E3 2012: Our Humbly Irrefutable Predictions

In just a few short days, the floodgates will open and industry-shaking video game news will be rushing out of Los Angeles and through the internet like The Running of the Bulls, but with far more unsolicited celebrity appearances. That’s right, it’s time once again for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a bittersweet time when we get all of the game announcements we can handle, losing sleep and food to keep track of it all.

That also means that it’s time for every games site on the web to pretend that they know better by making a bunch of hackneyed predictions, and damn it, we’re no better. Malcolm, Tyler, and I each have our own ideas for what’ll go down next week, including stuff that isn’t even Sony-related. Take a look, then laugh mockingly at the end of the week when we’re proven so, so wrong.

Me first!

Black Ops II comes to Vita with PS3 cross platform functionality

This prediction is 2-for-1. Right now, all we know is that the Vita is getting a Call of Duty game — why shouldn’t it be Black Ops II? Call of Duty: Roads to Victory was an original title in the series and hardly a runaway success for the PSP. Instead, porting over Treyarch’s latest makes the most sense.

Taking this one step further, giving the game cross play functionality with the PS3 version would immediately make it a must-buy game for the Vita. Maybe PS3 and Vita players won’t be pitted against one another in multiplayer, but what if all of your XP and leveling was shared across platforms? Imagine being juuust short of Prestiging, and playing a few rounds of Zombies on the train putting you over the top. That’d be more exciting than simply carrying your campaign save across both platforms.

A previously unannounced, groin-grabbingly awesome game will come to light

Over the past month or so, Sony have announced two titles that people have been itching to get their hands on for a long time. One is a new God of War, and the multiplayer has people intrigued even if Ascension isn’t the “proper” fourth game many were hoping for. The other is a Super Smash Bros.-style crossover fighting game, rather unfortunately named PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

Why does this matter? Because these are each games that could have easily anchored Sony’s keynote with an announcement at E3. Instead, they’re shown off weeks before the show. I have absolutely zero clue as to what exactly what Sony’s got up their sleeves (and neither do you, so shush!), but it’s obviously bigger than either of the two games. Seriously, if the most exciting thing they have to show off is a few more characters for Battle Royale then they’ll be laughed right off the show floor, and rightly so.

Dream big, friends.

Sony will reduce their focus on Move

As of March 2012, Sony have shipped 10.5 million Move units. Not sold to consumers, but to stores, and that number combines Move and Navigation controllers … it’s not terribly exciting.

They won’t abandon the peripheral completely, but it’s easy to imagine the company scaling back their efforts. Sorcery, the supposed killer app that debuted as a tech demo alongside the Move at E3 2009, met with lukewarm reviews. Games with optional use of the tech — such as Killzone 3 and Heavy Rain — were successful in spite of the technology.

Expect Sony to continue pimping Move, but taking much less time to do so.

PlayStation Plus makes its way to Vita

Vita sales could be better, to say the least. While slashing the price on the system would be great, software takes precedence. The response to PlayStation Plus’s flood of free and discounted content has been overwhelmingly positive as of late, so it’s only a matter of time before it makes its way to Vita.

iOS and Android gaming present a very real threat to Vita and 3DS alike, thanks largely to the large quantity of great games that can be bought for five bucks or less. You won’t see Uncharted at that price, but Mutant Blobs Attack at $3.99 for PlayStation Plus subscribers, or even $1.99? That’ll do very nicely.

A $200 price tag will be announced for Wii U

The Wii has done very well for itself, largely because it cost significantly less than the Xbox 360 and PS3 when it came out, which in turn is largely because it isn’t a very high-tech piece of equipment.

Rumors of the Wii U’s power are inconsistent, but place it at or slightly above the 360 and PS3. Since that level of tech is far cheaper now then it was five and six years ago, expect Nintendo to once again undercut Sony and Microsoft with a $200 price point. It might be hard to imagine that price with a tablet controller, but the tech in there might be low enough to sustain it — a resistive touchscreen in 2012? What are we, Amish?

Next page: Reviews editor Malcolm Spinedi chimes in