the services. Expect the reveals of Internet Explorer, Kinect Play Fit, and a new Woodstock music service for the platform. With Kinect sales at 19 million, definitely assume the reveal of a new line of Kinect titles. That, as well as Kinect integration for already known, third-party games.

As far as little things go, it’s possible Microsoft will announce new Xbox LIVE Arcade games to add to their already strong lineup for 2012, which includes Deadlight, Battleblock Theater, Mark of the Ninja, Hybrid, and Dust: An Elysian Tale. It’s also likely we’ll receive release dates for Fable: The Journey – and possibly – Crytek’s Ryse for Kinect.

Don’t expect details on the next Xbox. Unless Microsoft is outright lying, “there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon.”

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony will host its media briefing on the night of June 4. Find your local time here. You can watch the press conference on GameTrailers.com, the PlayStation Blog, PlayStation Home, PlayStation.com, Facebook, Google Plus, Ustream, or through the Nico Nico video app on your PlayStation Vita.

Sony has already made a fair share of game announcements prior to the press conference, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect surprises. Expect to see The Last of Us, God of War: Ascension, Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time, new characters for PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (with a PS Vita version confirmed), LittleBigPlanet Karting, and a montage of PlayStation Network games, including Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, Guacamelee!, Snapshot, When Vikings Attack, and The Unfinished Swan. Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy developer Quantic Dream is rumored to be announcing its latest project at the event. The next Killzone is also a possibility. Sucker Punch, the studio behind inFAMOUS, also appears to be teasing something. Such as with Microsoft’s briefing, expect to see strong third-party support.

Other whispers include a PlayStation Plus service revamp, ebook service, and the acquisition of a major cloud gaming service said to allow cloud backwards compatibility for PS2 and PSone titles.

Obviously, we hope to hear the latest word on The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. But as each year has proven, these are not hopes meant to be satisfied. The Last Guardian is making progress, however, and it shouldn’t be too long before we hear more on Versus XIII.

As far as PlayStation Vita goes, Sony needs to present its audience with a price cut and strong lineup to dig its high-definition handheld out of a lowering sales chart. Expect highlights of announced titles, including Soul Sacrifice and Persona 4 Golden, as well as at least one big title that has yet to be announced. Full-blown reveals of major franchise titles, such as Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty, could do wonders for the system. It was recently rumored that Assassin’s Creed III [updated: it’s been revealed] and a new Ghost Recon are headed to the platform. This might be the time to show  it.

And of course, don’t expect PlayStation 4.

Nintendo

Nintendo’s media briefing will be held in the A.M. on June 5, only a couple of hours before the doors to E3 are opened. Find your local time here. You’ll be able to watch it on Spike TV, GameTrailers.com, Nintendo.com, and on Facebook.

Like a melting swan, Wii U will be the centerpiece of Nintendo’s press conference. Expect a full-blown re-reveal of the console, including first-party titles, third-party titles, services, and other features. Batman: Arkham City and Rayman Legends will both be at the show, so we would expect the pair to be featured titles at Nintendo’s press conference. Especially the latter, considering its Wii U-specific features. Pikmin 3 and a new Super Mario Bros. will be there, but that’s as far as we know about the system’s first-party lineup. But Nintendo’s already begun teasing. (They do that now.) The Wii U controller is likely to receive a slight makeover. Don’t expect a release date or price for the platform, however. Though it’s reasonable to expect a release window – holiday 2012, for example.

Looking at 3DS, it’s difficult to predict what Nintendo’s planning. The system is already very successful, and we can only expect the manufacturer to continue bringing great games to the platform. A release date for Luigi’s Mansion 2 is likely; a western release window or name for Animal Crossing, perhaps. New Super Mario Bros. 2 will be there. And if Nintendo’s smart, they’ll announce Fire Emblem: Awakening in the U.S., and confirm localizations for Monster Hunter Tri G / 4 and Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. Shin Megami Tensei IV would also be nice, but it’s unlikely at this point. This is all speculation, yes, but we don’t have much to go on with Nintendo. They’re not the leakiest of ships, at all.

Let’s move on to third-parties, shall we?

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts will hold its media briefing shortly after Microsoft’s – in the afternoon on June 4 . Find your local time here. You’ll be able to watch it on Spike TV, GameTrailers.com, or on EA.com.

The official expectations (as said by EA, themselves) are “never-before seen footage and world premieres” of SimCity, Crysis 3, Battlefield 3 (Close Quarters DLC), Medal of Honor: Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13, and other “unannounced projects currently under development at EA.” One of those projects is confirmed to be Dead Space 3, whose first screenshots have already leaked. Need for Speed: Most Wanted, a reboot of the original from Burnout developer Criterion Games, is another one. We’re about due for an update on Overstrike, the EA Partners project from Insomniac Games, as well.

