It’s time for E3 in just a few short days, so let’s speculate on a few things that’s been rumored.
Sony (PS3, PSP)
Fisrt the SKUs, in order to break even or actually make money they have to change SKUs, there are two currently, the 40GB and the 80GB versions, booth of these will be replaced by the holiday season, the first one, the one to be announced at E3 will be a replacement for the cheaper 40GB variant, it will have an upgraded HDD, perhaps even more than 80GB, also it will be bundled with the DS3.
The 80GB one will come in October with a huge HDD and other stuff, seriously, they will need to add something else to the console for the higher cost to be worth it as this one will loose the PS2 BC chips (Seriously they are expensive to make), I am thinking integrated PlayTV and stuff like that, either way until that one comes
But until that one comes the ps3 will stay at the current price level, so they are not lying when they say that their not planning a price drop, we actually they are, they have price drops planned for the next few years planned, but certain insider trading rules say that they have to lie and deny until they do it, so I’m not surprised.
On to the PSP then, no new SKU this year, only new colors and peripherals (a bluetoothdongle would be nice).
The PSP2 might be announced and if it’s not announced this year it will be the next year, but look it will not be coming the same year it’s announced.
It will have have to have these features to get a passing grade from me
1. built in bluetooth.
2. no internal umd drive, at best an external one which can load the disc to the internal memory.
3. two memory stick drives, one for the personal stick and one for game sticks.
4. as hinted above, new games are now released either by download or a read only memory stick.
5. new cpu (+ more ram) capable of emulating a PS2, though not all ps2 games will work with it (no real place to connect a guitar hero controller).
6. new screen with touchscreen, I would like it to be a oled screen.
7. two thumb sticks.
8. motion sensor
9. a bigger li-io battery, one that covers most of the back of the device, this will make it slimmer and lighter.
10. built in microphone and camera (though I am unsure about the camera, but as every two bit cellphone has one).
It is about 50-50% chance it will be announced this year, but be assured it will come some day.
Games: resistance2, killzone 2, little big planet, but those we all knew of, on top of that we will see the new ratchet and clank game, and as always a cavalcade of new games, because look, 4 games in nothing for the holiday season, so it will be a surpriseorama, also I suspect that we will see some new cool game for next year, I would like to see some more camera games and apps.
Thee might also be a waggle stick for the PS3, but they have managed to keep such things fogged out in various different little rumors.
Prediction rating: Unshure, will not be disappointing
The xbox team have managed to keep a lot of secrets, basically all we know is that gears of war 2 will come and that the xbox360 will have a slightly lower price as expected.
The rumors, lips and the new motion controller.
Yes I do think lips the xbox singstar clone will come, but I think it’s a mistake, microsoft dowsnt have quite the same client base as the PS2 has built up over the years as it has sold over 100million systems more than the 360.
Also a large part of that client base is in the 10-15 year + female range (read those who buy singstar) compared to the xbox which basically start at 15.
It’s just unsupportable, the wii might pull it of but not the 360.
The motion controller, yea as the ps3 had motion but no rumble until the DS3 the 360 will gain the motion sensitive feature, this e3 perhaps, but seriously, take the sixaxis and an example, in what capacity is the motion sensitivity used,
1. as a steering wheel in motorstorm, in which it fits BTW, but probably not other racing games.
2. in free fall mode in Ratchet & Clank future: tools of destruction + the unlocking tool.
3. Balancing on a log in Uncharted, badly I might add.
4. collecting souls in in folklore
So unless they find ways of using it correctly use it (on which I could write a book about) it’s not that big an addition, especially as you can’t make games that require it like you can on the PS3.
The keynote, we will see lips, the next guitar hero, a big segment on gears2, the holiday lineup (nothing exiting), their next waypoints on the path to casual gaming (lips and a party game, perhaps in the form of banjo kazooie) and an update on live anytime.
Prediction rating: Weak.
Brian Crecente from Kotaku said the Nintendo sales are largely driven by peripheral sales, and I agree, the wii waggle stick was a stroke of genius, likewise the balance board, and if they ever manage to make some good software for it it would totally rock.
So will there be a new peripheral, yes and I think they are going for a camera this time, remember booth the PS3 and the 360 has one so it’s only time for the wii to follow suit, the eye toy games actually would make sense for the wii (I did spend an afternoon with my youngest cousin playing these games and they where surprisingly simple, ingenious and more exhausting than a wii balance board).
Now on the game front the wii will be a bit disappointing at least in comparison with the other consoles, the problem is that they have a too large share of first party games in contrast to Microsoft that has to small a share.
Wii HD, or a new wii, even though Nintendo is sort of slow releasing new hardware, Wii HD would be a good thing for them, basically you take a wii, upgrade it just enough to render the same graphics but in HD resolution, tehn ass a small laptop HDD and a hdmi port and your done.
If they could do this they could booth sell the cheapish original Wii or the decidedly more expensive Wii HD for the people with a larger wallet.
The chance for this is about 25%, the chance for any new Wii is about 50%.
The DS, I do think they will announce a new updated DS, basically it has slightly bigger screens, slightly better everything (memory, cpu and such), separate memory stick, and motion sensor.
It’s not a big update but it’s something.
Prediction rating: ok, good and varied.