The run up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo is always full of predictions, rumors and promises, but I’m tired of peering into the crystal ball. Instead of guesswork, here are my wants and needs for the games industry’s biggest trade show:
From Microsoft: Word on the street is that the Xbox 360 will get a motion-sensing camera to compete with Nintendo’s Wii. No thanks. I’m pretty happy with the Xbox 360′s thumbstick gaming, and I’d rather see Microsoft wait on motion control until the next console cycle, when the company can gather a full stable of game developers behind it. Instead, lets see Hulu support over Xbox Live. A robust gaming handheld, as rumored, would be cool, too.
From Nintendo: This is a tough one. Conventional wisdom holds that The Big N will focus on games instead of hardware this year, maybe with a Zelda or Mario-related announcement to please the fanboys. I’d like to see something that uses the Wii MotionPlus in a mind-blowing way. If such a game involves any Nintendo icons, so be it.
From Sony: Cut the price of the Playstation 3 already, jeez. Seriously though, the most likely rumor — that of a UMD-less PSP — is the one that I like. I desperately want to see what happens when a game console ditches physical media, and Sony has the chance to be ahead of the curve.
From Game Publishers: It’d be nice to hear that the old way of piling up game releases around the holidays is being phased out. Ars Technica’s Ben Kuchera has a story today on why this may not happen — basically, there’s still a market for all those games, so no reason to hold back — but as a gamer it’s frustrating. This spring was fruitful for good games, but I think we’re headed for a dull summer before the usual fall/winter pounding.
I’ll be covering the show here in Los Angeles, starting with Microsoft’s Monday morning press conference. In the meantime, feel free to offer up your own hopes and dreams for the future of gaming.