E3 2011 – the most important showcase in the gaming calendar is fast-approaching. The scene is set for a tonne of announcements, including the unveiling of Nintendo’s brand new console. Could this be the best E3 ever? Here are ten reasons why we think it could be…
New consoles, the most impressive catalogue of games in recent memory, the year motion controls come into their own, and plenty of drama – these are just some of the reasons to stay locked to the events of E3 2011.
E3 has always been an exciting extravaganza of big game announcements, but it’s only when a new console is launched, that the whole world really sits up and takes notice. In already signaling its intentions to reveal its new console (codenamed Project Café) at E3 2011, Nintendo has already stolen the show. Expect to hear lots more about the Sony NGP, which is now reported to be named PS Vita. Could a final release date and price be on the cards too? We hope so.
The best games line-up ever?
E3 has always been a hotbed of game announcements. E3 2011 is full of them. Reported titles to be the subject of various keynotes include a first-ever look at the new Tomb Raider and Max Payne 3. We can also expect to see new Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception gameplay. More? How about Soul Calibur 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, Gears of War 3, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Twisted Metal, Paper Mario 3DS and of course, a world first look at what Nintendo has in store for Project Café.
We get to see the next big thing in gaming
When Nintendo released its motion-controller-equipped Wii console in 2006 it ushered a brave new world for gaming. Motion-sensor-based gameplay continues to have its naysayers but in (some would say stubbornly) adopting this approach to gameplay, Nintendo successfully managed to make gaming more approachable to the masses – those that wouldn’t have dreamt of picking up a controller. No matter what anyone says, that in itself is a good thing.
Proof that Nintendo kick-started the next big thing in gaming became apparent when Sony announced its own counter to the Wii Remote in the form of the PlayStation Move. Microsoft also got in on the game, with its body motion-detecting Kinect camera. According to reports, Project Café will feature a touchscreen controller to bring tablet style controls to console gaming. Whether this turns out to be true will remain a source of rumour and speculation up until its E3 unveiling, but whatever Nintendo does, everyone will be paying attention. You should too – we could be about to witness the next big gaming innovation.
Want more of the games you love? E3 2011 will see plenty of super sequels announced and shown off. Among them: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Soul Calibur 5, Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, to name but a handful.
Motion control gets good
Two years on from unveiling PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect at E3 2009, both Sony and Microsoft will be looking to prove that they take motion control seriously by announcing more Move and Kinect – compatible games. The big stuff we feel will come from Microsoft, who are set to announce plenty of games at both the “casual” and “hardcore” ends of the spectrum.
Dance Central 2 is suggested to be just one of the games set to be announced, along with the inevitable Kinect Sports 2, offering a more refined experience and a new title by the name of Kinect Fun Lab. Microsoft will look to show the world that it can do hardcore too, with an expected Kinect-powered demonstration of Forza Motorsport 4 and a new Star Wars Kinect game all but confirmed in media invites to Microsoft’s E3 2011 keynote.
The return of familiar favourites
E3 2011 will see plenty of familiar gaming mascots take over the show floor. It’s almost like the E3 of old, ensuring that those long-term gamers who have grown up through the generations of home consoles and remained loyal to their favourite franchises will have something to get excited about.
The impending release of Duke Nukem Forever means we will see Duke make a welcome reappearance. A new Tomb Raider adventure means we’ll see Lara Croft. Mario? Mario Kart 3DS and Paper Mario 3DS. Link? We’ll see him in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Sonic The Hedgehog? Sonic Generations.
Battlefield 3 versus Modern Warfare 3
Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3? In the same room? This could get messy. EA’s Battlefield 3 has already impressed this year, so rivals Activision will have to do something special at E3, as both publishers seek to outdo each other. Gameplay demos of both (a strong possibility) would be one of the highlights and one of the shows most heated talking points. Fanboys, assemble.
On top of all the goodness that we already know about, there are bound to be a few surprise announcements. Previous years saw Metal Gear Solid: Rising announced for Xbox 360, and Portal 2 appearing on PS3. This year? The nature of surprise announcements means we don’t yet know what they are, but how about a Project Café release window? Or a major PS3 or Xbox 360 franchise heading to Nintendo’s new console? It could happen.
The Kevin Butler sideshow
When the occasion calls for it, Sony rolls out its fictional boss of gaming, Kevin Butler. Last year’s appearance saw the make-believe Sony exec deliver an entertaining, yet stirring pro-PlayStation Move speech about how casual gamers are real gamers too. After a difficult past month for Sony, what better way to get onside with critics and the watching world than to wheel him out once more? It won’t fix the fallout from Sony’s PlayStation Network woes, but at least it will entertain us. To save you searching YouTube, we’ve embedded the E3 2010 speech below.
Battle of the exclusives
When it comes to “who won E3?” the proof is in the exclusives. In the PS3 corner we have Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Twisted Metal and Resistance 3.
In the Xbox 360 corner we have Gears of War 3, Forza Motorsport 4 and Kinect Star Wars. Nintendo not only has the small matter of launching a new console to take care of, but a whole bunch of 3DS-exclusives including Lylat Wars 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Mario Kart 3DS and more. Expect more surprise announcements. Let battle commence.
What are you most looking forward to seeing from E3 2011? Let us know in the comments section below.