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Shack Staff share their E3 2012 predictions

by Shack Staff, shacknews.com, Jun 1, 2012 1:30PM PDT

It's that time of the year again. E3 2012 officially kicks off on Monday. What can we expect from this year's show? The Shacknews team chimes in with their predictions.

Clearly, Wii U has the most mind share on the team. "For better or worse, Sony and Microsoft are on auto-pilot this year," Steve said. "I'm sure they'll show impressive software, but new hardware really grabs attention at E3. That makes a golden opportunity for Nintendo to steal the show with dramatic Wii U announcements."

Nintendo

"I'm eager to see what Nintendo brings to the table with the Wii U. I’m expecting plenty of first party titles to be announced to help sell the idea of the bulky tablet controller," Ozzie added. John expects "a larger than expected third-party" presence as well. When Nintendo debuted the 3DS in 2010, it did so with an impressive lineup of third-party games. Nintendo may mimic that strategy.

So what games can we expect Nintendo to showcase? "If the company has learned its lesson from the 3DS, we'll have the new Mario game confirmed for launch," Steve explained. "We do know it will be shown, at least. Pikmin 3 and a possible Wii U version of Luigi's Mansion 2 could help pad out the launch line-up, but I doubt Nintendo will stack the deck that heavily. More likely it will be Mario in 2012, and everything else for the first half of 2013."

"We'll more than likely find out what the secret Retro Studios project is, whether it be the rumored Metroid/Star Fox mashup or something entirely different," Ozzie said. Retro has been relatively quiet since the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns, the last game it fully developed. "I'd bet on their icing on the cake being the announcement of extensive cross-platform interaction between the Wii U and 3DS. Masahiro Sakurai has already teased this idea for the next Smash Bros."

Will Nintendo's underpowered hardware undercut enthusiasm over the Wii U? Yes, but not really. "Nintendo will show off a few Wii U games and people will complain that the hardware's so weak it'll flop," Alice said. "Just as they did with the original Wii, which has now shifted over 96 million consoles."

Sony

Sony will definitely attempt to counter Wii U enthusiasm by announcing a number of games that work across both Vita and PS3, specifically PlayStation All-Stars. "If Sony wants this functionality to succeed, they will need to make sure one purchase unlocks both versions of the game," Andrew noted. One way for Sony to "win E3" would be for Vita's Call of Duty game to feature extensive cross-functionality with the PS3. "Call of Duty Elite needs to be on Vita. If I were Sony, I'd love to see Black Ops 2 on Vita, playing a multiplayer match against someone on the PS3. That will sell a lot of consoles."

"Vita definitely needs a price drop," Andrew said, but it's probably something Sony might consider so early in the system's life. "If cross-platform play really is their focus at E3 this year, I expect a PS3 and Vita bundle. I'd say $399 for a Vita and PS3 would definitely steal some attention away from the Wii U."

Microsoft

Microsoft definitely holds the least interest within the Shacknews team. Given their market-leader position, many are expecting E3 to be defined by Halo 4, Gears of War, and Kinect. "Microsoft will make Halo 4 the centerpiece of their presentation," John predicted. "They have a lot riding on 343’s reimaging of Bungie’s franchise." In addition, John expects Infinity Blade for Kinect.

"There's absolutely zero chance Microsoft will talk about next-gen, given their strong position," Andrew predicted. There is a chance Windows Phone could take the stage at E3, with Alice predicting "weary enthusiasm" over continued efforts to integrate Xbox Live into other devices. "Seeing how Xbox Live integrates into Windows 8 should be interesting," Andrew said. "But given their failures with Games for Windows, it's difficult to get too enthusiastic."

Regardless of what happens at the show, Alice is definitely right about one thing: "There will be zombies."