E3 is almost here, and all of us that think we’re in the know are telling all you what to expect. Most of the time we’re about 50/50 on our predictions, so that makes us a bit better than the majority of EPSN’s expert panel and their pro sports picks. Anyway, I’ve already done my Microsoft E3 predictions, so now it’s time for me to do the same for Sony.
There’s No Place Like Home – After all this time and all the demos, I think it’s finally time for Home to get solid release dates, final specifications, and some clear direction. I won’t be surprised if it’s slightly scaled back from what we saw at its original blowout at GDC, but it should still be a might impressive landscape to mess around in. I’m sure Sony will also discuss how 3rd parties and advertisers have shown huge excitement from Home and are actively working with Sony to make it the place to be.
Sequels! – Sony is all about sequels. Well, to be fair, most companies are, but Sony elevates it a higher level. The PS2 saw about 40 Ratchet games, 15 Sly Coopers, and 29 Jak releases. Not to curb a successful formula, Sony will have some sequels we know about (Killzone 2, Resistance 2, Grand Turismo 5, Final Fantasy XIII, etc.) to show more of, but they’ll also have several new ones for us (a new Ratchet & Clank, God of War 3, WipEout, and more). Unlike the film industry, usually game sequels improve upon the previous release, so let’s hope that trend continues, because Sony is going to have a lot of them.
Community – Sony has always been super weak on the community side of things. Microsoft has a great thing going with Live, but Sony is ready to leapfrog them in that regard with Home, Little Big Planet, and a few other tricks they have in the making. Bringing cross-game voice chat to the PS3 down the line will help, as will their recently released in-game XMB features. Sony will try to convince gamers that they can get as much on the PS3 as they can on the 360 when it comes to community and interaction.
Momentum – Sony’s spin will focus on how they’re closing the gap with AAA releases, getting a huge sales boost in Japan with the PSP, and that they have X number of developers actively working on games. Sony is going to try to dispel the notion that they’ve been relegated to 3rd place in this generation and that they’re primed to make a run for market leadership. And hey, with a strong holiday lineup, why shouldn’t they feel confident? Sadly, a price drop will not happen any time soon, it’s just not financially possible for Sony this year to go any lower than what they’re at. Bundles are more likely than price drops, so they may push that in their attempt to paint the PS3 as a good value.
Sony has a chance to really dazzle both fans and naysayers come Tuesday. With huge projects like Home and Little Big Planet on the horizon, Sony has a lot going on. Games like Afika, inFamous, and their whole slew of sequels should have everybody antsy for the holidays. I personally would like to see some committment to improving the dismal state of the PSP’s library, but i’m not holding my breath. This year, however, I think much of Sony’s conference will be impressive, and not just full of gimmicky smoke and mirrors.