E3 2008 Predictions: The Crispy Crystal Ball Has the Answers
With E3 2008 mere hours away from kicking off, the seasoned CG staff is already making its annual pilgrimage to our crappy Los Angeles hotels. We've all attended so many previous E3s that before the wheels of our American Airlines jet even touch the tarmac at LAX, we've already got a pretty good idea of what to expect.
So without further adieu, here are the unofficial offical Crispy Gamer Predictions for E3 2008.
"Will microwaved pizza slices still sell for $10 on the show floor at this year's E3?"
Expect to pay more for the essentials.
CG Crystal Ball Says: No. They will actually increase in price to $12. Yet they will still taste like you're eating flavored napkins.
"The obvious game that everyone will obviously be celebrating to an annoying degree is?? "
CG Crystal Ball Says: Gears of War 2. Yawn. Pass us our blanky. Time to go night-night.
Number of fat guys at this year's E3: 496
"Number of fat guys at the show this year?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: 496. Count them if you don't believe us.
"Dark horse of the show is??"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Fable 2. Plenty of journos are down on it, but giving Molyneux a chance to right his wrongs? He's not going to blow it a second time, trust us.
"Price Drops: Should I wait till after E3 to buy my new console?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: You should, depending on which console you're shopping for. The Wii dropping in price? Unthinkable. Heck, Nintendo could add a $100 Reggie Tax to the price tag at this point and people would still buy it. Sony can't afford to lose any more money on the PlayStation 3. So if anyone is going to do anything on this front, it'll be Microsoft.
Dave will get lucky.
"Will any journalists hook up with any cute PR girls at the show this year?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: One will. His name is Dave. Congratulations, Dave.
"Is this the year that third-party developers stop crapping out crappy Wii games and start to create games that are actually worth playing?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: No. Not this year. That would be next year. WiiDuds will abound once again. EA Sports is already offering dumbed-down versions of their sports games. Activision, though not officially at the show, has launched their "Wee 1st" brand. What a cute name that is! As long as publishers continue to make big money by offering shallow, waggle-centric junk, we'll keep getting waggle-centric junk. Landfills: Brace yourselves.
"At the Sony press conference, will they make their annual knowing reference to an embarrassing moment from the previous year's press conference?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: It wouldn't be E3 without one, no? We get it, you're hip and totally self-aware. Now shut up and show us your damn games.
"Will we see more music/rhythm games?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Um, duh. With the it-prints-money success of Rock Band and Guitar Hero III, music-rhythm games with attachable jigamabobs will be ubiquitous.
"Will indie/smaller games get more exposure at E3 this year?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Duh again. While there are still plenty of blockbuster games in the works, there's clearly a movement back to ye olden days when games were being developed in garages and basements by one or two people. Conduits for these games have already been opened (see: WiiWare), but the industry doesn't really know how to market these smaller games. Look for them to try at this year's E3.
Separated at birth? You be the judge.
"Number of times Atari's Phil Harrison will be mistaken for a real giant?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Eight.
"Number of times EA Sports Peter Moore will be mistaken for a merry little garden gnome?:
CG Crystal Ball Says: One. By an extremely nearsighted journalist from Atlanta.
"Will J Allard finally make his triumphant return?"
CG Crystal Ball: Yes. J and his I'm-an-executive-but-I'm-still-down-with-the-street-yo hoodie will have some big news for us. Nice to see you again, J.
"We will see more motion-centric controller-type thingies?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: After months of speculation, look for Sony and Microsoft to both announce new motion-centric controls that are designed to compete with the Wii remote. Way to be original, guys.
"Nintendo: Finally, the return of something?big?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: After Wii Fit -- yawn again -- the Big N is due for something really big this year. Super Mario Galaxy was nice and all, but that shipped eight months ago. It's time for one of their other big IPs to step up and be counted. And no, I'm not talking about the inevitable Wii version of Animal Crossing. Look for a glimpse of a new Zelda, but no doubt it won't come out till our goatees have all gone salt and peppery (and it will ship as a pack-in for Wii 2). Our guess: Look for Star Fox or Pilotwings to get resurrected. We know. We are totally off our rockers.
"Microsoft: A new SKU and a redesign?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Yes. Microsoft needs to evolve the Xbox 360 a bit. (The thing is almost three years old now, believe it or not.) Look for a sleeker, smaller 360 with a bigger hard drive. And, hopefully, this model absolutely, positively won't red-ring out on you.
"Sony: Playing it safe this year?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: Yes. This marks the first year that Sony isn't throwing a lavish, overproduced party where you get to eat prime rib on a napkin, pee in port-a-potty in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, and wake up hungover the next morning in your hotel room wondering how the hell this Sony-branded duffel bag got there. The long-awaited PSN hub Home will take center stage for Sony this year. Plan on lots of long, boring talks about how you can earn virtual trophies in ? zzzz? Whoa. What happened there? Must have dozed off again.
"Will Resident Evil 5 be Capcom's big news?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: No. Capcom will let Dead Rising 2 be their big game, while allowing some of the bitter feelings surrounding RE 5 to fade a bit.
"The show's best party is??"
CG Crystal Ball Says: The B4 Party at the Cat and the Fiddle. For years now, journalists have been flying to LA a day early just for the B4 soiree. It's like a little oasis for us, a port in the storm, if you will.
"And the worst game of E3 will be...?"
The worst game of E3: This Is Vegas
The CG Crystal Ball Says: This Is Vegas. If Midway's ill-conceived, poorly executed open-world game actually turns out to be good, we promise to eat eight copies of Scarface, including the instruction booklets.
"Finally: Is this the end of E3?"
CG Crystal Ball Says: It certainly feels like it. With other conventions and conferences like GDC and PAX gaining in strength each year, it seems that the wheezing E3, like an old, sick elephant, has come back to its old home to die. R.I.P., E3.
For more pre-E3 coverage, check out The 10 Commandments of E3 and The 10 People We Hope Will Shut the F*** Up at This Year's E3.