E3 2014: The Official Non-Official Preview and Predictions

E3
It’s that time again, folks! The Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) is upon us, and everyone here at NonProductive is looking forward to finding out what’s on the horizon in the world of video games, and then immediately get mad about it. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year, this marks the first E3 of “next-gen,” which means that we’ll (hopefully) be seeing a plethora of new games announced and more in-depth looks at the ones revealed during last year’s conference. In preparation for this event, I’ve put together previews and predictions of some of the major players of E3, based on totally-not-professional analysis and gut feelings. So without further ado, let’s take a look!

Microsoft

Well, you can really only go up from last year, right? Last year’s presentation was, to put it bluntly, terrible, and the launch of the Xbox One was underwhelming. Now that Microsoft has finally come to their senses and released a less expensive version of the One without Kinect, hopefully that means they’re smartening up and that will show in this year’s presentation. (I wouldn’t hold my breath.) I fully expect them to toot their own horns this year about how they’re “listening to the fans” by releasing the new One, while not acknowledging at all that their initial plans were really dumb. Also, expect more Microsoft Surface and Windows Phone integration talk, and another push for the Kinect. As for game announcements, sports games are an easy bet as always, as well as some kind of major Halo news. Early leaks say that Halo 5 will be present in some form, as well as Halo Collection, which I assume is some kind of compilation of all of the previous games for Xbox One. Hideo Kojima recently said that he finished cutting the latest trailer for Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, so just like last year, we’ll probably get a trailer and possibly gameplay footage. On a final note, I just hope no one makes a tasteless joke on stage this year, because that crap was embarrassing.

Nintendo

Nintendo is again doing a Nintendo Direct this year, and not holding a traditional presentation. They’ll continue doing their Nintendo Thing™ and talk about how awesome the Wii-U and 3DS are and announce “new” titles which are probably going to be upgraded versions of old games. Nintendo’s biggest focus at the moment is the new Super Smash Bros., and it clearly shows in their E3 plans. Nintendo seems to be finally acknowledging the competitive Smash community, and is holding a tournament for the new game during E3 at the Nokia theater. Not only will the game be shown off, but also the recently announced GameCube controller adaptor for the Wii-U, which was, for all intents and purposes, made for playing Smash. Nintendo is also holding a roundtable discussion about the new Smash, so expect at least a new character to be announced there. Basically, if you really are looking forward to Super Smash Bros., this E3 is going to be awesome. If not, uh, maybe they’ll finally release more info on Hyrule Warriors and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem? That would be nice.

Sony

Sony had the best showing of the “Big 3” last year by basically not being Microsoft, so it will be interesting to see if they’ll be able to hold on to the momentum they built. Sony will continue talking about how they support indie games, and announce some new titles. As for major releases, Bungie’s Destiny will likely make another appearance, and Uncharted 4 is expected as well. Considering that a whole bunch of people recently left Naughty Dog, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the show. Sony’s biggest game is definitely The Order: 1886, and we will hopefully get more details this year. Unfortunately, it seems to be delayed until next year. Sony will also likely talk about game streaming through PS4, so get ready for inane videos of awkward people being terrible at video games. (On a completely unrelated note, be sure to check out NonPro’s game stream, Game On!)

EA

EA will continue to be the juggernaut that it is, and talk about their tried and true franchises. Expect more Battlefield, including their new spin-off Hardline, and plenty of sports games. A new Dragon Age is in the works, and maybe it won’t suck as much as 2. Maybe. Back in May of last year, EA signed a deal with Disney to make the next generation of Star Wars games, and we got a taste of what’s in store at last year’s conference with the teaser for Battlefront 3. EA has said that they plan on showing more Battlefront 3 this year, and I’m definitely hyped for that. I also hope Visceral, the developers of Dead Space, presents the Star Wars game they’re working on, a supposedly open-world game written by Amy Hennig, one of the former writers for the Uncharted series. (Did I mention that Uncharted 4 was running into a lot of trouble?) Above all, the one game I want to see from EA this year is Mirror’s Edge 2. The teaser at the end of last year’s presentation shocked and excited me last year, and it’s been worrying that nothing has been announced since then. If EA shows off more gameplay this year, expect me to flip out on social media and/or real life.

Other Companies

Capcom is coming out with another version Street Fighter IV, so there’s that. I don’t expect that to have that much of a showing at E3, but I do expect Deep Down, the new free to play dungeon crawler(?), to have a big presence. Not a lof is known about the game, and I think there will be a ton of information released at this year’s show. Personally, I’m looking forward to Yoshinori Ono being crazy and awesome, and I look forward to the inevitable disappointment from the lack of new Mega Man games. (Sorry, James!)

Namco-Bandai seems to be making a big splash in the free-to-play (F2P) market, with four of their top franchises having recent entries: Ridge Racer: Driftopia, Tekken Revolution, Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, and Ace Combat: Infinity. Could this mean that Namco-Bandai are going to focus more on F2P games? Or could these just be holdovers while they work on next-gen games for these franchises? I think we may find some answers at this year’s E3, and I’m definitely hoping for the latter. Reception for the F2P games have been mixed, (I personally think Infinity is a great game stuck behind a terrible payment model) and fans are clamoring are proper sequels. Realistically, though, I believe at best we’ll be getting information about whatever updates are upcoming for the currently released F2P games, and maybe an announcement for another one.

Ubisoft will hold a presentation as usual, and it may or may not be the awkward mess it has been in the past. Watch_Dogs has been released to fairly positive reviews, so I expect something related to it will be brought up, Maybe DLC? A new Far Cry is also in the works, as well as some kind of Assassin’s Creed game. We’ll probably get a trailer and maybe some gameplay. Tom Clancy’s The Division looked awesome last year, and there will likely be another gameplay video and hopefully a demo.

Sega is making another Aliens game. Bleh. I’m not expecting much of anything after Colonial Marines flopped. More importantly, this is the first E3 after Sega bought Atlus, so maybe we’ll finally see info about the latest Persona games at E3. If anything, there may be English trailers for the various spin-off games: Persona 4 The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, Persona Q, and Dancing All Night. I wouldn’t expect anything related to Persona 5, that will probably be at Tokyo Game Show, but I can dream. Speaking of dreaming, maybe they’ll finally announce a third Shenmue—ahahaha,sorry. I laugh because there are no more tears to shed.

UPDATE: Destructoid leaked the design for the press badges for E3, and it definitely looks like it’s Dancing All Night themed. Take a look!

Square-Enix will probably continue to hate it’s fanbase and tease Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 and not have solid release dates. Or maybe they’ll show that “next-gen Final Fantasy” tech demo yet again. I’m not bitter, I swear.

What are your thought on E3 this year? Do you agree or disagree with my predictions? Sound off in the comments below!

(Special thanks to the SomethingAwful forums’ E3 thread for general information and game listings )

Matt
About Matt 37 Articles
Matthew Schlotfeldt is a host for the Line Cutters, and resident video game expert. He’s not sure whether that’s something to be proud or ashamed of. He can be reached on Twitter at @PunkBoy412.