Macaulay’s E3 2016 Predictions
E3 season is finally here! With a week to go before the rollout of conferences, it’s time for my predictions of what we’ll see coming down the pipeline. While a lot of reveals are inevitable (Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Neo, VR) and some are confirmed to not be shown (NX, Nintendo Direct), there’s still a few announcements to anticipate/hope for.
For this article, I’ll make some predictions and break it down for the Big Three in order of conference/livestream schedule. As for the other companies, I don’t have quite a good grip on what’ll be shown. The full schedule that includes these other conferences will be listed at the end of the article.
In the same camp as games like Gears of War 4 minus actual gameplay footage, we have ReCore. So far, no substantial information has been revealed since its announcement. The talented Armature Studios (the team made up of members who worked on Metroid Prime) will be teaming up with Comcept for this next project, and the gameplay looks to skew more toward a third-person action-adventure game in the vein of Tomb Raider and Uncharted based on the main character’s appearance. These are all just wild guesses unfortunately, so here’s to hoping it doesn’t go the way of Phantom Dust.
As for a title that may make me consider getting an Xbox One, Platinum’s Scalebound looks impressive. The gameplay shown last year looked to be a big departure from the studio’s normal fare. The delay announcement to 2017 from earlier this year was a bit of a bummer, but that’ll give it the time for the polish it needs based on that early footage. If I had to guess, we may see some of the co-op gameplay during this conference.
Oculus Support for the Xbox Scorpio
As for hardware, the most obvious is the Scorpio, Microsoft’s next iteration of the Xbox One. However, a couple of interesting rumor tidbits may make for an interesting hardware reveal. First off, the Scorpio may surpass the Neo in terms of raw processing power of the Neo, running at 6 TFLOPS instead of 4.14, which may make it rather ideal for hosting a VR headset. Instead of developing their own and wasting development for another failed peripheral, it makes sense for Microsoft to make the Scorpio Oculus-ready considering the good relationship they have with the company.
“What about the Hololens,” you might say. Honestly, the Hololens’ biggest problem as of recently has been its field of view. In addition, no substantial gameplay applications have been shown besides Hololens Minecraft last year. AR technology may need a couple more years in the oven, whereas VR is here now. At this point, it’s pure speculation, but I think VR replacing AR at Microsoft conference this year makes sense.
The major detail blowout in early May for Persona 5 was honestly more than I expected. We now have most of the playable cast, their initial Personas, dungeon designs, boss designs, story beats, and a release date for Japan. As for the West, nothing besides a 2016 release window. Atlus has confirmed that Persona 5 will be at E3, so now it’s a matter of if we’ll see it on Sony’s stage or not. If we do, a trailer with a release date will be just enough to satiate me.
Next Destiny Expansion
As Destiny has been so closely tied to PlayStation, it makes sense to see more of it. Now, the time for a new expansion is here. In fact, Bungie will be revealing it this Thursday, right before E3. It’s likely that it won’t be Destiny 2. It would be cool if that’s the case and we see a massive visual upgrade, but not much supports that theory. The rumor mill this time indicates that the expansion may be titled Rise of Iron, but we’ll have to wait and see.
The Last Guardian/Horizon: Zero Dawn
After several years of waiting, we finally saw The Last Guardian come back to like as E3 2015. We also got a look at Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Zero Dawn, a third-person action-adventure set in an age where Cyber Dinosaurs roam the earth. While these are two very different games, it feels fair to lump them in the same category. Footage was shown off last year, and not much new has come to light. More gameplay sequences from both would be appreciated, as well as release windows.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Out of E3 2015’s announcements I didn’t expect to see, Final Fantasy VII getting a remake topped the list. While the announcement was just a trailer with Square Enix’s trademark pretty CG, we did get a gameplay snippet later at the Tokyo Game Show. The combat heading more in the direction of active over passive and its episodic nature takes the air out of its wings for some, but a remake is appreciated. The original game is honestly very difficult to go back to for those who didn’t grow up with it or appreciate it from its time. We likely won’t see any hint of a release date for 2016 since Final Fantasy XV will take the mantle, but some more gameplay details would be nice.
Original PlayStation 4 Price Cut
At this point, the PlayStation 4 Neo releasing in Fall 2016 is very likely. The stars are aligning, and the time period fits well as the PS4 has surpassed 40 million units sold. If a Fall 2016 release happens, I’m confident that the original PS4 will get a price cut. With the initial price point for the Neo possibly sitting around $400, a drop on the original to $300 makes sense. For those who don’t want the brand new device or the upgrade to their current one, having a cheaper option would still generate a substantial amount of sales and grow the userbase. It may be wishful thinking, but that may be enough for me to take the plunge.
Metroid Prime Federation Force/Paper Mario: Color Splash
We do know some of the games that will be shown during the Treehouse streams this E3. Zelda Wii U and Pokémon Sun and Moon will be on the first day, while other titles like Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Dragon Quest VII, and Monster Hunter Generations will be on the second. Some upcoming titles haven’t been confirmed, like Metroid Prime Federation Force and Paper Mario: Color Splash. These game are in the same backlash boat, which may explain why Nintendo is hesitant to talk about them. Still, if the games have the potential they should be given a chance. It’s sad, but if they’re not here, Nintendo has swept them under the rug, doing very little besides releasing the games with no fanfare.
This was the biggest bummer of E3 season. After months of anticipating Nintendo’s reveal of the NX, we’re getting nothing. No NX info, no titles, no announcements. Just the Zelda main event and other assorted Wii U and 3DS carnival games. Clutching at straws sucks, but I’m still holding out hope that Nintendo does something clever and gives us something about the NX. Anything.
Honestly, the prediction mill is a bit light for this E3. After last year’s big blowout with multiple heavy-hitters having their own conferences, it’s been toned down a bit here. New console and hardware talk has been dominating, and it’s hard to tell if that anticipation will pay off. Nevertheless, here’s to another E3. If you want to catch the announcements as they happen, the E3 2016 conference schedule is;
Sunday, June 12th
- EA Play — 1 PM PST / 4 PM EST
- Bethesda — 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST
Monday, June 13th
- Xbox — 9:30 AM PST / 12:30 PM EST
- PC Gaming — 11:30 AM PST / 2:30 PM EST
- Ubisoft — 1 PM PST / 4 PM EST
- Sony — 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST
Tuesday, June 13th
- Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 Day 1 — 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST
Wednesday, June 14th
- Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 Day 2 — 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST