E3 2011 is upon us. Well, as of Monday. Anyway, I'm excited. I'm also a bit wary, as I've been through the ups and downs associated with such events many times over the years.
So, what am I excited about and what is making me a bit wary--or, rather, what are my hopes and fears for the "big three" at this most awesome of gaming events? Well, here are my hopes:
Microsoft--Honestly, I'm not expecting much from Microsoft. You know they're going to show a bunch of "hardcore" games and a bunch of Kinect titles. I have little interest in either. I'll be perfectly happy, though, if they announce even a few wow-worthy XBLA titles.
Nintendo--As of now, this event is all about Nintendo for me, as I'm curious to see what they have planned for the 3DS and the Wii successor, currently known as Project Café. Regarding the latter, I'm looking for the company's latest console as well as its launch software to wow me like the Wii and Wii Sports did at E3 in 2006. Also, I hope Nintendo announces a few more Wii releases. I'd love to see the new Kirby, The Last Story, Rhythm Heaven/ Tengoku Wii and Xenoblade all brought to North America, but I'll be happy if even one or two of them come our way.
Sony--Will we finally get a release date and release price for Sony's next portable, which seemingly is going to be called PS Vita? I hope so. I also hope we get a peek at some of the stellar first- and third-party games that surely are being planned for the system.
As for my fears for the "big three" at this E3, here they are:
Microsoft--I fear they're going to expend most of their energy on so-called hardcore and Kinect games and ignore XBLA.
Nintendo--I fear they're going to completely drop the ball on the DS and Wii. I know the 3DS is now the company's focus in the portable space, but there are plenty of DS and DSi owners out there who aren't going to upgrade anytime soon and who would still like to play some new games--games like the Lemmings-esque Kirby title that's going to be released in Japan this August or the fourth entry in the Professor Layton series. As for the Wii, well, Project Café, or whatever the console ends up being called, isn't going to hit store shelves until next summer, if not later. Why not localize a few--or, even better, all--of the as-of-now-Japan-only games mentioned above in the meantime?
Sony--I fear that Sony is going to wait too long to release the PS Vita in the US--it has to hit store shelves before Christmas, in my opinion--and slap a price tag on the system that's far too high given current economic conditions. The system is likely to find success in Japan regardless of price thanks to its rabid fan base and games like Monster Hunter, but its future is much less certain in the States. If it's not priced competitively with the 3DS, it's going to have a hard time faring any better than its poorly received predecessor.
We'll find out in any of my hopes or fears will become reality on Monday and Tuesday of next week, by the way. Microsoft's press conference will begin at 9 am Pacific on Monday, with Sony's occurring later the same day, at 5 pm Pacific. Nintendo's press conference, on the other hand, will start at 9 am Pacific on Tuesday.
All of the above-mentioned conferences will be streamed live on GameTrailers.com, by the way. I'll certainly be watching them. Will you?