Every year, mid-June is one of the most highly anticipated times in the gaming community. The Electronic Entertainment Expo brings excitement, hype, and hopefully delivers on the promises and expectations brought forth by developers and publishers.
What console will we see Skyrim released on next?
How many genres can you fit a battle royale mode into?
Can we finally get a Kingdom Hearts 3 release date?
I’m being sarcastic (only partially)! This article is entirely speculative, but here are some of the titles and announcements I’d love to see from the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo press conferences early this week.
Starting with the Xbox One Sunday afternoon (1PM PT/4PM ET conference time), Microsoft has a bit of ground to cover in the first-party development department. We have yet to see more of Crackdown 3, recently reported by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier as delayed until February 2019, and Master Chief and Fenix and friends have been sorely missed on the green stage.
Forza has been a faithful representative each year, and I’m ready for a fresh Horizon. The lush landscapes and incredible soundtrack gave such life to the Australian setting of Forza Horizon 3, and allowed me to take my virtual Shelby GT350 to speeds my actual ‘14 v6 could never hope to see in New York City.
My ultimate wish would be to get any sort of indication that a Fable 4 is in the works. As Lionhead Studios is defunct, it would be interesting to see which developer would head the project. There are plenty of studios that get fantasy right (I love you, CD Projekt Red), but the overall whimsical, charming aesthetic that Lionhead crafted is the bigger challenge. Seeing a new team bring their own flair to a franchise many hearts ache for, while still retaining and improving on the systems that made Fable a quintessential RPG for Xbox fans, would make for a fantastic surprise for team Microsoft.
Sony is like the cool friend who shows up late, but everyone expects it because they took a while to make you something killer for the party. Reserved for the 6PM PT/9PM ET conference slot on Monday, the last conference of the day, they’ve already brought some fun surprises to the pre-E3 buildup, including a release date for the zombie survival goodness of Days Gone (February 22nd, 2019) and some Battlefront II incentives that… may actually garner a few more hours from me. But what of those incredible experiences Sony studios are known for creating? I’m enthralled with God of War (and boy), but I know my terrible habits, and I’m itching to know what’s next.
I’m interested in the possibility of a live gameplay demo of Last of Us 2. My brother and I were huge fans of the first game, and my curiosity of whether Ellie discovers Joel’s lie at the end of Last of Us is still way up there. It will be entertaining to see how the dialogue expands around Joel and Ellie to include the new characters announced with the last trailer, bring the roster up by four more people (Yara, Emily, Lev, and another, unnamed person).
I miss Kojima and wish I had the Snake-certified stealth skills to steal the licensing for Metal Gear and gift wrap it for him… alas, I have no problem settling for Death Stranding. Learning more about the upcoming Kojima Productions epic will be a highlight of Sony’s conference for me, be it in the form of gameplay or plot trailer.
While Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding are fairly certain to materialize in some shape or form, what’s my big unknown? I’ll always be a fan of the bandicoot. The Crash N. Sane Trilogy showed us exactly how many fans are still at the ready to foil Cortex’s plans, and I feel like a new entry in the platformer’s series would be a welcome addition. You could also give me Crash Team Racing and I wouldn’t be mad. Just keep him alive! Spyro DLC collaboration with Toys for Bob! You got this, Vicarious Visions!
I’ve gone through a strange transition in console of choice over the years. As a child, I loved my N64 and its successor, the GameCube. With the advent of online gaming, Xbox was my playground, where I was immersed in the MLG circuit for Halo, and literally just jumping on everybody’s head in Call of Duty: Big Red One, knowing that was an actual person I was annoying. As I got a bit older and appreciated my collection more, my availability became less as I began working between full-time retail and freelance art. I value the RPG experiences on PlayStation and the magic of a well-crafted Nintendo game much more now, and have been amazed by the successes and true fun provided by my Nintendo Switch.
That being said, Nintendo’s conference (the final conference, marking the beginning of the show floor exhibits), an early bird slated for Tuesday 9AM PT/12PM ET, may be my most anticipated, with whispers of Smash Bros., Pokémon and Metroid hanging in the air.
The 3DS is still going strong, and I think we can expect some gameplay for their Luigi’s Mansion and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga remakes.
I would love announcements for a Switch version of Animal Crossing and Mario Party to be announced. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp saw a bunch of App Store downloads, garnering 4 1/2 stars from over 268k ratings, and that could be a huge install base to bring over to the popular, portable homeheld (it’s home console/handheld, I’m allowed to make up words). Of course, nothing brings the family and friends love quite like Mario Party, and I would like to see that go the traditional board-game route again.
My wildcard here would be a focus on eShop and Wii U. Hear me out! I sadly unplugged my Wii U long ago, and just never had the incentive to set it up again. As a result, I’ve got games I know I won’t go back to just sitting around, Paper Mario Color Splash still shrink-wrapped, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions half-played. Once Persona 5 came out, I kind of forgot about Tokyo Mirage Sessions, but I’d go back to this and plenty more if the Wii U library could be opened up for Switch use!
There’s so much more to be covered and uncovered over the next week. It would be great to see some unique IPs announced and I’m sure there are big surprises awaiting us, but I’d love to know what everybody else is looking forward to. Don’t get me started on third-party… we’ll miss the show. Really though– tell me your wishlist, if not for any other reason than to make me want it too!
Christine Manzione is a freelance artist from New York City. It’s a toss-up between Final Fantasy Tactics and Metal Gear Solid for her favorite game ever. You can find her on Instagram, @christine.psd.