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A blog post on Up a Paddle, as posted on June 4th, 2012

So, it’s about that time again, that is, time to wildly speculate about the upcoming announcements that will be announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.  I was going to record this in audio form as part of my next episode, but that probably won’t be out until after the expo, thus rendering my predictions moot.  An episode is on the way, though, so don’t think you are off the hook just yet.  If I have to suffer, so do you.

Anyways, on with the predictating.  First up, Nintendo:

I know that the Wii U will be the focus of Nintendo’s E3 press conference this year but I still have a good feeling about the Wii Vitality Sensor.  This year’s my year.  I’m totally going to use it to test how vital I am if you catch my drift.  Wink emoticon Wink emoticon.  And by that I mean I’m going to use it to test my blood pressure.   I am getting older and high blood pressure does run in my family.

That being said, since the Wii U will go on sale this year, Nintendo will finally announce a release date for the system and a price point.  I’m going to hazard a guess and say the system will be released in November, in time for the Christmas shopping season, and for $299.99 US.   There will be “shortage” of systems at launch that will level out in the coming months.

We may also get specs for it.  It’s going to be way more powerful than 2 Gamecubes duct taped together.  It will have the mighty power of two Gamecubes and a Wii.  That’s like 4 Gamecubes.  It will be a fierce competitor in the HD console market until next year when the next Sony and Microsoft consoles are released.

It will not play blu-rays or DVDs as it will have its own proprietary disc format, thus making porting to the system much more costly.  It won’t do a lick of good to stop game piracy, though.

Anyway, I’m assuming that Ninty will have the following games to show:

New Super Mario Bros Wii U 2: New Super Mario Brothers 3 (with Bono).  This will be basically the same game as the Wii iteration, except that 1) you will be able to play as your Mii character and 2) one player will have a gross advantage over the others due to being able to use the Wii U tablet controller.   The advantage being that that tablet having player will be able to play another, better game while everyone else is stuck playing the same old, same old.  Also, there will be a raccoon tail power up.

Metroid/Star Fox fan fiction crossover game.  The current grist in the rumor mill is that there will be a Samus / Fox McCloud teamup game for some reason.  They are both bounty hunters so I guess it works.  I would advise that if Nintendo does go through with this, that they must include Captain Falcon as he too, is a bounty hunter.  As is Boba Fett, but as he is currently preoccupied in the Sarlacc Pit, I’d understand his absence.*

* The expanded universe doesn’t count.  Neither do the prequels nor any scenes added or edited after 1983.  I will allow the following, however:  Star Wars: the Radio Play

Pikmin 3:  Now with PikWomin.  In addition to new colors of pikmin (orange, pink, and periwinkle), we will see Olimar’s family entering the fray.  There will be his wife Peech, his son Tode, and another bastardization of another Mario character’s name, possibly Yoshee or Browser. Who am I kidding, if there is another playable character, it will be a Mii.

Some sort of Wii Sports variant.  I can’t wait to see someone smacking someone upside the head with the tablet controller.  That’s curling for you, which better be one of the sports included in this minigame collection.

Wildcard game: Mario Paint.  Everyone’s favourite “Smurfs: Paint and Play Workshop” ripoff will be announced.   This time you will finally be able to paint on Mario.  This will open up all sorts of creative possibilities but inevitably everyone will draw a penis on his forehead.

Wildcard Teaser Announcements: Super Smash Bros U and Legend of Zelda U.  Neither game will be past the planning stages yet, let alone have screen shots for them, but they will still get the most press.

Several HD remakes of Gamecube classics will be announced (Luigi’s mansion, etc).   They won’t come out until next year though, if ever.  And Eternal Darkness will not be one of them, no matter how awesome that would be.

Finally for the Wii U, Nintendo will have a sizzle reel of all the PS3 ports and Xbox 360 ports coming later this year.  Darksiders II,  Assasin’s Creed III and probably Grand Theft Auto 5 will all be announced, with tacked on functionality for the tablet to boot.   In particular, Ubisoft will rush a number of ports to the system, Rayman Origins being the main one.

Also, there is the 3DS to consider.  New Super Mario Brothers 2 will be coming out.  In 4D.  The fourth dimension is 2D.  Because I’m pretty sure I’ll be turning off the 3D when I play it.  Hopefully it’s not as bland and generic as the other New Super Mario brother games, but it definitely will be.

