E3 2015 might still be four months away, but the rumors have already started flying. Some of these ideas are way too far out there to be accurate, and others are so boring they must be true. Somewhere in between though are a few possible announcements that I think might really shake things up at the expo this year.
So in no particular order, here are my 9 predictions for the biggest reveals at E3 2015.
For the first time ever, Bethesda will be putting on their very own E3 press conference. After last year’s lackluster appearance (mainly touting The Evil Within and Battlecry), it seems the publisher is working hard not to be forgotten this year.
So what better way to steal the show than to announce the project fans have been salivating over for nearly seven years? Others have been predicting a new Elder Scrolls or a sequel to Dishonored, but personally, I think the smart money is on Fallout 4. After all, it would be like Valve putting on their own press conference, and deciding not to bring Half-Life 3.
Deus Ex: Universe
When E3 rolls around this summer, it will have been about a year and a half since Eidos “announced” Deus Ex: Universe. I put that word in quotes because aside from some pretty concept art, Eidos really didn’t reveal anything about the project. All we know right now is that it will be a “connected world” across multiple games, comics, and other media.
I think the timing is right for them to finally reveal what the first entry in this universe will be. Interest was high when the project was teased in 2013, but since then, a lack of information has allowed a lot of fans completely forget about it. I would expect Eidos to make a big showing on one of the stage presentations, as well as a significant chunk of space at Square Enix’s booth.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
2015 is Treyarch’s turn at bat for the annualized Call of Duty series. Given what a risky departure Advanced Warfare was last year, it would make sense that Activision would’ve planned the following installment to be a safer bet, just in case Sledgehammer Games dropped the ball.
With Treyarch, that likely means a Black Ops game. That branch of the series has so far proven popular with the fans, despite its role in the franchise as a glorified buffer zone for Infinity Ward’s projects.
We even have a little bit of evidence that the next installment is on its way. Early last year, James C. Burns, the voice actor for Sgt. Frank Woods in the Black Ops series tweeted, ” #blackops3 #nextcod Oh what will tomorrow bring?”
The tweet was deleted soon after (replaced by a generic ‘thank you to the fans’ message), but not before we all saw it.
A New Nintendo Console
The Wii U has been out for less than three years now, so I understand if you’re skeptical of this prediction. However, despite a strong effort during the most recent holiday season, Nintendo’s console still trails behind its competitors. When faced with similar issues in the past, we’ve seen that the company tends to favor big change over incremental growth. While I think most companies would attempt to salvage the Wii U’s performance over the next few years, I predict Nintendo will reveal its successor instead.
In fact, Nintendo has already confirmed that such a console is in the works. In an interview just a few months ago, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that the company had already begun work on a new system. That’s very telling that he would be so candid, especially given how many high-profile titles Nintendo hopes to launch for the Wii U in 2015 (a new Zelda and Star Fox for example).
I don’t think that this new device will represent a completely new console generation for Nintendo though. Their recent strategy, at least on the handheld end of things, is to release a wide variety of different options. For example, at the moment you can buy a 3DS, a 2DS, or a New 3DS; the latter of which features software that’s incompatible with other versions.
I predict Nintendo will unveil an “in between” console, similar to the New 3DS, that will offer significantly more functionality than the Wii U, but will remain backwards compatible. This will allow the company to continue promoting and selling their Wii U titles, while still giving them the visibility boost they need to get reclaim their share of the console market.
More Toys from Nintendo
Speaking of Nintendo, they would be fools not to capitalize on the interest in collectible figurines right now. Despite heavy competition from Skylanders and Disney Infinity, Nintendo managed to carve out their own niche with Amiibo figures, and make some serious bank in the process.
While more Amiibo figures are definitely on the way (in serious quantities too), Nintendo has previously expressed an interest in experimenting with other toy types. Smaller, more affordable figurines were mentioned, as was the idea of card games that use the same built-in functionality on the Wii U GamePad and New 3DS.
I would expect Nintendo to double down on this while the getting is good, and debut one or both of these ideas at E3. That, and a buttload more Amiibo toys.
Titanfall 2 (On a PS4)
Titanfall was one of the most hyped games of 2014, but it failed to ignite interest in the Xbox One like Microsoft clearly hoped it would. Given how quickly that game fell off the face of the map, and how much money its publisher EA has sunk into it already, I predict that a sequel has been fast-tracked for an E3 reveal this year.
I think it’s telling that the game only received three DLC releases (compare that to EA’s strategy with Battlefield). This to me may signal that Respawn has refocused their attention on the next game.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Titanfall 2 will be released in 2015 (next year seems much more likely), but I think EA knows that if they wait too long, interest in that property is going to melt away completely.
If you want a ballsier prediction, I would venture a guess that Titanfall 2 doesn’t get announced at the EA press conference. Instead, I could see it getting revealed at Sony’s, along with the announcement that it would be heading to the PS4 (albeit alongside an Xbox One version). I don’t think it would be that surprising for Sony to throw in some cross-promotion dollars just for the privilege of sticking it to Microsoft on an E3 stage.
Mass Effect 4
On the subject of EA, you could argue that the publisher’s showing last year kind of spoiled any surprises for the next year or two. For E3 2015, gameplay previews for Star Wars: Battlefront and Mirror’s Edge 2 seem all but given, so that’s not entirely exciting.
What could light that room on fire though is something that’s been teased by the publisher, but not fully revealed yet: Mass Effect 4.
This is a game that’s been teased with crpytic statements, concept art, and behind-the-scenes videos for over two years now. It’s time to see some Mass Effect, and I think E3 2015 is the perfect place to do it.
Last month we got some blurry “leaked” photos of what appeared to be a new version of the PS4. Considering it’s been less than two years since the console debuted though, a new slimmed-down version seems very early.
However, in recent months, Microsoft’s Xbox One has surged back in an unexpected way, which undoubtedly got some heads turning over at Sony. I could definitely see the company looking for any way to shut their competitor out again.
With very few exclusive games on either side of the fence, and interest in Halo 5 reaching a peak, a surprise announcement of a new (possibly cheaper?) console could really put a dent in Microsoft’s plans.
It would be an expensive gamble for Sony, but this is the first time in a while that they’ve managed to pull so far ahead. I don’t think they want to waste the opportunity.
Just kidding. Sorry.
Project Morpheus vs. an Xbox VR headset
We already know that Project Morpheus, Sony’s VR headset for the PS4, is in the works. Heavily rumored (and pretty unsurprising) though is the idea that Microsoft isn’t going to take that lying down, and is hard at work on their device.
Neither company is going to want to let the other dominate the VR scene at E3, so in order to cover their own asses, I fully expect both of them to come out guns blazing with playable demos for their tech.
That doesn’t necessarily mean full-on games yet (although Morpheus has a pretty lengthy list of titles it will eventually support), but I’m predicting that something interactive will be on the show floor. Both devices might be a year or more away from release, but that doesn’t mean either of those companies want to give their competitor the lead.
How about you? What do you think E3 has in store for us this year?