written by Blain Newport on Saturday, 2 June, 2012
The industry trade and press show known as E3 will be starting soon.
Their new console, the Wii U, was announced at E3 last year. It's roughly as powerful as a 360 or PS3, but in addition to supporting Wii motion controls, it has a dual stick controller with a large touch screen on it.
The performance bump is nice for developers because it becomes easier to create a game that will run on all three consoles. But the Wii U isn't going to succeed because it can play the same games as everyone else. Nintendo needs to show consumers and retailers the software that will distinguish the Wii U.
The number of of Sony's game announcements that were leaked ahead of their E3 2011 press conference became comical. Outside of Naughty Dog's latest (and the slim possibility of an appearance by The Last Guardian), there doesn't seem to be any game the press are universally hyped about. Hopefully this just means Sony improved their security.
Sony's trying to get traction with Vita, their new portable system. According to gamesindustry.biz Sony will be bringing PS1 and PS2 games to the PS3 and possibly Vita using the Gaikai cloud gaming platform. That could put a lot of good, cheap games on the Vita for people with reliable mobile internet connections who don't mind a bit of lag.
Microsoft claims to have a number of world exclusive game announcements at their press conference. I'm betting more than half of them are Kinect titles.
Microsoft will lie about how much they care about Windows gaming, as they always do when they roll out a new OS. Just remember that over the last two years (2010 and 2011) Microsoft published four games for the PC and sixteen games for the Xbox. (source)
And they will apparently be making another push for Live Anywhere, the cross device connectivity initiative that, to my knowledge, hasn't moved the needle since it was announced at E3 2006.
Also everyone will probably announce new / enhanced music, video, and social media features / partnerships. I said it before, and I'll say it again: this overpriced generation was about conquering the living room (except for Nintendo). The question at this point is whether Smart TVs (with OnLive and Netflix integration, for example) can eventually cut the consoles out of the equation.
You may recall that I predicted MS and Sony console announcements at E3 this year. Barring a miracle, I was wrong. Sony almost certainly isn't announcing anything, and according to Arthur Gies of Rebel FM, Microsoft was planning an early announcement to steal a bit of Nintendo's thunder but had to call it off for some reason. Hey, if it means Microsoft's new hardware won't require over a billion dollars of repair work, I say delay it two years. :P