Sunday, June 5, 2011

E3 2011 Hopes and Dreams


Starting tomorrow is the beginning of the biggest industry gathering on the planet, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3). Over the course of the next week, some of the biggest announcements will be coming from companies in the gaming industry. Gamers around the world wait in breathless anticipation for what will be announced during this event. I am not connected to any of these companies, nor do I have privileged information. I will be discussing my hopes and dreams for this E3. I already discussed what potential announcements may occur at E3 in another article. Without further ado, here is what I hope happens at E3.

Nintendo

Project Cafe - The codename for the successor to the Nintendo Wii. It is well known that the next Nintendo console will be coming out in 2012. Nintendo officially announced its existence a couple of months before E3. Reliable sources have written on their articles that this console will be at least PS3/360 in terms of power, have a 6" touchscreen in the controller, and it will have a June 2012 release date. What I am hoping for is a reasonable price for the console, I am talking about $300 to $350. One of the main issues I had with the Wii was that graphically it was far weaker than the PS3/360, this issue will be remedied for the next iteration. Nintendo games are awesome, as long as the next Nintendo console has as many awesome games as the Wii then I will be happy. The Nintendo Wii is the first and only Nintendo console I have never bought, and as long as the next Nintendo console has a reasonable price and a good game lineup it will still have that distinction.

Nintendo 3DS - The console is performing under expectations, and that is attributed to its poor game lineup (at the moment) and the exorbitant price. It is too early to do price drops, since it is too close to its launch date to start price cutting. What I am hoping is that Nintendo will provide a great lineup of games for the next year while announcing some great exclusive 3rd party games.

Sony

Next PlayStation Portable - All rumors are suggesting that the console will be named the PlayStation "Vita" which means "life" in Latin. The specs are already confirmed for the console, the CPU is a ARM® Cotex-A9 4 core processor, the GPU is a PowerVR SGX543MP4, and the console has a gorgeous OLED screen. I am hoping for a couple of things from Sony for the next PlayStation Portable:
  • A price point of $250
  • A release date of September/October 2011
  • A very strong lineup of Japanese games, especially RPG's.
  • Games being reasonably priced
  • Battery life that is reasonable
  • Great online integration (for Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star Portable)
  • HDMI output
PlayStation 3 - Before the hacking incident, I thought that Sony would be in the clear (financially) to lower the price of the console by $50 for E3. With the huge financial cost of the incident, it is likely that the console wont get a price drop at least until Fall this year. I expect a strong lineup of western-oriented games with one or two Japanese games. What I hope is that Sony would have a stronger lineup of Japanese games.

Microsoft

XBOX 360 - The XBOX 360 is well on its way to having its best year yet. I am expecting lots of charts and graphs about how Kinect helped the console do well. What I am hoping is that the console will have a price drop and that they continue to expand their great online experience.

Next Gen XBOX - Microsoft is developing the next XBOX console, I don't expect any announcements until E3 2012. I am hoping that they acknowledge that they are building the next gen console and that reliability and quality games is a strong focus. Aside from that I don't expect anything.

Sega

More Valkyria Chronicles - I am a huge fan of the franchise, having owned both games along with having a large figure collection and Japanese artbooks. I am hoping that Valkyria Chronicles 3 will get a USA release, preferably with a quick turnaround in August or September. I am also hoping that the franchise will be continued on the next PlayStation handheld console and that it will have Raita Honjou as the main designer (again) with Hitoshi Sakimoto as the composer.

Sakura Taisen - This is the kind of thing that tends to get announced at TGS, but I am hoping that Sega hasn't abandoned the Sakura Taisen franchise. Just continue it on any console and I will import it from Japan.

SquareEnix

FFXIII-2 - The game is getting a sequel, and I am hoping that it takes all the good stuff from Final Fantasy XIII like its battle system and adds stuff that was absent like towns and more open paths. By virtue of adding towns and having more open explorable areas like Cocoon will the game be a far superior experience.

USA release dates - Please give us a USA release date for Final Fantasy Type 0 and Final Fantasy Versus. Just give us something to hope for instead of keeping it in development purgatory.

Gust

New Franchise? -  I love Gust, they are one of my favorite developers. I have been buying the Atelier franchise and the Ar Tonelico franchise religiously. With the Ar Tonelico franchise officially complete, I am hoping that they would make another awesome new franchise with all the stuff that makes Gust so awesome (which is the soundtrack, attention to detail, and great character designs). I expect more announcements at TGS, but I am hoping for a peep from them on a new direction.

Atelier Totori USA Date - I am hoping that we get a date for the USA release for Atelier Totori from Nippon Ichi Software America along with what kind of goodies the game will have.

Other Companies

Namco Bandai - Give us USA dates for Tales of the Abyss 3DS and Tales of Graces F. It would be nice if they also hinted that they will be releasing Tales of Xilia in the states.

Atlus - It would be nice to see Persona 4 portable with a new female lead or a hint of Persona 5 on the XBOX 360/PS3/NGP, but that is definitely something that would be for TGS.

Press Conference Times

June 6th
Microsoft: 9:00 A.M. PST
Sony: 5:00 P.M. PST

Tuesday, June 7th:
Nintendo: 9:00 A.M. PST

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