21 E3 Predictions
Gamingtarget has 21 E3 predictions posted on their site detailing what they believe E3 2007 has in store for gamers. The predictions cover Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo systems. I’ll mention a few of the Nintendo predictions here:
- #1 Firm release dates for Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Galaxy
By E3, Mario Strikers Charged will be only a few weeks away and Metroid will be a little over a month out. That leaves four months in which Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Mario Galaxy can be released if Nintendo wants to make their 2007 release date. So if they are truly coming out in 2007, Nintendo would be wise to tell us when as soon as possible and I think that’ll be at E3. Halo 3 and GTA IV have been scheduled already and Nintendo fans want to know when they can get excited as well.
- #2 Sonic’s participation in SSBB will finally be confirmed
On that note, any discussion of Super Smash Bros. Brawl will also include confirmation that Sonic will be making an appearance in Nintendo’s mascot battle royale. People have been speculating it was going to happen since the very beginning and I believe that if it wasn’t, Nintendo would be more firm with a denial. Between Sonic and Mario at the Olympics and the inclusion of new characters a bit more “unconventional” than Sonic makes this a no-brainer.
- #3 We will see Animal Crossing Wii
Financial statements have already shown Nintendo is working on Animal Crossing Wii. I wouldn’t be surprised to get a first look at some concept art or possibly real screenshots. As I said above, with the Wii’s 2007 slate almost set in stone, Nintendo needs to show that the Wii’s future is equally bright. A first look at Animal Crossing proves that and when…
- #4 Nintendo announces Mario Kart Wii…
it will set it in stone. Everyone and their grandmother knows a Mario Kart game is coming to the Wii. If Nintendo’s huge 2007 is still on track, we’re going to want to know what 2008 and beyond looks like. And every previous Mario Kart game has been released between one and two years after the launch of a new Nintendo system. 2008 sounds like a good release date and E3 2007 sounds like the perfect place to announce it.
- #11 Nintendo will expand the Virtual Console in some way
The final bit of good news to come out of E3 2007 will be an announcement from Nintendo concerning the future of the Virtual Console. Now, I’m no Nostradamus, so it could be anything. It could be details on the new consoles (MSX, Neo Geo) Nintendo plans to add to the service. It could be an announcement about the addition of really new consoles like the Saturn or the Dreamcast. It could be a pledge to release five or more retro classics every week. It could be a release date for when the first original content is added to the service. Or it could be something else entirely. But it will be big.
- #16 Gears of War 2, Resistance 2 and the next Zelda will be whispered about but not shown
Everyone wants to know more about sequels to each system’s killer app. Well I think the wait will continue for at least one more E3. A cornered developer might make mention of “looking into things,” “backroom discussions” or a mythical “drawing board,” but that’s the only thing you’ll hear about any of these titles. Microsoft will be too busy talking up Halo 3. Nintendo will be pushing Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Sony will have a good half dozen titles to hawk (Lair, Heavenly Sword, LittleBigPlanet, Killzone, Sly Cooper 4 and Warhawk).
- #19 First in-game screens of Sadness will be revealed
We’ve all laughed at the garbled English Nibris uses in the press releases concerning their moody Wii title Sadness. But all along they have said they’ve found a publisher that wants to reveal Sadness on its own terms. I think a few in-game screens will be released by this mystery publisher (maybe Majesco or D3, one of the smaller North American outfits anyway) in an attempt to get them buried in the rush of new Wii announcements (see above). This little bit of subterfuge will be necessary to make gamers ignore the fact that the screens are still pretty raw and that the game itself is still a long ways out.
- #21 Take-Two will pledge massive support for the Wii including a GTA collection
This just might be the craziest one, but it’s also the one I think is most likely to come true. We know that Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to Take-Two execs back in September about supporting. Since that fateful meeting, the company has announced ultraviolent Manhunt 2 (from Rockstar), extreme sports title The Bigs, movie tie-in Fantastic Four 2 and mini-game collection Carnival Games will be coming to Nintendo’s next-gen system. So they obviously aren’t averse to working with the Wii. We also know that Take-Two has been having some money troubles as of late and a boost of Wii-fueled cash would be a welcome sight. New Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick even said as much when he confirmed the company is looking very closely at Wii development
So here’s what I think will happen. Take-Two will announce a massive increase in Wii development starting with their full line of sports titles (to fill in the gaps that EA Sports doesn’t find worthy of the Wii). From there they’ll announce that a Grand Theft Auto game will finally appear on a Nintendo home console. It probably won’t be a new game (although a Wii-exclusive San Andreas Stories would sell a lot of copies and move systems). It’ll probably just be a GTA3/Vice City/San Andreas collection with Wii controls. And that announcement may not happen at this E3. But mark my words, a Grand Theft Auto game of some kind will appear on the Wii soon. Take-Two loves the rock star life and Wii owners have a lot of money they’re just itching to spend on good games. It’s a match made in heaven (or Hell’s Kitchen, I haven’t decided).