E3 2015 is almost here, and my school girl giddiness is starting to get the best of me! Stages are being prepped, leaks — both real and fake — are flowing fast and furious, and uncomfortable executives are mistakenly broadcasting guarded trade secrets to everyone with a Twitch account (we still love you Bethesda!). The festivities begin tonight as Bethesda takes the stage for its first ever E3 press conference extravaganza, and my body couldn’t be more ready. So, what do I think this year’s big show has in store for anxious gamers? Let’s find out!
Sony’s First Party Studios Will Spill The Beans
We know that every development house within Sony’s revered Worldwide Studios group is working on something for the PlayStation 4, we just don’t know what. As we approach the end of the PS4’s second year on the market, it’s time for Sony’s first-party armada to start spilling the beans. I’m predicting not one, not two, not three, but four of Sony’s biggest first-party guns will unveil what they’ve been working on. As evidence mounts, I think it’s a safe bet we’ll see Guerilla Games’ new project, codenamed Horizon, and if its rumored medieval-meets-robotic dinosaurs setting is indeed true, I can’t wait to see this thing in action. Sony Bend’s been quiet since they finished up work on the Uncharted franchise for the Vita years ago. Might we see the return of Gabe Logan and the Syphon Filter franchise to home consoles? While smaller teams within Media Molecule have broken off to create the Tearaway franchise in recent years, there are still a whole lot of people there working on something in secret. Whether this has anything to do with that Move demo they showcased during the PlayStation 4 reveal back in February of 2013 is anyone’s guess. Rounding out this quadruple threat, I think Polyphony Digital is ready to pull the curtain back on Gran Turismo 7, and I’m predicting that they’ll drop the numbered sequels and debut the franchise as an ever-evolving platform for the PS4. Sony’s got some big guns in their camp and it’s time to see what they’ve been up to!
Microsoft Will Unveil Not One, But Two New Gears Of War Titles
It’s pretty much a given at this point that the original Gears of War is being remastered for the Xbox One. This is a glaringly obvious case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Contracted alpha testers have even gone so far as to leak actual gameplay footage from the long rumored project. While it still seems a curious decision to remaster the first title in the franchise amidst rumblings of a full-on series reboot, this one is all but guaranteed at this point. I think the real surprise is going to come when we see the first official trailer for the next entry in the Gears franchise, the first one made from the ground up for the Xbox One. I can see it playing out like this: Rod Fergusson, head of Microsoft’s newly minted Gears of War studio, The Coalition, takes to the stage to take part in a gameplay demo for the remastered version of the first Gears of War. The game looks great in 1080p and 60 frames per second, and the crowd “oohs” and “aahs” with joy. Before leaving the stage, Rod mentions he has “just one more thing to show us.” A cinematic trailer for the first proper Xbox One Gears of War plays on the gigantic screen behind him. I have a good feeling about this one.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III Will Be A PlayStation First Title
This prediction may be a result of my own ignorance — I feel like when Microsoft first announced Call of Duty: Ghosts for the Xbox One, that they may have mentioned something about securing DLC first on their system for this “generation” as well, but I can’t quite remember — but I feel like signs are pointing towards Call of Duty being a “PlayStation first” title for the first time in franchise history with Call of Duty: Black Ops III. When I say “PlayStation first,” I’m referring to the title being demoed on PS4 units for the press, being marketed on PlayStation platforms in TV ads, and receiving the DLC first on Sony platforms. Microsoft and Activision have had a long-standing partnership between Xbox and Call of Duty, so this would obviously be a huge turnaround for the franchise, and a big win for Sony. There have been reports that the press is playing the game on PS4 demo units, there wasn’t a big Xbox logo plastered at the end of the Black Ops III debut trailer, and Microsoft didn’t hold some big event to celebrate the latest entry in the series. Might we see a changing of the guard here? E3 should provide the answers.
In The Absence of The Legend Of Zelda, Nintendo Will Announce A New 3D Super Mario Game For Wii U
This one is probably a long shot, but with The Legend of Zelda Wii U a confirmed no show for E3, might Nintendo turn to their mighty plumber to provide some excitement for their fans? I’m thinking we’re going to see the Big N unveil a new 3D Mario game during their digital event. Whether this is Super Mario Galaxy 3, or something else entirely, I feel like Nintendo needs to come out swinging with one of their heavy hitters in the absence of The Legend of Zelda. While I’d love to see a new Metroid game like our own Nintendo super fan, Bender, the franchise just doesn’t have the cache and mystique about it that it once had. We haven’t seen a new Metroid title since 2010’s disappointing Metroid: Other M, and with Mario Kart and Smash Bros. already out on the platform, I feel like Mario needs to step in to fill the considerable void Link is leaving in his wake. Personally, I’d love to see Super Mario Sunshine 2!
EA Will Finally Officially Reveal Mass Effect 4
EA’s conference is already shaping up to be a great one this year. While Star Wars: Battlefront, the Need for Speed next-gen reboot, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, a new Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and the requisite EA Sports sizzle reel should all be on display during Electronic Arts’ annual conference, it’s what we don’t yet know about that has me excited to watch the show. We could see anything from the newest Battlefield to whatever it is that Criterion is working on, but I’m thinking the time is right to finally show of what Bioware has been up to with Mass Effect 4. It’s been more than 3 years since Mass Effect 3, and it’s no secret that Bioware is working on the next installment in their sweeping sci-fi space opera; they’ve been upfront that a new Mass Effect is in full production. Is there space to squeeze in this huge reveal during this year’s show? Let’s hope. I could definitely see them pulling a page out of Ubisoft’s book and ending their show with this megaton reveal.
There you have it, folks! My top 5 prognostications for 2015’s version of E3. Do any of these have a snowball’s chance in hell of coming true? What do you think this year’s show holds in store for your favorite platforms and franchises? Let us know in the comments below, and keep it locked to ShortPause.Com all week for all of your E3 coverage! We’re going to have video feeds, live blogs, and reaction videos for every single one of the show’s big conferences! Join us for the event, and we’ll see you tonight at 10pm eastern for Bethesda’s conference to kick everything off!