With the new and supposedly improved Electronic Entertainment Expo just around the corner (here are some of last year's highlights), we decided to run down some quick predictions for what the overarching themes of the show will be.
- God of War III and Rock Band: Beatles will be the big mainstream games and public (and retail buyers) care about.
- Variable price points, which are easy to do on DLC, help gamemakers target recession-addled audiences.
- Booth babes return, but in a subtle, post-wretched-excess kind of way.
- New hardware/accessory pushes from Nintendo and Sony hope to boost flagging software sales.
- Chances of getting a decent Wi-Fi or 3G signal in a convention center full of game nerds -- slim to none.
- PS3 and/or 360 will introduce some sort of social networking functionality. Whether it be tie-ins with Facebook or Twitter, or something proprietary, there will be ways to update status, etc.
- Sony will make Netflix on PS3 official.
- Nintendo will announce a new Mario game in development.
- A new Wii remote with MotionPlus built in will be available soon.
- Microsoft will unveil a motion-based controller for use with specific Xbox Live Arcade games.
- DLC and downloadable games steal the show almost as much as disc-based games.
- Nintendo pimps the Wii Motion Plus hard, with a handful of games that get "updates."
- The PSP Go will cost as much as a DSi, and not be quite as useful.
- There will be more "free" games in a weak economy, in the style of SOE's surprise hit Free Realms.
- Halo 3: ODST will emerge as a better all-around game than anyone expected...and it will support an unfortunately huge number of DLC "extras."
Additonally, our colleague David Carnoy is following a rumor about Hulu streaming on the Xbox 360. Next week, we'll be live at the E3 show, covering all the new hardware, software, and trends. Keep track of all our E3 coverage here, and follow Dan's show floor updates at twitter.com/danackerman.