The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, developers' conference may be the most exciting time of the year for gaming enthusiasts. Major companies, developers, and manufacturers unveil their latest prospects, giving players an opportunity to see what they have to look forward to. With the conference set for June 5-7, it's time to speculate on what's in store for E3 2012.
At last year's expo, the gaming world witnessed the unveiling of a brand new console from Nintendo. The Wii U initially confused some gamers, as it presents a design that is radically different from its predecessor. With a controller resembling a tablet, some were unsure whether this was a follow-up to the Wii, an accessory, or a handheld. There has been much speculation on the Wii U in the past year since its reveal, from the console's price to leaked game titles.
So what will Nintendo fans learn about its next-generation console at this year's E3? Game Informer speculates a rebranding of the device could be a possibility. After all, before the Nintendo 64 was released it was said to be called the Ultra 64. Nintendo is also looking to target a different audience with this console as opposed to the previous gaming system. The company is looking to allure the hardcore gaming audience once again, rather than catering to the family-oriented casual players.
"Core gamers, who may have been cool to the Wii brand and its focus on casual audiences, may be drawn to Nintendo's willingness to start with a clean slate," wrote Jeff Cork of Game Informer.
With chances of seeing the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 slimming, Nintendo's Wii U seems to be taking the center of attention. But other than debating the name and branding of the console, the most important factor for some gamers is the titles that will be available for preview.
"I want to see some proper gamer's games," wrote Tom Orry, editor of VideoGamer. "It'd be nice to see a proper demo of Zelda on the Wii U, but I expect that game is years away from hitting a retail shelf."
Nintendo fans got a sneak preview of what games may launch with the Wii U when a list of 25 leaked titles were discovered through a UK branch of Blockbuster. Some of these have already been confirmed, but others have yet to receive word from Nintendo.
In terms of other platforms, Orry also said Sony "needs" to reveal a slew of Vita titles, both from its own studios as well as third-party games. There is also the possibility of a wider back catalog of games available for streaming if the rumored partnership between Sony and a cloud gaming service turns out to be true.
"If I could access any PS2 game on my Vita or PS3 (ideally as a value add through PS Plus) that would be great," he wrote.
But there's one name that the gaming community can expect to skip out on: Rockstar Games. With the recent release of "Max Payne 3," the company is likely to shift its focus to "Grand Theft Auto V." Although the annual showcase seems like the perfect place to unveil an anticipated sequel, Rockstar has not been present at E3 since 2005, according to Game Informer.
"As anyone who has followed the company could tell you, Rockstar does things its own way," wrote Matt Bertz of Game Informer. "While publishers and developers line up to peddle their wares to the press and retail buyers at E3, the creators of 'Grand Theft Auto' and 'Red Dead Redemption' go about their business as if the trade show didn't exist."
In IGN's E3 preview, the gaming news source emphasized the importance of multiplatform titles in this year's unveiling conference. The most valuable titles of the gaming industry are non-exclusive games, such as the iconic "Pac Man" and "Resident Evil" franchises.
During Microsoft's conference, fans can expect to learn more about the upcoming "Halo 4" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" release. And, of course, Sony's press conference is sure to reveal more about which Vita titles fans can expect to see soon.
Until E3 finally arrives, its difficult to say exactly which new games and projects will be displayed to the public. But fans won't have to wait much longer, as details on their favorite games are sure to surface in a matter of days.
To contact the editor, e-mail: