By Jared Newman | Sunday, June 13, 2010 at 3:55 pm
Tonight, the first event of news value is a press conference for Microsoft’s motion-sensing Xbox 360 camera, so far only codenamed Project Natal. I’ll be there, but before the sensory overload of video games galore begins, I saw fit to throw together a short list of what I’m looking for at the show:
Sequels galore. Check out Kotaku’s list of all-star E3 games and you’ll see lots of 2’s, 3’s and roman numerals. Not that the industry usually swings the other way, but the sheer number of heavy hitters on hand — Gears of War 3, Killzone 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, Rock Band 3, another Call of Duty, a Medal of Honor reboot, just to name several — suggests a particularly busy holiday season and early 2011 for well-known franchises. The upshot is that any completely original games will likely get glowing praise from a gaming press tired of the same-old.
Return of the handheld. E3 2009 was quiet on the handheld gaming front, with only a retooled PSP from Sony and no news from Nintendo or Microsoft. With Apple’s iPhone making big moves into gaming, the stage is set for retaliation. Nintendo’s expected to show off the Nintendo 3DS, which will have a 3D display, and there’s a rumor that Sony will reveal the PSP 2. I’m more interested to hear Microsoft’s plans for Windows Phone 7 as a gaming device.
E3 2010: The Year of Exercise. Physically, this show’s a lot easier to cover than the sprawling hallways of the Las Vegas Convention Center during CES, but that could change with Microsoft and Sony sporting new motion controllers. Don’t pity me, but expect me to look at the new creations with a skeptical eye. Cool technology? Sure, but I need to see some amazing games, and not just souped up versions of Wii Sports.
The dark horse of cloud gaming. OnLive and Gaikai are two startups that want to stream video games to your computer as an alternative to owning expensive game consoles or PC hardware. Neither were present at E3 2009, but I’m planning to try both this year. I’ve got my doubts about the business model of cloud gaming, but here’s hoping the technology impresses.