What we want from Nintendo and Sony
E3 2015 was easily the most most ground-breaking E3s we’ve seen in recent memory. From end to end, it was jam-packed with some truly impressive title announcements and reveals, including The Last Guardian, Fallout 4, Shenmue 3 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake, bringing to mind the famous Gladiator quote, "Are you not entertained?"
Despite all the excitement and buzz still hovering around E3 2015, it’s never too early to start a wish list for next year’s conference. So, without further adieu, here are a few of the things we hope to see at E3 2016.
Nintendo: show up and show off
Starfox aside, 2015 was a pretty disappointing E3 for Nintendo. As much enjoyment as I got from seeing Nintendo’s executives, including the beloved late Satoru Iwata in full Muppet form, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed by the Japanese gaming company’s event.
Most of us were sitting on the edge of our seat during Nintendo’s digital event hoping for some unexpected juicy footage of the new Legend of Zelda game, an epic return for Samus Aran with a unique Wii U installment of Metroid Prime or even a sneak peek at the mysterious Nintendo NX.
Instead, we were treated to previews of Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a game trailer so awful that it immediately sparked a petition to get the game permanently pulled from the Nintendo lineup months ahead of its release.
Even Nintendo’s late chief executive noticed the backlash to many of the company’s biggest announcements, tweeting that Nintendo "takes opinions of this year’s Digital Event seriously," and that it will "work to better meet your expectations."
Thankfully, it looks like 2015 was just the calm before the storm. With the next (and hopefully improved) Nintendo console expected to hit the shelves around the 2016 holiday season, we can only imagine Nintendo will deliver a monstrous NX-centered E3 next year. We also anticipate the normal level of 3DS titles, and probably at least eight more Pokemon games at this rate.
Furthermore, according to Nintendo, we can also expect to see some footage of the highly anticipated open-world Legend of Zelda game. As for Metroid, it looks like we’ll just have to fire up the old GameCube if we want some quality Samus time.
Sony’s big games and VR dreams
Everyone is mostly in agreement that Sony killed it at E3 2015. Nearly every title had its press conference crowd on its feet cheering, or in the case of the Final Fantasy 7 remake, weeping tears of joy.
Sony has laid the groundwork for an unbeatable lineup of PS4 games in 2016 with the wondrously endless open world space exploration game No Man’s Sky and long-awaited cult classic sequels like The Last Guardian and Shenmue 3. It would be terrific to get an in-depth look at the gameplay for titles that were teased this year, like Final Fantasy 7 and the new Shenmue.
Considering the attention Microsoft’s HoloLens demonstration of Minecraft garnered at this E3, we expect Sony will put its VR set, Project Morpheus, center stage for next year’s conference. The viewer is a direct competitor to other VR/AR viewers like the Oculus Rift and HoloLens, and I’d bet my bottom dollar Sony is planning something big to unveil its ready-to-sell entry to the world.
Also, if E3 2015 was any indication, Sony appears to be throwing in the towel on the PS Vita, with not a single mention of the handheld at this year’s conference. Ultimately, an ever-increasing mobile phone game market and lackluster titles are bleeding the Vita dry.
Unfortunately, the one thing we aren’t expecting at E3 2016 is for the PS4 to add backwards compatibility, like the Xbox One. Sony’s head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida confirmed it’s not in the works, saying, "PS3 is such a unique architecture, and some games made use of SPUs very well." He left little question about Sony’s PS4 backwards compatibility plans by adding: "It’s going to be super challenging to do so. I never say never, but we have no plans."
Sounds like we better hold off on auctioning our PS3s.
Microsoft, here’s what we want in 2016
Dear Microsoft, more HoloLens demos please
VR/AR technology is only getting better by the day, making it one of the most thrilling parts of E3 and allowing us to literally step into the future of gaming.
At E3 2015, Microsoft upped the ante with its spectacular demonstration of HoloLens augmented reality with an insane Minecraft demo, broadcasting the first-person view for the crowd, in what felt like a glance into the proverbial crystal ball for the future of augmented reality. Frankly, it’s downright exhilarating.
As usual Microsoft will have an airtight lineup of slick games to accompany the Xbox One at E3 2016, but we’d also like to see the bulky console trim its waistline a hair. It added a host of new Xbox features during Gamescom 2015, so overall with Microsoft, we find ourselves most excited to see the progression of the HoloLens and how it will integrate into Microsoft’s library of games at E3 2016.
At its core, E3 is and always will be about the games. Despite all of the fantastic titles announced at E3 2015, we still found ourselves longing for a few more of the titles we’ve been sitting on our hands waiting to play.
We’d slay all the dragons in Skyrim for Bethesda to give us Elder Scrolls 6. We’d defeat the Nihilanth for Half-Life 3 to materialize. We can’t even fathom what we’d do at this point for Rockstar to announce Red Dead Redemption 2 – we just know it would be excessively drastic.
Those are definitely on our E3 2016 wishlist, but there’s plenty of highly anticipated games that may be on the horizon, including EA’s Mass Effect Andromeda, (which was teased at this year’s conference,) to Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 and EA’s sequel to the extremely popular Titanfall game. Who knows, maybe we’ll strike gold and see them all at E3 2016 (just let us dream, alright?).
Gaming at its finest
All in all, it’s a great time to be a gamer. E3 2015 was one of the most exciting conferences to date, and it looks like next year won’t disappoint.
Here’s hoping that some of our long-awaited games make an appearance on the E3 2016 stage. Until then, let’s just remember for a second that The Last Guardian, Shenmue and Final Fantasy 7 are actually officially on their way (fist pump).