To some, the lead up to E3, the annual game expo and confernence, is just as big as the event itself. While many companies will be sending press releases hoping to get some buzz going before the actual show, others will keep their “major” announcements close to their chests hoping to steal the spotlight at E3. While there will be a plethora of major gaming announcements to come out of E3 in the next week, here are five to keep an eye on.
What Is Natal and Who Is It Really For?
Now, we all know Natal is some kind of magical motion capture/voice recognition device that Microsoft unveiled at last year’s E3. We also know that Microsoft has generated a fair amount of hype around it. And that’s about all we know. If last year’s E3 was Natal’s introduction to the gaming world, this year’s E3 is its coming-out party. I’m fairly certain we will not only find out how well the device actually works, but more importantly, where the device falls in the great video game spectrum. Is it meant to be an impulse purchase for the Wal-Mart crowd that will compete with the Nintendo Wii, or is it meant to be an expensive add-on to create a next-generation system out of the Xbox 360?
Valve Is Up to Something, but What?
Valve, the creators of the PC digital distribution service Steam and classics like Left 4 Dead and Portal, have something up their sleeves. While they’ve been very coy about their latest announcement, Portal 2, I have a gut feeling that Valve has something else in store for us at E3. Maybe it’s the long awaited Half Life 2: Episode 3, or maybe it’s something completely leftfield like a sequel to Counter-Strike. Whatever it is, they have our undivided attention.
A Playable Demo of Team Ico’s The Last Guardian
After years of waiting and speculation, Team Ico finally unveiled their latest project named The Last Guardian at last year’s E3. While early screenshots and a fabulous trailer from last year have piqued many people’s interest, no one can be sure if it lives up to their past masterpieces like Ico or Shadow of the Colossus without some hands-on time with the game. Here’s to hoping a playable model will be on the show floor this year.
Who Is Going to Be This Year’s E3 Darling?
Right now there’s a press release in our inboxes for a game that no one knows about and that no one is paying any attention to that will wow everyone at E3. It could come from a small indie studio tucked away in a dark corner of the show floor or a development house from a major publisher, but nevertheless, this game will steal the hearts and minds of many gaming journalists. Last year, Scribblenauts was the show’s E3 darling and your guess is as good as mine for who will receive that coveted title this year.
Out of the three major platform holders this year, it’s no shock that Nintendo has the most questions surrounding its hardware and accessories. While we’re almost certain that a new iteration of the Nintendo DS with 3D capability will be announced during their press conference, questions like news about a new Wiimote with built in MotionPlus technology, as well as a status update on last year’s announcement of the Vitality Sensor, will make their presser one to watch.