After the year that was 2020, can we all just agree all of our wildest dreams for E3 can come true? You want a new game released by Nintendo for the NES? Sure, all yours. Finally get that Dreamcast 2? Let’s have at it. A new button on the Xbox Series X that delivers pizza right to your door from you local pizza place? That’s odd but knock yourself out!
For me, I am hoping any one of these predictions will come to fruition in this all-digital E3 extravaganza. And who knows, we’ve had a few of these predictions eventually turn into a real, tangible thing, so we can hold out hope!
10. Blizzard releases Overwatch 3 and Diablo V ahead of schedule
Delay after delay (after delay) has haunted the production of big budget Blizzard sequels Diablo IV and Overwatch 2. So much so, in fact, that in 2021 we actually saw the announcement, and shortly thereafter release of those games’ followups. Overwatch 3 and Diablo V are crossplay between the PC, Xbox Series X, and PS5 versions, but have completely skipped out on the PS4/Xbox One generation. With new characters and storylines directly linked to the as-yet-unreleased Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV, players are confusingly excited for these new games!
9. Tetris 99-2 announced, will be flagship game for new Tetris mini-console
Seeing the success of the battle royale puzzle game Tetris 99, developers Arika and the Tetris company shocked everyone by announcing not only follow-up to the intense Switch Online puzzle game, but also an exclusivity deal with a Tetris-branded new console. Titled the Tetrisphere (and not to be confused with the already released Nintendo 64 game of the same name), the new console will house any new, upcoming versions of the celebrated puzzle series, including the sequel to Tetris 99. With no changes to the core gameplay, Tetris 99-2 serves one purpose: being the only way to play this game once the Tetris 99 original is removed from the Nintendo Switch Online store at the end of the month. Bummer.
8. Scalpers have resorted to purchasing digital Pokemon cards due to Nintendo and Wizards unable to meet demand
In recent news, the Pokemon Trading Card Game has been gaining popularity over the months, thanks in part to many folks staying home this past year, online entertainers using the product for lucrative unboxing vids, and kids just enjoying the game The increased demand came to a head when retailers were no longer able to keep the items in stock, with new inventory flying off the shelves in minutes. Scalpers and those looking to hit it bit with rare finds have apparently resorted to purchasing online, digitial-only game cards, as Nintendo reported they have seen a 700% increase in demand for their old Game Boy Color game Pokemon: Trading Card Game. Nintendo was quick to remind their fans the cards in this game are digital-only, but fans don’t seem to care and are only seeing the money involved.
7. To help mitigate PS5 hardware shortages, Sony is re-releasing the PS1 Classic
It is more difficult to find a Playstation 5 these days than it is to find that elusive pot of gold underneath a rainbow. Recognizing this, and in an attempt to help it’s yearning fanbase, Sony said they had a solution. Unfortunately it wasn’t the solution gamer’s were hoping for: The Japanese company is re-releasing their Playstation Classic mini console. You know… that one that was supposed to contain iconic brands that shaped the PS1, but was largely missing all of them? Sony is hoping this can act as a stopgap to dull the pain for their next announcement…
6. Sony discontinues the Playstation 5
Shocked. That’s all I can say is I am shocked! In a bold move, due to the supply chain issues surrounding the Playstation 5 console, ongoing scalping issues, and developers not wanting to develop for a console so many people cannot even purchase, Sony has decided to stop production on the PS5 consoles. With the millions of gamers out there that were luck enough to snag the illusive machine, Sony says they can expect a few more months of support until the company will halt assistance entirely. Sony plans on continuing production of the Playstation 4 console for the time being, until the suspected Playstation 6 can be fully developed and implemented. Wow…
5. EA finds new ways to make Loot Boxes somehow even worse
With franchises like FIFA and Madden bringing in tons of money for the huge company, you’d think they would be find sitting on their laurels and counting their exploited earnings from their customers. But nope, not EA. Instead, they have developed “Deep customization options” which are going to be implemented into future games like the aforementioned sports titles. Instead of getting, say, a full skin in FIFA, now you will instead only get one shirt. The pants, hat, gloves, rings, socks, shoes, belts, and more are all separate items you have a chance to unlock in a Loot Box. For a character to have one entirely complete outfit, a player would need to collect a minimum 10 different pieces, and that’s for the lower rarity items. EA says this will allow for deeper customization for players, but we all know it’s a way to milk even more money out of a game that should have this content free.
4. Just Dance: Hamilton
Riding on the huge success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash Broadway hit Hamilton, the folks at Ubisoft and the Just Dance team showed off the early development on their next spinoff game, Just Dance: Hamilton. Featuring songs, dance numbers, and influence from the original Broadway cast, Just Dance: Hamilton is targeting a stay-at-home crowd that is in love with the show. Iconic songs like Alexander Hamilton, Cabinet Battle #2, and of course Burn will be present, along with developer and singer commentary from the cast. If you consider yourself a fan of Hamilton, and you’ve always wanted to learn the dance move of Thomas Jefferson, this is the game for you!
3. Persona x Pokemon: Pokepocalypse
Infusing the Pokemon franchise into other established series’ is nothing new: The DS saw a crossover with Nobunaga’s Ambition in the surprisingly excellent Pokemon Conquest. There’s an entire spinoff series of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. So it kind of makes sense the series would pair up with another series known for crossovers: Atlus’ own Persona. This new game tentatively titled Persona x Pokemon: Pokepocalypse will see a unique story set in a modern Japan. Series protagonists will summon Pokemon as would normally summon a Persona in the series proper. Instead of being set in High School, however, the setting is much younger, jumping back to elementary school. The intensity picks up when a pact with a satanic force causes your team of children to step up and save the world!
2. Sega announces The Shining Collection
The go-to RPG series for the Sega family, Shining Force and it’s spinoffs and sequels do not get the recognition they deserve. Sega is looking to rectify that with the newly announced Shining Collection. Bringing together ports for the entire Shining Force franchise, gamers can play the original Genesis versions, the highly sought after and expensive Saturn games, and the newer PS2 games all in once place! A truly fantastic announcement for fans of this oft-forgotten series! I’m excited for this just because it means I can finally play those crazy hard to find Saturn games so many people love.
1. To celebrate over 20 years of joy, Capcom pulls all the stops and releases Power Stone 3
The arcade and Dreamcast original Power Stone released in 1999, with the sequel coming out just a year later in 2000. Over 20 years later, fans have been enjoying this iconic 4-player brawler. Capcom has recognized the storied history and legacy the duo of games have created, and are hoping to satiate the fans with the release of a true sequel in Power Stone 3. It was rumored the game would see a release on the portable Nintendo Switch console at last year’s E3, but this year’s show saw Capcom instead announce the title would be a PS5 exclusive. It will also take full advantage of the systems impressive hardware features: the developer showed off the game’s impressive 3D and photo-realistic visuals to a stunned audience. Go figure when this game finally get’s a release it’s on a no longer supported game console. *sigh*
There we have it everyone, another year and another set of predictions. As always these are just fun shots in the dark, and certainly we won’t see anything this absurd or crazy at the coming week’s show. But that is part of the fun of video games: You never really know what is coming out next. The excitement of the unknown is so much fun, and I cannot wait to see what we’ll be looking forward too this coming year.