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Leviathyn’s Complete E3 2013 Preview: The Games, The Press Conferences, And More!

 

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E3 is almost upon us. Every year, developers, publishers, and the press flock to Los Angeles for a week of announcements, demos, and press conferences. Since it’s inception, E3 has been the source of some of the biggest news in the industry, and this year looks to be no different. Sony and Microsoft are expected to reveal details on their new home consoles, while Nintendo looks to prove the value of it’s flattering Wii U console. All the news starts next week, when E3 2013 officially begins on June 11th. Until then, use this handy guide to prepare for the onslaut of news!

The Press Conferences

Every E3, the biggest publishers and console manufacturers hold lavish and large scale press conferences. It’s where the big announcements get made, and in the past they’ve have been the source of some of the most exciting moments in gaming culture. This year, with two of the console manufactures pushing new consoles, and everyone competing for next generation dominance, it’s going to be crazier than ever.

#XboxE3 Press Conference: Monday at 9:30am PST

showfloor

Historically, Microsoft has used it’s E3 press conference to appeal to the mass audience, promoting it’s multimedia services and Kinect titles above traditional games. Going into E3 with a new console, the newly-announced Xbox One, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Microsoft return to this routine, to gain more traction for the Xbox One in the mainstream press. However, the company claims that this year’s conference will be completely centered around games (going as far to claim that the Xbox One’s announcement event was the part of their E3 press conference that “sucks” for gamers). 

While we remain unconvinced that Microsoft won’t tout some of it’s social or multimedia features during the E3 press conference, we’re excited to see what Microsoft will debut. With public perception on the side of Sony going into the next generation, Microsoft is facing an uphill battle, and while the company’s confidence is reassuring, it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out. The company desperately needs to show off games for it’s next console, and we’ve heard enough rumbling regarding exclusive deals to believe Microsoft can pull something surprising off.

 Predictions:

-Demos of Call of Duty: Ghosts, Respawn’s New Game

-New Games From 343 and Rare: Halo 5 and possibly a Banjo revival

-Third-party exclusives

-Various Kinect 2 Demos

-No Price or Release Date For Xbox One 

-Outlier: Respawn’s New Game Is An Xbox Exclusive

Watch it on:

Spike TV 

Xbox Dashboard

Gametrailers

#SonyE3 Press Conference: Monday at 6:00pm PST

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Sony is going into E3 with the next-generation momentum on it’s side. While opinions have been varied overall, it’s hard for anyone to deny that Sony’s initial games-focused PS4 event was stronger than Microsoft’s Xbox One unveiling. The Japanese hardware manufacturer has been mostly silent about the new Playstation since it’s January unveiling, and we’re curious to see what the company has been preparing in the six months between. Sony, now more than ever, seems to be interested in courting third-party publishers, so don’t be surprised if we see more third-party demos or exclusive announcements than in years past. 

One area where Sony is undeniably struggling in, however, is the handheld market. Vita sales are stagnating, and the console is being vastly outsold by the Nintendo 3DS. While the handheld shows a lot of potential, there simply aren’t enough high-quality games for the system. While we’d like to hope that Sony will use E3 to reintroduce the Vita as a strong handheld gaming system, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company focuses more on the console’s integration with the Playstation 4 than individual games for the platform. 

 Predictions:

-Demos of Assassins Creed 4, Watch Dogs, Metal Gear Solid 5

-More info on first party games

-Not a whole lot of Vita news

-No price or release date for PS4

Outlier: Metal Gear Solid 5 exclusive

Watch it on:

Gametrailers

#EAE3 Press Conference: Monday at 1:00pm PST

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EA is in a very interesting place going into this E3. The financial disasters of Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic and Medal of Honor: Warfighter hang in recent memory, and proven franchises like Madden and Dead Space are stagnating. The company is without a CEO, most of it’s 2013 releases have under-preformed, and the Sim City debacle has sent their public reception into the toilet. Expect to see an EA in crisis-mode, with the company heavily focusing on proved franchises like FIFA and Battlefield. Elsewhere, we expect the company to make a lot of noise about it’s new Star Wars license, and Mirrors Edge 2 is almost a definite to be announced, considering how heavily it’s been rumored. 

 Predictions:

-No Mention of DRM

-Demos of Battlefield 4 running on next-generation consoles

-Star Wars “concepts”, not full games

-Mirrors Edge 2, finally

Outlier: A Dice-developed Battlefront 3/Visceral-developed Star Wars: 1313

Watch it on:

Spike TV

Gametrailers

#UbisoftE3 Press Conference: Monday at 3:00pm PST

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Oh Ubisoft, every year we go into your press conferences with different expectations, and every year, you somehow completely subvert them. Last year, the company had one of the stronger press conferences of the show, with highly impressive demos of Watch-Dogs, Assassins Creed 3, and Far Cry 3. Of course, this was the year after that whole Mr. Caffeine disaster. And before that, we had lazer-tag with the guy from Community. Gotta give it to you, Ubisoft, you know how to keep your audience on it’s seat. 

So which Ubisoft will we get this year? Well, it’s impossible to say, but with a strong lineup going into the next generation, we expect to at least see some solid gameplay demos. Assassins Creed 4, Watch Dogs, Rayman: Legends, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist will all be shown, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see new entries in the Far Cry and Rainbow Six series. However, we’d say the odds of the long-awaited Beyond Good and Evil 2 making an appearance are on equal level with Mr. Caffeine’s return.