Of course, expect the norm when it comes to EA Sports. Madden, FIFA, and the return of NBA Live.

Ubisoft

Ubisoft will hold its media briefing almost immediately after EA’s concludes. Find your local time here. You’ll be able to watch it on GameTrailers.com or on Uplay.com.

Ubisoft is bringing the expected: Assassin’s Creed III, Far Cry 3, Rayman Legends, and Rocksmith, but promises “many more.” Rainbow 6 Patriots is possible, but unconfirmed. But apparently, there is a “show-stopping reveal” hidden within its lineup. It’s possible that is in reference to Splinter Cell: Blacklist, recently rumored for a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U reveal at the show. It’s also possible the big reveal is a different game – perhaps the game from these  leaked images of a new Ubisoft game. It’s also possible we’ll hear about the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed and Ghost Recon titles for PlayStation Vita here before Sony’s briefing, if word even exists. The time feels right for an update on Killer Freaks From Outer Space, as well.

Beyond Good & Evil fans, don’t get hyped for a re-reveal of the second game. While the game is in “active creation,” Ubisoft has said it needs more powerful hardware to run.

Remaining Third-Parties

The remaining third-parties do not hold press conferences. If any major third-party announcements are made, they’re usually at the first-party media briefings, or by press release as the expo progresses. So let’s look at what everyone else is bringing to the show floor.

2K Games’ big three are Borderlands 2, Spec Ops: The Line, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Activision fans should expect a ton of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, 007 Legends and Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse.

Atlus will have Persona 4 Golden and Persona 4 Arena. Perhaps we can expect another localization announcement?

Bethesda is bringing The Elder Scrolls Online, Dishonored, and DOOM 3 BFG Edition. It will also showcase ‘Dawnguard’, the first download content for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Capcom will have behind-closed-doors demos of Resident Evil 6, DmC Devil May Cry, and Lost Planet 3. It’s likely they’ll have debut separate public footage, as well.

Konami’s centerpiece is Platinum Games’ Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, but it will also have Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate for 3DS, and the Zone of the Enders HD Collection.

LucasArts will have their ‘dark and mature’ Star Wars 1313.

Namco Bandai will have Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, Star Trek, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Dragon Ball Z for Kinect, One Piece: Pirate Warriors, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Who knows? Maybe we’ll finally see Tekken X Street Fighter. Or get a Tales localization announcement.

Natsume will have Harvest Moon: A New Beginning. Yasuhiro Wada will be on-hand to discuss “Project Happiness.”

Square Enix will have Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs as its main showcase. From their 1st Production Department studio, its bringing the already-released-in-Japan Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. A Hitman HD Collection could make a debut. As mentioned before, it’s possible we could see Final Fantasy Versus XIII re-debut at Sony’s press conference, but at this point, it’s unlikely. The 2.0 update to Final Fantasy XIV was originally set for the show floor, but pulled last minute for an August reveal.

Sega’s lineup includes Jet Set Radio, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and The Cave. Platinum Games’ Anarchy Reigns is nowhere to be seen.

Tecmo Koei’s only showcase is Dead or Alive 5.

Warner Bros. is bringing Lollipop Chainsaw, Batman: Arkham City for Wii U, and Injustice: Gods Among Us.

XSEED Games is bringing Ragnarok Odyssey and Orgarhythm.

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  • http://neogaf.com/forum Seda

    All I want is Paper Mario and Fire Emblem info!

  • FinalFantasy_fangirl

    I look forward to WiiU because Ill be getting it for sure
    I hope there will be some awesome games for vita that will make the system worth owning. Right now theres no reason to buy
    As for the PS3 well thats a long list 3rd party titles

  • Akira

    Hoping for Fire Emblem localization announcement.
    (P.S-You are that important!)

  • LordKaiser

    List all the good places to stream the E3 besides gametrrailers.com I don’t want to miss anything. 1080p if possible.