There will also be a Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask remake for the Thirds.  Other than that, there’s not going to much fan fare for the 3DS as Nintendo has to focus on getting the Wii U out the door.  And quite frankly, they don’t have any competition in the hand held market to worry about.  Well, except for Apple.  Yeah, they should be extremely worried.

Microsoft:
Since Microsoft and Sony have officially announced that they are not announcing any new hardware at this E3 convention, both of their press conferences are going to be boring.  As usual.

Unfortunately, since this is a transition year, there aren’t going to be a lot of surprising announcements coming from either company.   Why waste killer IPs on dying systems when you can use them to sell the next one?  So yeah, we probably won’t be seeing too many new franchises or updates to existing franchises.   This is a shame as we are at the point now where game devs should be comfortable enough with the hardware to crank out some really stellar games.  Case in point:  It was about this time in the PS2’s life cycle that Shadows of the Colossus was released.

Anyway, here are the games I’m expecting to see from Microsoft:

New Gears of War prequel .  This isn’t a prediction as Microsoft has already leaked that this game is on the way.  Yay, I guess?

Dance Central 3: Electric Bugaloo.  Although they won’t do it, Harmonix should release a version of the game with classic pop and rock songs from the 20th century.   I’m guessing it would have a broader appeal as Baby Boomers might not want to dance to Lady Gaga but they may want to do the hustle.

Kinect Adventures 2: Now with Bears.  Or more minigames where you pantomime plugging things up with your extremities.  By which I mean my penis.

Harry Potter Kinect will be showcased.   My favourite level is the one where your character is locked under the staircase.

Sony:

Uncharted Prequel.  If previous games can be taken as precedent, Nathan Drake will somehow be estranged from Elena in the game and will somehow end up back together with her at the end.  This will be slightly more bizarre as this will be a prequel and the characters will not have met yet.  Only slightly, though.  As long as Sully is there to crack wise, I’m good to go.

Infamous 3.  Shocking, I know.

More on the Playstation Battle Royale will be revealed.   I’m guessing it will have a special guest star Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, because making a kid friendly fighting game with Kratos from the God of War series isn’t wrong enough already.

The Last Guardian will be dated, finally.  2015.  Mark your calendars.

And finally, little to nothing will be announced for the Vita.  Perhaps a price cut, but not any good reasons as to why you should buy one.

Other game company announcements:

Activision, taking the path less traveled, will shock the gaming world by showing off Black Ops 2 and possibly even announcing Modern Warfare 4.

Capcom will announce Darkstalkers 4.  And when it comes out next year, no one will buy it.  Partly because the fighting game market is flooded right now (thanks in part to Capcom) but mostly because a super ultra lemon scented edition of the game will be released three months afterwards.

Also, Capcom will announce when you will be able to pay to unlock the remaining characters on Street Fighter x Tekken from the disc you already bought.  Because I’m stupid.  I mean, you’re the stupid one for buying it.  I totally didn’t get suckered by buying it. No siree.  If I say it enough times, it’ll come true.

Sega will announce Sonic Generations 2.  This one will ignore what made Sonic Generations so good and will revolve around his friends.   There’ll also be Yakuza 5 and a lot of focus on Mario & Sonic at the London Olympic games (the xbox one will have Kinect support).  And there won’t be any more Valkyria Chronices news.  What they should announce, but won’t, would be a Valkyria Chronicles 2 & 3 HD collection for the PS3.  I’d buy it.  Twice.

Konami will have Metal Gear Rising on display and will drop a teaser for Metal Gear Solid 5.

Bioware will announce Dragon Age 3.  They will also tease a bit about the new Mass Effect 3 ending, which itself will be an advertisement for Mass Effect Online.  There will be three playable factions in that game: Red, Green, and Blue.  Fortunately, it doesn’t matter which one you pick as the game will be the same regardless.

Ubisoft will announce a ton of ports for the Wii U, none of which will be good.  They’ll even manage to screw up porting Rayman Origins and that game is amazing.  Also, Beyond Good and Evil 2 will not be at the show.

There’s really only one game  I’m looking forward to Quantum Conundrum (by Valve) as it looks to be the spiritual sequel to the Portal Franchise.  I hope this one has cupcakes that are half truths.

Anyway, those are all the predictions I have for now.  If I can think of any more, I’ll update them here.  Probably after the convention so that it will appear that I’m a regular Nostradamus.  As opposed to an unleaded one, I guess.  Anyway,  talk to you guys later.

Photo credit: JD Hancock / Foter / CC BY