What to expect from E3 2012 (no, not Xbox 720 and PS4)

Thursday, 24th May 2012 12:24 GMT By Patrick Garratt

“Teh reel next-gen” will have to wait. E3 2012 will be a re-run of last year, with triple-A bully-boys dominating software as Nintendo steals the platform-holder show with Wii U.

This is the end of the current generation, and essentially foreplay to 2013′s main event. Microsoft and Sony still have the condoms on for E3 2012. Next year is the bareback, next-gen cockfight. Don’t expect the real hardcore for another 12 months.

E3 2012 – which runs throughout the week of June 4 – is going to be a mix of excitement and despair. You can expect a re-run of last year. This will be a show dominated by a strong triple-A software cluster and Wii U, with other aspects of the games industry largely ignored as Microsoft and Sony hold steady.

Most of the games to be shown in LA next month are already announced and are currently being forced into the hype funnel. Both Microsoft and Sony will have software surprises, but they’ll be peripheral to pressing attention on Christmas 360 and PS3 content. Aside from a few games, you already know what’s going to be shown.

And forget any notion of a 720 or PS4 reveal. We’ve said it what feels like 100 times, but please don’t kid yourself: it’s next year.

Microsoft’s core centrepiece will, of course, be Halo 4. Expect Black Ops II to feature prominently in the press conference, as will Kinect. Forza Horizon will be shown. You shouldn’t expect any earthquakes here. Yes, there’ll be US service announcements and there will definitely be at least one core surprise, but we’re still very much in this generation as far as Microsoft’s concerned. The press conference will reflect that.

Sony’s first-party effort will revolve around at least two largely unknown core products and Vita. The two titles are likely to generate a great deal of excitement. Also expect Sony to attempt to play a strong “Vita isn’t dead” card. Big core games on the small screen will be a focus for Sony this year, but, again, expect solidity rather than megatonnage. You may well be blown away by what’s on show, but it’s doubtful you’re going to be too shocked by any of the announcements.

Apart from the partnership deal between PlayStation and a leading cloud gaming service, obviously.

It’s Wii U’s show

The star of E3 this year will be Wii U. Nintendo’s LA mission is to completely lord proceedings, and you should expect a procession of publisher commitment. We already know about the reworked controller, and we’ll most likely get final specs. Following a muddled reveal in 2011, Wii U will be shown as a complete, finished product – with a healthy core line-up – ready for release in 2012. Don’t fall off your chair when Nintendo confirms a global Christmas launch, although, as Nintendo said last month, Wii U’s exact launch date and pricing for each market will come “sometime after E3″ (thanks, Nathan).

The press conferences (all times PST)

Monday, June 4: Microsoft (9.30am); EA (1.00pm); Ubisoft (3.00pm); Sony (6.00pm)

Tuesday, June 5: Nintendo (9.00am)

Outside of the platform-holders, the third-parties will show a similar solidity to last year. EA will have Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, Crysis 3, Star Wars and more. Expect some nice core surprises. Activision will be all about Black Ops II. Square Enix will have a good show, focusing heavily on Tomb Raider and Hitman.

Ubisoft will be one to watch. Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 3 are the main events, but you should be expecting a show-stopping reveal. There’s a big headline here.

THQ we know about: Darksiders is readying for ship and Metro’s looking hot. There’s bound to be an announcement or two.

Take-Two may will say little. Grand Theft Auto is usually left to stand alone from E3. It may appear, but really don’t count on it. E3′s all about Christmas retail, and it now seems certain we’re not going to see GTA V until next spring at the earliest. The publisher’s big show game will be Borderlands 2.

But, to reiterate, E3 will suffer from the same flaws as last year. It will be a gameshow-like event focused on the super-spend, and will all but ignore PC, indie and mobile due to its format. E3 2012 will be a steady showcase of core console gaming, with the big guns lined up in a neat row behind hardware format generals.

This is the end of the current generation, and essentially foreplay to 2013′s main event. Microsoft and Sony still have the condoms on for E3 2012. Next year is the bareback, next-gen cockfight. Don’t expect the real hardcore for another 12 months.




  1. minxamo

    In the Bungie contract Activision very strongly suggested that the next xbox would be out by fall 2013, so surely MS would want to announce it now, instead of next year, a few months before release.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Yep, likely.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Why does it need to be at an E3 event at all? Why not at a time appropriate to the launch rather than being forced to show something in June.

    #3 3 years ago

    OK, no point bothering with any coverage then.

    Just do a quick summary story once it’s finished.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. AHA-Lambda

    “but you should be expecting a show-stopping reveal. There’s a big headline here.”

