E3 2016: The Predictions
Just one day remains before the first press conferences begin for this year's E3. With both Electronic Arts and Bethesda kicking it off tomorrow afternoon, we can expect news on the likes of Titanfall 2 and new information on upcoming DLC on Fallout 4 among other things. Leading me to wonder just what else could these companies have planned to reveal to us over the next few days? On this final day before the start of E3, I'm going to make a few predictions on what this year may hold.
This is something that has been rumored for the past few days, but I'm not surprised if this were coming. We've learned from interviews earlier this year that Bethesda did get The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim running on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. I have to imagine that this made it a little easier for the company to develop Fallout 4 since the game used the same engine as Skyrim. A remaster for Skyrim along with its DLC would be a fantastic addition to the libraries of both of the current generation consoles. With Fallout 4 recently adding mods to the console versions of the game, I think that mod support for Skyrim could add quite a bit of hype to a potential remaster as well.
Just a few days ago we learned from the boss of Sony that the PlayStation 4 Neo is happening. For those who don't know, the Neo is a mid-cycle upgrade for the system that allows developers releases titles that are more in line with the PC versions of games, with things like higher frame rates and 4K support. While this may sound like a good idea, in theory, the fact that the system is going to cost more than the current PS4, which is $349 as of this writing, may have some questioning an upgrade.
Issues of price aside, the fact that the game makes split the user base is another problem. While Sony has said that they will continue to support the current Playstation 4, that doesn't mean that all of the software will play the same on both systems. As an example, let's look at the New Nintendo 3DS. The New 3DS has one game, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D that just won't work on the older model 3DS systems, and then Hyrule Warriors Legends is unplayable on the older models due to a horrible frame rate. Can you imagine the consumer backlash if this happened to something like a Call of Duty? We'll have to see how this plays out, but console add-ons like this haven't done well. Just look at something like the 32X or Sega CD, while some fondly remember them they were both commercial failures. Perhaps Sony will handle it differently. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Back on topic, while Sony has said they won't have the Neo at E3, I do imagine that it will be brought up at some point during the week. It will certainly be interesting to see if Microsoft tries to capitalize on the Neo's absence with a reveal of a Xbox One equivalent. Of course, I'd be remiss if I weren't to mention Nintendo's NX, which won't be at the show either, but may at least get some mention or game announcement during one of the press events. I'm usually excited when it comes time to unveil new hardware, but given the circumstances around these mid-cycle upgrades, I just can't bring myself to care.
Electronic Arts Pulls a 180
Last year the Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore stated that EA hasn't done HD remasters because it "feels like pushing stuff out because you've run out of ideas." Meanwhile, companies from Capcom to Sony have released remastered editions of older games, making extra money off of people buying a game that they've never played before or who want to play an enhanced version. I feel that this year at E3, we'll be seeing EA falling to the almighty dollar and announcing their first round of remastered titles.
Fan demand for remastered versions the Mass Effect trilogy, Dead Space, and even Burnout is there, and it could be easy money for EA to throw these games onto a Blu-ray or two and released them at a budget price. The release of a remastered Mass Effect also makes sense, as the first game turns ten years old next year and we likely won't see Mass Effect: Andromeda until 2017, so a remaster would be an excellent way to renew interest in the franchise.
Thanks to an easter egg in Uncharted 4, a lot of speculation has made the rounds that we'd be seeing the return of the long dormant Crash Bandicoot franchise. With the chance that the series is back in the hands of the original developers at Naughty Dog, I would love to see Naughty Dog's former mascot make his return as a Playstation exclusive. This one is pretty far fetched, especially with the opposing rumors that Crash will appear in this year's Skylanders game. I can only hope that the former is true in this case because I would hate to see Crash suffer the same fate as Spyro, ending up as only a minor character in a larger franchise where he shouldn't belong.
Nintendo's Splatoon was a breakout hit last year and over the twelve months it has been on the market, it has become the best-selling new IP on the Wii U, with more than 4 million copies sold. Thanks to this tremendous success, Nintendo will undoubtedly continue supporting this franchise, but how will they do that? It's obvious that there isn't any point in releasing a follow-up on the Wii U since Nintendo is allegedly releasing the NX this year, but I don't think it's out of the question to see additional support announced for the game.
Another round of updates for the game, including new maps, weapons, etc. would be a fantastic way to keep fans playing the game. Additionally, this would give Nintendo more time to work on a follow-up or spin-offs for the NX or 3DS. With Nintendo teasing an announcement related to Mario Kart 8, I don't think it's out of the question that we could see additional support for Splatoon, Smash Bros, and other established games on both the Wii U and 3DS announced at E3.