  • chinglee

    MS conference:
    Black Ops II stage demo – Timed xclusive DLC announced
    Tomb Raider trailer – “show off” kinect integrated controls”
    Sleeping Dogs trailer – Timed Exclusive DLC announced

    Talk about 360 bringing them them a lot of money
    They will say how multimedia is the way to go and 360 is no longer a games consoles it is much more, it is a family orientated entertainment system with more focus on bringing you movies, music and social connectivity

    Cue a shit ton of new kinect features and multimedia/apps demonstrated by bad “actors”

    Some “comdeian” and sports figs will come on stage for reasons we don’t give a toss about

    Cliff will come on stage with and demo the new gears joined by*sigh*…Ice-T

    After a bit of talk about how the 360 is giving gamers hardcorez games as well as multimedia stuff they don’t want, Halo 4 campaign demo will start to play on the big screen
    The End

  • http://Flickr.com/mdemolish mdemolish

    All i Want is FFVX..plz :(

  • Locksus

    I need information about FFvXIII and Lost Odyssey 2 would be a dream come true :d

    • chinglee

      @Locksus: Been waiting for the latter to be announced for ages D:

  • rockman29

    I expect Playstation to TAKE OVER.

  • InternatlGamer3

    Playstation will easily overtake M$ this year. PS3 already has had more exclsuives than 360. Heck remember when they used to say back in 2006-2008 that PS3 barely had any good exclusives well you can’t say that now.
    AT gamescom expect a price drop for PS3 to $199. Then it’ll outsell the 360, though PS3 has sold more consoles than 360 since launch. If you look at how long each console has been on the market.

  • DarthNemesis

    Only the PS3 is interesting as the Wii is dead with Nintendo focusing on the WiiU with nothing major left for the Wii and the 360 is just a shovel ware machine now for Kinect while Gears and Halo are pumped out almost every year.Sony is the only company actively supporting their current generation console as usual.GOW Ascension,Sucker Punch,Quantic Dream and The Last of Us already makes Sony’s conference the best,plus a big reveal for Soul Sacrifice will be shown.

  • DarthNemesis

    @InternalGamer3
    No doubt the PS3 is the better console and has been since 2008,but many people are still blind and loyal for some reason to the 360 so it will continue to sell.Its a shame that people are more into gimmicks and hype this generation instead of actual games.

    And the WiiU does not impress me as I already know to expect tons of Mario games and rehashes to other franchises.I do like Nintendo’s first party,but I can not get excited as they are very predictable.

  • Zero

    First things first. I will be following Gematsu’s e3 coverage, while watching the show on tv and such. Thanks in advance to Olivia and Kevin for providing on-the-floor coverage! Also big thanks to Sal for sacrificing sleep to keep the site up to date!

    I agree with @chinglee about Black Ops II being shown at the MS presser.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of the first games shown after Halo 4.

    Most everything else for the MS presser seems like a lock, they will show games from the announced 3rd parties, some exclusive first party stuff, and then go into the dashboard enhancements and kinect games.

    Sony is very interesting this year. The rumors have been piling up, and time limits might result in them having to leave some things out.

    Im going with my gut here on a few guesses. I mentioned this in the Square-Enix e3 game thread. I think Versus is going to be shown during sony e3 presser, probably just be a new trailer for now. I also think The Last Guardian makes an appearance.

    Both games need to be at the show! They both were first announced and revealed at e3. It really makes sense for both to be shown at the shown in some form.

    Another game is Agent from Rockstar. This game was supposed to be a PS3 exclusive, and we haven’t heard anything about it in years.

    Not only does my gut think these games will be mentioned in some form, but they are all in danger of not making it during this generation if they don’t come out of hiding soon. If that happens, these games could quite possibly become vaporware.

    I don’t expect Rockstar to attend the show, they haven’t since the hot coffee incident all those years ago. Some games from the studio still might find a way to the show floor.

    Nintendo has to do a much better job explaining what the Wii U actually is and what is does to consumers. (I think they should change the name, keeping Wii in it just confuses consumers.)

    They also have to do a good job selling the console to gamers. Just how expensive is the tablet? Will the price at launch be high? If so, what kind of titles will launch with the console?

    So many very tough questions. They can spend some time on 3DS, but the focus should be on the new console, considering how incredibly important it is for the company.

    I agree with the titles you said EA and Ubi will have at the show. I also expect some new unannounced ip’s from both. (

    Other games I expect to see at the show-

    New project from Eidos
    New project from THQ (Guillermo del Toro game?)
    Spider-man Movie game
    Guild Wars 2
    Bioshock Infinite (In a big way)
    (More. lol)

    Excited for e3!

  • stealth20k

    squares line up is such shit

  • FaithlessMr

    So ready for this. Bring it on!

  • Kevin Grismore

    @Zero

    Thanks for reading, I’m very excited about going!

    • Zero

      @Kevin Grismore:

      You’re Welcome.

      Monday is almost here! I know I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I was going to e3. (haha)