E3 2006 Prognostications


posted 4/12/2006 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms:

With E3 just a little over a month away you should just now be able to make out the din of the industry hype machines ramping up.  Over the next month you can expect to be deafened by the cacophony of PR machinations as they tout the latest games that you will just have to play when they come out.  Over the next four week’s we’ll be bombarded screenshots, trailers, and enough hype to strangle a bantha.

In advance of that I've decided to take a somewhat tongue in cheek look at what could be the biggest E3 in years.  Gaming press and gamers posing as press will finally get their hands on the PS3 and the Nintendo Revolution (or whatever Nintendo decides to call their system).  I would expect to see something big from Microsoft to help keep the Xbox 360 in the foreground but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Without any further ado here's my list of my top 10 expectations from E3 this year


1. Sony to have the PS3 playable and on the floor.  The graphics will be awesome but not nearly the level of what was presented at the show last year. 

The PS3 is going to be the big story of the show this year with the Revolution coming in a close second.  I'm not basing this on quality of games but rather the sheer size of the installed Playstation base. 

We've already seen some comparisons on the net between what was shown last year and the footage that was shown at the GDC and it there was a noticeable fall off.   That's not to say they aren't good looking but they aren't nearly as sharp as what Sony was showing off last year.  That said I full expect to be blown away by what Sony is showing off and I think we’re going to see a lot of integration between the PSP and the PS3…maybe even an iTunes competitor.


2. Nintendo will have one of the most popular booths at the show this year.  People will spend the entire time waiting in line to see the new Zelda game/chance to play the Revolution

Never underestimate the will and devotion of the Nintendo faithful.  Given the near religious zealotry that Nintendo engenders in their congregation the term fanboy doesn’t seem to really cover it.  At last year's show the line to get in and play the new Zelda game stretched well over the length of Nintendo's booth with signs indicating a wait of over four hours just to ge a little QT with the game.  If you consider that E3 is only open to the public for around 26 hours or so that's people allocating nearly 1/8th of their time to play the game for a few minutes.  Only amusement parks have higher wait/amusement ratios

This year is going to be different because people will be able to actually get their hands on the new Nintendo controller and will finally be able to see if all the hype was real.  We should also get some ideas on what games will be taking advantage of the system and if the shell that Nintendo promised that will allow gamers to play "standard" console games will actually work. I'm actually really looking forward to getting my mits on the system and see what wonders Miyamoto and company have forged for us.


3. Alan Wake will be the surprise sleeper game of the show

Alan Wake and Oblivion the two games that left the biggest impression on my last year.  With the successful release of Oblivion  release last month to critical reviews I think this is the year that people start realizing that the folks at Remedy have been working on something very special. Between the excellent graphics and the spooky storyline this is one game that should pick up a big following this year.


4. One company will intentionally flaunt the limits on booth babes this year.  They will be fined and issue a press release on it. 

With the ban on booth babes this year it's going to be harder to spot the crappy games at the show this year.  The ban nullifies the usual gauge that there's an inverse relationship between the quality of a game and the # of inches of cleavage on display at a particular booth.  That said there will be one company that will flaunt this rule to draw attention to themselves.  It won't be one of the major players at the show but somebody is going to have a couple of "models" running around in floss.  They will be cited by the folks at the ESA (who have to act on this in order to keep things under control for next year) and then will issue a press release as a way to draw attention to their product.

5. ...It won't be Rockstar or anyone from Take-two who will have instituted a burka's only policy for everyone at the show

Page 3 of 2