    “at least two largely unknown core products”

    I get the sense Pat you know more than you’re letting on ;)

    Also nintendo has said they aren’t going to talk about dates or price yet for WiiU.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    *points at the cloud-related line under the Sony bit*

    #6 3 years ago
  7. bobiroka

    Awesome. Didn’t realise this was going on during my week off…

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Robo_1

    “Apart from the partnership deal between PlayStation and a leading cloud gaming service, obviously.”

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but if that means Sony is partnering with either OnLive or Gaki, then surely you’ve just blown the lid off one of Sony’s big surprises.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt


    #9 3 years ago
  10. Robo_1

    If it’s OnLive on Vita, then I said WOOOOOOOOW.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. fightclubdoll

    All this graphic sex, Pat?!?! …Okay, metaphorically I get it.
    Frankly I think it’s the product of offering to eat your own trousers.
    You haven’t started nibbling on them have you? Maybe in your sleep?
    Do you wake up with a kink in your neck… pants a bit, well, nibbled?

    Ah well… speaking of E3 and such, it is good to be able to anticipate more news of a Double Fine game this time around. Also, I’m dying for a LEGO Lord of the Rings confirmation. I can wait, if BG&E 2 doesn’t make an appearance yet.

    Hang in there, Pat! ;-)

    PS …Maybe if I’d never owned a Wii, I could be interested in the Wii U… Unfortunately it’s more the opposite effect. It would take a lot to rekindle my interest in anything Wii…

    #11 3 years ago

    Who cares? Sony haven’t gotten anything right since 2000.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. freedoms_stain

    I don’t like playing the pre-game conference guessing game.

    Whatever will be will be.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Lahanas

    Pat since you seem to know some things that will be on show at E3, can you please say if we should we have any hopes for Syphon Filter 4? It’s been rumored for God knows how long. Has the time come for its announcement?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Patrick Garratt

    @14 – I honestly don’t know, dude. Sorry!

    #15 3 years ago
  16. AHA-Lambda

    Yeah if you’re actually no joking about Sony & ONlive/gaikai then surely you’ve just blown an NDA or MASSIVE megaton.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    @10, I would say more likly something to do with expanded Steam/PS3 offerings.

    I could be 100% wrong tho. If it is something like Onlive, that could be a game changer if it was marketed and priced right.

    If it is just Valve, well still could be nice. Depends on what they have in mind. Guess time will tell. Oh well, something to look forwward to in an otherwise boring and predicatable looking E3 event.

    Nobody blew anything AHA. Not really. Just goggle Sony and plug in Onlive, Gaikai, or Steam. There are a lot of rumors flying around.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Fin

    That all seems about right. There’s an outside chance GTA V will get some sort of reveal next week, Rockstar’s way of usurping E3′s buzz, but that seems unlikely.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Razor

    Really downbeat about E3 this year. Usually about this time I absolutely can’t wait for it. This year… meh.

    Roll on next year.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Pytox

    Steam Big Picture Mode on ps3? :o

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Patrick Garratt

    I’ve updated it in relation to Nintendo announcing Wii U’s date and price. They’ve already said specific announcements are going to be made in each region after the show.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. OlderGamer

    I am prolly one of a small handfull here, but I can not wait to preorder a WiiU. Hoping for Darksiders II, a new Mario game, and maybe the new Aliens Game for launch.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    I expect to show Bungie CGI trailers for their new game in MS conference at the end of the show like with last’s year Halo 4.

    From Sony i don’t expect something Jaw dropping, but i hope for Vita Games, not VITA PORTS.

    Vita is Dead right now. Show us some games please.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. mingtons ghost

    Patrick Garratt nobody does it half as good as you

    Baby, you’re the best

    #24 3 years ago
  25. ManuOtaku

    #22 Add me to the list OG.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. manamana

    Personally I’m very keen on some UE4 show. Hopefully with a game attached to it with a fall 2013 release date …

    #26 3 years ago
  27. mojo

    dude its getting old. i like your posts most of the time, but im sure, everyone and his dog on this website knows that u dont want ports for vita by now..

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Henry

    M$ officially said it, no new hardware will be announced in this year E3.,2817,2401716,00.asp

    #28 3 years ago
  29. keysy

    sony’s line up look pretty hardcore

    #29 3 years ago
  30. singing_pigs

    Patrick, I need to know if that Ubisoft reveal is maybe perhaps Beyond Good & Evil related. I need to know for health reasons. Because I WILL have a heart attack if a BG&E2 announcement is sprung on me without warning.

    #30 3 years ago

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