By now you may have heard about a little event called the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or by its street name "E3." In the days leading up to this catastrophic conflux of lights, sounds and adult beverages, we here at G4tv.com are taking turns with an annual tradition as reliable as salmon spawning and Cubs playoff collapses: wild speculation! We'll be keeping track of what we get right for bragging purposes, and when we’re wrong we'll be pointing over there because HEY WHAT'S THAT?!?! We’re calling this feature (E)3 Thoughts, because without limits, we could hypothesize all day long.
- Patrick Klepek, News Editor
- Andrew Pfister, Senior Games Editor
- Jake Gaskill, Feed Writer
- Stephen Johnson, Lead Editor
- Sterling McGarvey, Senior Previews/Reviews Editor
E3 and Me, or: "This Frickin' Thing Again?!?"
Since E3 started (way back in 1995), I've only missed two shows. Whether it's the big shows from Los Angeles and Atlanta or the smaller shows in Santa Monica, it's all the same to me: E3 is a lot of work and a lot of fun! It's really one of the coolest trade shows in the world and I feel lucky that I'm able to attend. While the format of E3 isn't an issue for me, I find it amusing that it's an issue to publishers. When the show was big, publishers whined that it was too big and too expensive. When the show was cut back, publishers whined that it was too small and didn't give them enough exposure. I almost feel bad for the ESA -- it was damned no matter what kind of E3 it put on. Since it's the middle of a console generation, the show doesn't have the buzz and excitement that comes with new hardware announcements. Instead, it'll be all about the games, which is better for gamers like you and me. The mainstream press won't be around to gawk at the PlayStation Fore or the Xbox 420 or the Nintendo Whoa. That'll free up space for the G4 crew to bring you info on some awesome upcoming games and interviews with some of the top people in the business. I'm ready for the show now!!!
Three Most Anticipated Games
1. Heavy Rain -- It's been one of my missions to get TheFeed's readers hyped for this game. I'm a huge fan of Quantic Dream and I absolutely adored its last game, Indigo Prophecy. While it's not a sequel to Indigo, Heavy Rain is the spiritual successor to the game. I don't think I've played a game with that style of storytelling done so well. I expect to be dazzled by a melange of deep storytelling, interactive gameplay, brilliant music, and (unlike Indigo Prophecy) gorgeous visuals. Although I question the real release date of this title, it is, by far, the game I want the most. Excellent wine, lovely cheese, and fantastic games from Quantic Dream -- I just might move to France!
2. Brütal Legend -- It's not so much that I'm excited to see this game; I have a pretty good idea of how awesome it'll be. I'm curious to read your reactions to the new levels and information revealed at E3. I'm anxious to see Double Fine's Tim Schafer showered with praise from millions of gamers. I already know that I'll have a ton of fun with Brütal Legend. I don't doubt that for a second. What really has me jazzed is the world getting to know more about this game. Rock on!
3. Final Fantasy XIII -- Duh.
Three Thoughts on the Big Three
1. Nintendo -- The company is going to quit the gaming business. Trouncing the competition with the DS and Wii has made it bored and unsatisfied with life. Okay, I'm kidding. Nintendo is going to brag about its numbers and its dominance. It will say that it hasn't forgotten about core gamers and will likely dazzle them with some big announcements. Whether it delivers on its promises is the real question. I've read so many "Nintendo forgot about me!!!" comments on TheFeed that I think it might be too late. You know what though? I don't think it matters. At the end of the day, this is all a business and Nintendo's success is undeniable. I'd love for the company to focus more on its longtime customers, but any effort will be sliced apart by angst-ridden gamers that can't let go of their hate. While Nintendo will certainly have a better presser than last year (not difficult), the company seems more CES than E3 these days.
2. Microsoft -- I'm SO not interested in Microsoft's motion-sensing controls. It's not what I want from the company. I'm mildly interested in the Zune HD, particularly how it fits into the Xbox ecosystem and its sexy OLED screen. What I really want to know is what games will I be buying for my Xbox 360 this holiday season? Microsoft has been too "hush hush" for my liking. In the past, it admitted to announcing games too early. Now I think the company is going too much in the other direction. The company better have some big guns ready to fire at E3. Somehow, I think it'll fall a wee bit short.
3. Sony -- Having the most to lose and the most to gain makes Sony the most interesting company to watch at E3 2009. It has a lot of excellent games in the pipe and I'm curious to see what else it will announce. There are also a bunch of rumored hardware revisions (PSP Go and PS3 Slim) that could make things even more interesting. Will it be a triumphant return to form or another train wreck? I honestly don't know, but I can't wait to find out. I guess that's not really a prediction, so my prediction will be this: out of the big three, more people will be interested to learn what Sony is up to compared to its two competitors.
Three Hopeful Announcements
1. Final Fantasy VII Remake -- You know, I wasn't super into the original game when it was first released for the PlayStation. I maintain that it's just above average and extremely overrated. However, Advent Children and Crisis Core totally worked for me, and I'm much more interested in the FFVII universe now that it's more developed and flushed out. I want a Final Fantasy VII remake now (though 2011 works for me too)!!!
2. The Return of PlayStation Backwards Compatibility -- This has been rumored for some time, but I think it's way overdue. The PlayStation 3 needs a software solution for complete backwards compatibility. This would work (flawlessly) across all systems. Developers have had enough time to figure out the (allegedly) wondrous powers of CELL that it can harness its power to emulate last generation's games without a hitch. Okay, I might be hoping for this one for the selfish reason that there are still a bunch of PS2 games I want to play and I have no desire to attach an old console to my television at this time.
3. Sprint Giving out Free Palm Pre Phones to Journalists -- Yeah, this isn't going to happen. The way the Pre's SDK is designed, it's pretty much going to suck for games (for now). Still, this is one of the phones I really want and it would be nice to get it for free before it's released to the public.
Three Final Thoughts on E3 2009
1. I'm too old for parties. There are a lot of friends and business contacts I'd like catch up with, but I can't get hammered every night and work the show on three hours of sleep anymore.
2. This will be my first E3 living in Los Angeles. It'll be weird not going back to a hotel every night. In some ways, it'll be nice to return to the comforts of home. It will also suck not having a maid clean my room every day.
3. I'm super excited to be working with such a talented, intelligent, and fun team (And Leahy too! Just kidding Brian!!!). There are a lot of excellent people working super hard to make sure you get some incredible E3 coverage. I know you'll enjoy it, but if there's an E3 article, video, or interview you particularly dig, please leave a nice comment for the guy or gal that made it.