 Predictions:

-Demos of Assassins Creed 4, Watch Dogs, Rayman

-Awkward and forced interactions between the press conference’s hosts

-New Far Cry and Rainbow Six

Outlier: Five second teaser of Beyond Good and Evil 2

Watch it on:

Gametrailers

#NintendoDirect E3: Tuesday at 7:00am PST

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Nintendo is eschewing the traditional E3 press conference this year, instead having another Nintendo Direct livestream and various press hands-on events. It’s an interesting strategy, but it does reek a little of desperateness. To their credit, Nintendo seems to realize that it’s Wii U console simply can’t match the appeal of new consoles in terms of public mindshare, but it still seems a little strange for them to concede this battle so easily. They claim that this Nintendo Direct will allow them to connect directly to their audience, and while this is partially true, it’s a very strange strategy. 

Expect Nintendo to play strongly to their strengths, with a new title from the Galaxy team, more information on the Namco-developed Smash Brothers, and a reveal of Retro’s new game. Because of past Nintendo Directs, we aren’t expecting a whole lot of third-party games to be announced. However, Bayonetta 2 will probably resurface, along with the Wonderful 100. The Wii U will definitely be the focus here, expect to hear more 3DS titles announced on the floor. 

 Predictions:

-New team from the Galaxy team.

-Bayonetta 2 gameplay footage

-A new, “mature” title from Retro

-More Iwata than Reggie

Outlier: The Retro game is also the new Legend of Zelda game.

Watch it on:

Leviathyn.com on 7am Tuesday

“Xbox One will surprise the world during E3, we will kill Sony at E3.”

 

“Hi Jim, sorry I was back asleep. You asked at the HTC One?”

 

“We will get it right. Trust me our system is made by gamers for gamers. E3 is all about the games. Cannot wait to share with everyone!”

 

“Humbled by the outpouring of passionate PlayStation fans and their willingness to talk to us directly. Please know that we hear you.”

While the press conferences make up a large portion of the E3 news, the actual show floor serves as the main area for journalists looking to learn more about newly-announced games. Here, attendees can go hands-on with some of E3’s biggest titles, and it’s where more information about specific games is revealed.

What is Quantum Break? Is it a TV show? Is it a game? Some weird amalgamation of both? All we know is that Quantum Break is doing something unique, and that’s exactly how we’d want Remedy to follow up on the amazing Alan Wake.”;i:2;s:163:”We don’t know a whole lot about From Software’s sequel to Dark Souls, but we’re really interested to see how the mostly-new team builds upon it’s infamous legacy. “;i:3;s:177:”We’ve been hearing about Bungie’s newest project for years now, and it’s amazing to think that we still haven’t seen gameplay footage. We’re confident this E3 will change that.”;i:4;s:197:”The military-shooter genre has reached it’s peak, and now we’re incredibly curious what new innovations the genre’s creators can bring to the table. Or maybe Respawn’ll just make a game in space. “;i:5;s:126:”This is Ubisoft’s big new franchise for the next-generation, and it’s premise of contemporary cyber-hacking has us intrigued.

Different Kinds Of Multiplayer

With Microsoft and Sony both pushing consoles with persistent online connection, and games like Destiny and Watch Dogs featuring always-on asynchronous multiplayer modes, we’re expecting to see games announced with new kinds of multiplayer. Whether this means the next Call of Duty will ship with an iPhone app, or if Madden will require an always-online connection, isn’t clear yet, but don’t be surprised to see games announced with multiplayer that goes beyond death-match.

 

Wii U And Vita Stagnate

We’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings about Wii U games being cancelled or pushed back; the system simply isn’t selling enough units to create an audience. Because of this, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of mutliplatform releases announced without a Wii U version. Yes, Nintendo will probably announce a number of strong first-party games, but don’t count of the console receiving a lot of third party attention this year. Meanwhile, based on the January press conference, Sony seems more interested in the Vita’s connection to the PS4 than actual original games for the system. Expect the handheld to see announcements from Japanese third-parties, but don’t count on Sony to announce any substantial first-party releases.

A Number Of Dormant Games Returning

With the console generation nearing it’s end, expect a number of games lost in development-hell to resurface. The Bureau: XCOM has already been reannounced by 2K, E3’s website lists The Last Guardian as being featured at Sony’s booth, and rumors peg Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Patriots for a reappearance. However, don’t be surprised to see a number of dormant games resurfacing on the next generation, either.

 

The Reign Of Mobile

With mobile gaming growing in popularity and smartphones getting more and more powerful, we expect this E3 to feature mobile gaming more prominently than ever before. Microsoft’s recently announced Halo Windows Phone spinoff will probably make an appearance at the company’s press conference, while Sony will probably show it’s “Playstation Certified” brand again. Hell, Nintendo might even talk about that Wii U mobile app they announced. On the third-party front, Firaxis and Square-Enix are getting into the mobile scene in a big way with fully-fledged ports and sequels to some of their bigger games, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see other developers and publishers follow suit.

The Return of the New-IP  Can you believe that series like Gears of War, Assassin’s Creedand Uncharted are only a generation old? Publishers generally use the change of a console generation to introduce new, sustaining francises, and don’t expect this time to be any different. Ubisoft has already announced Watch Dogs, and we know Microsoft is producing a number of new IPs for the Xbox One. Hopefully we’re learn more about them next week, along with other publisher’s offerings.

 

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