It’s that time of year when gamers from across the globe eagerly await the latest news, reveals, and announcements from the biggest video game event of the year: E3. That’s right, it’s finally here and the excitement is palpable as gamers ready themselves for the first E3 since the release of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, knowing that there are sure to be many surprises and plenty of highly anticipated announcements (*cough* next-gen Mass Effect *cough*). Gamers are no doubt creating mental lists of expectations and wishes for the show. Some of those wishes and expectations will come true, while others…well, not so much, but we can always dream, right? And that’s the whole point here: imagining the “perfect” E3 wish list. Now, we couldn’t possibly cover everything we want, so instead here are 7 things we’d love to see regardless of how improbable they might be. Here’s The Crispy Noodle’s E3 2014 Wish List from most probable to least probable.
7. The New Mass Effect (75% chance).
We all know it’s in development and that a reveal is right around the corner, however, what we don’t know is whether the reveal will be at E3. Most companies like to announce games 1 to 1 1/2 years before the anticipated release date, which in this case lines up perfectly with BioWare’s development cycle. In addition, reports indicate that EA will be unveiling 6 new games at E3 and offering behind the scenes looks at projects from several developers, including BioWare. Finally, BioWare Montreal’s studio director (the one in charge of the next Mass Effect) announced that he will be traveling to E3 this year. Everything points to a fairly good chance that the next Mass Effect will make a appearance.
6. PS Now Video Game Streaming Service Details and Public Beta will be Announced (and it won’t suck) (60%)
It’d just be swell if Sony came onstage and announced that the service would be included with current PS+ subscriptions, or if PS Now had a cheap monthly subscription fee similar to Netflix, or even a yearly subscription fee like Amazon Prime. But, this is the video game industry we’re talking about, you know the one that nickel and dimes you with microtransactions and charges you for horse armor, so I don’t have much hope here. Early leaked beta screenshots and videos indicate that gamers might be seeing time sensitive rentals lasting for 1, 7, or 30 days. No prices have been revealed, but there have been other leaks indicating a possible $5-6 rental fee per game. Now, that might just be one method of renting/streaming games, but it is also the most likely. This would make PS Now more similar to Blockbuster than Netflix, and we all saw how that one turned out. Still, paying $6 for a month’s use of a video game sure beats paying $60 for a 10 hour campaign, plus the possibility of playing on many different platforms is very enticing.
5. New IPs, New Console Models, New Anything (50%)
Let’s face it, most serious gamers have a pretty good idea of what AAA games will make an appearance. The fact is that most next-gen games were announced last E3 or at the console reveals, and this year’s E3 will mainly be prepping audiences for these blockbuster releases in the fall or next spring. Still, as with every E3, gamers hope to see some truly surprising new IPs from out favorite companies. Hopefully, we can expect at least a few brand new announcements. For example, Quantic Dream hasn’t yet announced a next-gen project and they could be poised to make a big splash with another stunning tech demo revealing the aim or subject of their new game. EA also has 6 new announcements planned for their conference. However, with the amount of leaks and pre-E3 reveals lately, there might not be very many surprises left for the show. One big surprise would be the introduction of new console models. A recently leaked Sony filing reveals a slight modification to the PS4 hardware. This is most likely just a modification of the chips inside the system and doesn’t indicate a redesign or improved hardware, however, it’d be nice to see an upgraded HDD, which isn’t completely out of the question.
4. New Game in the Red Dead Redemption Series (40%)
Red Dead Redemption was one of the biggest hits of 2010. It has continued to make headlines as Take-Two routinely mentions it as a “permanent franchise.” Given the incredible sales numbers and the outpouring of love and demand from gamers, a sequel is practically a given, however, when it will make an official appearance is unknown. The fact that the term “permanent franchise” has been uttered by Take-Two executives twice in the span of a year could indicate that a Red Dead game is currently in the works. Rockstar is known for long development cycles, so the wait isn’t out of the ordinary, but this E3 would be the perfect time to make an announcement, especially with the oh-so-strategic mention of the franchise a week ago in several articles discussing the permanent franchise talk.
3. The Original Video Game TV Programming will be Revealed and Won’t Suck (30%)
Last year, gamers heard the promise of original video game TV shows. Microsoft made a BIG deal about this at the Xbox One reveal, but so far has remained quiet on this subject. But could we see some brand new information about the oft rumored Halo TV series? If we do (and that’s a big “if”), let’s hope it’s at least decent. A positive first foray into TV could open up the market to more adaptations (*cough* Mass Effect as a cable series *cough*). Video game movies are often decried as some of the worst films out there, but that’s because some video game franchises are more suited to episodic content and spin off stories, as in TV. Only time will tell, but Microsoft could take those first few steps if they can produce some quality content.
2. Nintendo will Announce Mobile Releases of Classic Games (15%)
Recently, Nintendo announced that they would be licensing out their character IPs. This could mean anything, but it most likely points to new merchandising deals, board/card games, or guest appearances in other Nintendo franchises. However, the old school gamer in all of us would go absolutely crazy if this pointed to mobile phone releases of classic franchises. Emulators and ROMs have been present for mobile devices for some time now, however, a legit mobile version of classic games would accomplish three things: 1). allow non-tech savvy people to experience amazing games, 2). expand Nintendo’s dwindling audience and boost profits, 3). provide classic gamers a polished, modern recreation of some classic franchises. It seems like a win-win for everyone involved. And yet, Nintendo seems very unlikely to play into Apple and Google’s hands by releasing mobile versions of their classic franchises on their main handheld competitors (PS Vita doesn’t have the same market impact). Odds are this won’t happen, but we can still hope.
1. TimeSplitters Sequel (or HD re-release, or fan-made sequel) (10%)
IT’S TIME TO SPLIT. Who hasn’t spent countless hours blasting their way through the TimeSplitters series with a buddy in a split screen campaign, facing off against friends in zany competitive multiplayer maps and game modes, or building their very own levels? A true sequel has been rumored for a long time, however, in 2012 the rumored sequel was indefinitely postponed. In the wake of that news, a petition made the rounds with the aim of gathering 100,000 signatures to convince the developer to give a sequel another chance. Unfortunately, nothing came of that initiative. Some gamers (such as myself) would just be happy with an HD re-release featuring full achievement/trophy support, online multiplayer, wacky leaderboards, and tons of user generated content. The most promising news for this series in limbo came when Crytek granted permission for a fan-made sequel, TimeSplitters Rewind, which is still in development for PC and PS4. Odds are it won’t make an official appearance anytime soon, but we can always hope for some news on the TimeSplitters front anyway.
So there you have it, our wish list for E3 2014. But we’d love to know what’s on your wish list. Leave a comment and tell us something you’re really looking forward to (or if you read this after the announcements, something you wished had happened). We’ll find out soon enough, because the press conferences start Monday, June 9th at 12:00 pm EST. Let’s all hope at least some of our wishes come true.