E3 2008 finally goes down next week, and it seems like all the big announcements have already been leaked or guessed by fanboys and embargo-breaking media. Are there really any surprises left at E3? Of course there are, but in an odd way, even the biggest franchise announcements fail to impress.
As we gear up for our on-site E3 coverage all next week, we’ve been pondering just what sorts of things really would impress us. You know, the things that would actually make us stand up, take note, and maybe even clap a little. Is it too much to ask for some of these things to happen? Probably, yes. But take a gander at our E3 wish list below, and tell me if there’s not a little part of you that wishes you’d see these things too. Unfortunately, we probably never will.
Nintendo failing to announce a new DS
- Nintendo has mastered the art of selling you crap you already have. Outside of Apple, they’re probably the best in the electronics business at doing so. We’re beginning to think Reggie Fils-Aime has a stipulation in his contract that if he doesn’t debut a new DS — even just if it’s a new color — he’ll be fired. Look how many DS variants have come out in the past few years. You think it’s an accident Reggie’s now the big cheese?
Madden NFL 09’s “F**k the Cheerleader” Mode
- EA’s kajillion-selling football game really has nowhere left to go, considering the arguable failure of its coaching sim, so Peter Moore may finally decide to spit in the face of EA’s “family friendly” push and go adults-only with the next “simulation” aspect of Madden NFL. The best part: the pre-order special is an inflatable love doll. Sure, the concept and pre-order special will get the game banned in Australia and earn it an AO rating. But sales will go even farther through the roof than already predicted.
Microsoft announcing a “Buy Three, Get One that Works” Xbox 360 offer
- With its community PR in shambles and its console the butt of every joke from the Maytag repair man, Microsoft is announcing a price drop for its Xbox 360 this year. The thing is, that’s not really the big news. The big announcement is the unveiling of a new program that finally gives consumers a legitimate shot at owning a functional console. Way to go, guys. You sure do listen to those consumers now, don’t you?
Sony announcing that Home will ship in August
- Finally, Sony announces that its online lobby/store/social network has a concrete release date. The catch? The company finally realized it couldn’t deliver anything that will really beat Xbox Live, so Home is now just a re-packaged copy of Second Life with a PS3 logo on the cover. At least you can search Google from the XMB….
Shane Kim walking on stage with a Tattoo that says “B-Team”
- Not to be rude, but, well, we’re going to be. You don’t go from J Allard to Robbie Bach to Peter Moore to Shane Kim and not have little text bubbles floating above gamers’ heads that say “WTF.” Kim’s got about as much personality as a bowl of spaghetti, and you know darn well his promotion was a business decision, not one designed to stay in tune with the “core gamer.” Hey, J, the Zune’s a flop. Why don’t you come back to team where you did the most good?
The debut of any third-party Wii game that will sell more than 500,000 copies
- Nintendo makes good hardware for Nintendo. The Wii is a hit, no question about it, but the best-selling, most-popular and most-fun Wii games are universally first-party titles. It’s a crap shoot with everyone else — emphasis on the word “crap.”
Miyamoto actually failing to smile foolishly
- He’s richer than God, could have any cosplayer he wanted (boy or girl), and people think it’s cool when he dresses like an elf and jumps around with a cardboard sword. Wouldn’t you have a permanent smile too? We thought so. So, the chances of this happening? About the same as Nintendo returning emails to videogame Web sites.
Sony starting an E3 press conference with actual games
- It’s well established at this point that the first one-third of all Sony E3 press conferences are filled with technical specs and investor posturing. Oh, and let’s not forget that attendees are treated to this joyous information only after the press conference starts 30 to 45 minutes late. Thanks, Sony — especially this year, when you scheduled your press conference during the first few hours of E3’s opening day.
An E3 “throwback party” — to the days of Prohibition
- E3 is known for games and liquor, and not necessarily in that order. Between the hospitality suites, private meetings and after-hours parties, the liver damage done at E3 is irreparable and has actually led to seven transplants in the middle of a Russian publisher’s Kentia Hall booth. At least I think that was a transplant…. The format for E3 is (once again) different this year, so why not throw a reception that doesn’t involve a small Caribbean nation’s worth of rum? A dry party could let us get some writing done later in the night, and it might actually be a refreshing change of pace. Oh, who are we trying to kid…?