E3 is the biggest event in the gaming world; hundreds of publishers, developers and gaming journalists head across to Los Angeles every year to get a sneak peak at the future of gaming. Last year we knew exactly what we were in for - the announcement of a new Nintendo console, hands-on with the PS Vita, and more of Microsoft's Kinect hyperbole.
This year we have no idea what we're in for.
Nintendo are finally ready to give us a real look at the Wii U. Since the announcement in June last year, the big N have been mum on details, launch titles, specs and even images. Now we find ourselves a month before the expo, developers and even Nintendo themselves are starting to leak more and more information about the mysterious console. Reggie and Iwata will take the stage, and unleash a barrage of information, trailers, game announcements and more, all with that special wow factor that only Nintendo can provide.
Sony are boasting 20 new gaming experiences to be revealed, yet no real information has been announced. We can expect more info on the recently announced PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but does that really count as a new gaming experience? It's highly unlikely that all 20 announcements will be previously unannounced titles, but we can expect a huge showing from the Vita camp, with some PS Move thrown in for good measure.
The real interesting aspect of the event will be Microsoft. The Xbox 360 is surely approaching the end of its lifecycle. Kinect hasn't really stuck a chord with casual or hardcore gamers, and if Microsoft plan to rely on the peripheral to keep the ageing console alive for another 24 months they should seriously re-consider their position in the console market.
The software giant has already stated that their E3 presence will be more about dashboard services rather than games, which is rather disappointing, even more so from an Aussie gamer's perspective. A number of the services Microsoft tout for their console aren't even available down under, which makes it hard to be excited about the latest feature when it will never see the light of day for us.
If Microsoft want to wow attendees they have to give us something, even just a glimpse of what is coming in the future. We need to know that they have something up their sleeves, a new platform that will pave the way for another generation of CoD fanboys and gamers who love space marines with no necks and tree-trunks for arms. With Nintendo is such a strong position, and Sony backed up with a swag of new games, Microsoft really need to pull out something special to stay in the limelight.
By Stephen Heller - Bio