1. Uncharted 4 Gameplay Demo
Announced at VGX last year, Naughty Dog's next project is looking highly likely to headline Sony's E3 even if a 2015 release date is probable. The only thing murking the waters is the recent set of high-profile departures from the studio. But we're confident we'll see gameplay footage from Uncharted 4 at E3, even if it may not be playable on the actual showfloor.
Verdict: Definitely. Uncharted may be the biggest IP Sony holds today and it would make zero sense not to give it a headlining spot at the press conference on June 9.
2. Rare Reboots - Perfect Dark & Battletoads
Rumours suggest Microsoft's most Kinect-focused outfit, Rare, may be looking to its past for its next project. Battletoads and Perfect Dark are two franchises mentioned as likely to be resurrected. But even if Kinect has been de-bundled (not discontinued, just de-bundled) we're sure that Microsoft still wants Rare to work on Kinect games in some capacity. A Live Arcade side-scrolling Battletoads may be an appropriately sized side-project for the studio, but we deem it highly unlikely that the studio in its current set up would return to first person shooters with a new Perfect Dark. If a new Perfect Dark is coming, it'll likely be farmed out to a different developer much like Killer Instinct was.
Verdict: Maybe. Rare have been all about family entertainment and casual games, and even if the fanboys in us would like to see some of their past glory ressurrected it is clear that the Rare of today has little in common with the Rare of the N64 era. And then there's the fact that it may be too soon for a Rare reveal at this year's E3.
3. The Last Guardian re-revealed
It's been a long journey with Team Ico's The Last Guardian. Seemingly obsessed with perfection, the team, under the leadership of Fumito Ueda, struggled to get the technical side of the game to work. In development since 2007 and formally announced in 2009, The Last Guardian has come to represent some of the organisational failures within Sony Computer Entertainment. It's been confirmed as an ongoing project multiple times, and by now it's surely heading to PS4, with Ueda on merely as a consultant, going as far as saying his involvement with the creative side of things being complete. It would likely get a standing ovation if it were to be re-announced for PS4 at the Sony press conference. The only thing we'd say speaks against it being re-revealed is the fact that we've expected to see it so many times in the past.
Verdict: Looking likely. Maybe we're overly optimistic here as Sony probably don't want to show The Last Guardian without being confident they can deliver the finished product within a reasonable timeframe.
4. Forza Horizon 2 announced
Forza Horizon was, simply put, one of the most beautiful games to land in what's now considered the old generation. With that in mind, a new-gen follow up, with Turn 10 and Playground Games given the added horsepower of Xbox One to play around with, is certainly a most tempting proposition. Word on the street is that we can expect to see an environment that includes roads through digital Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Arkansas, as well as a full day/night cycle, real time weather, and an estimated 80 hours of single player racing. The dual development of the series on old-gen could well make the transition to Xbox One, and with Forza 5 impressing as a launch title (and that's despite a shortfall of content), it makes sense that a new open-world racer could be on the horizon.
Verdict: Looking Likely. Microsoft needs big IPs on stage if they're to build support for the Xbox One, and when it comes to racing, there's few bigger than Forza.
5. Gran Turismo 6 HD on PS4
With a HD-remake of The Last of Us set for release this summer and Sony's first-party line up of games looking rather slim, it does sound likely that we'll see a few more high-profile PS3 games given the remastered treatment. Were it not for the fact that Driveclub is due out in October we'd likely rate the chances of Gran Turismo 6 HD even higher, and given Polyphony's track record of delaying full sequels and releasing prologues it's probably only a question of whether we'll see Gran Turismo 6 HD or Gran Turismo 7: Prologue next.
Verdict: Looking likely. Sony is struggling financially and the best way to squeeze more money out of the PlayStation business is to release more major first-party titles.
6. Pokémon Game on Wii U with Plastic Pokémon Figurines
Nintendo have kept the main series Pokémon games on handheld, but a new Pokémon Stadium that makes use of the recently announced NFP figurines would make a great deal of sense. Or perhaps Nintendo have a fresh idea of how to utilise the figurines with Pokémon. Nintendo have already tried out the NFP features with limited tests in Pokémon Rumble U (figurines could be bought at Pokémon World in Japan).
Verdict: Looking likely. It's the perfect match of demographics, IP and plastic. It needs to happen and if it truly shines then perhaps it could be the game to give Wii U its second wind.
7. GTAV announced for new-gen and PC
Grand Theft Auto V is coming to PC: it's just a matter of when. We've heard mumblings from retailers both in the UK and in Europe, and there's numerous listings on websites around the world. We're also expecting a version of the game on new-gen consoles, because, why not? Why would Rockstar stop when there's more platforms out there, especially considering the fact that shifting an enhanced PC port over to Xbox One and PS4 wouldn't be a huge endeavour.
Everything points to GTAV on PC, X1 and PS4, but Rockstar and Take-Two remain tight-lipped on the matter to this day. But, we're expecting the game to make the leap onto new-gen hardware, so as far as we're concerned it's just a matter of when and how. Is the updated Grand Theft Auto the unannounced title that Rockstar are working on? If so, will the new version get announced at this year's E3? If not, what are the studio working on? All good questions that we'll hopefully have answers to in just a few weeks.
Verdict: Looking Likely. Something's brewing over at Rockstar, and we're expecting a reveal from the studio at E3 this year. What they'll reveal is another question entirely (tune in tomorrow to check out our speculations).
8. Microsoft to reveal the Halo TV show
We know we're going to get something, it's just the "what" that remains a mystery. At the end of the week 343 revealed the new Halo's name along with a few Master Chief related tidbits. But. General manager Bonnie Ross also suggested that we weren't going to find out more about the television series until "we near its projected fall 2015 release". With that in mind, and given that the series is still likely in pre-production (we haven't heard anything to suggest otherwise), we're expecting to see more of Guardians, more of Halo 2: Anniversary, but not so much of the television collaboration with Steven Spielberg. Ah well, you can't have everything.
Verdict: No Chance. We're already expecting plenty of Halo related announcements and reveals at this year's show, so don't expect Microsoft to over-share when it comes to their prized asset.
9. Oculus Launch Details, with surprise support
We've been keeping a close eye on Oculus Rift ever since it smashed its way through the Kickstarter process, and after demoing the VR headset with John Carmack at E3 2012. It's come along way since then, most notably with Facebook snapping up Oculus and several notable names jumping on board in a full time capacity (the aforementioned Carmack - who left id - has since been joined by Michael Abrash from Valve). We're expecting and hoping to see much of the headset at this year's show, and hopefully even get a date for when the device will make it to retail. While they're at it, expect some revelations along the way, with studio support also expected to be announced for the headset.
Verdict: Looking Likely. With the additional firepower handed to the company following their takeover by Facebook, expect a big fuss to be made over the VR headset at this year's show.
10. EA comes armed with a new Mass Effect
It's about time we heard something Mass Effect related. Not only has it been too long since we wrapped up Shepard's story arc, but, frankly, it's been too quiet on the Mass Effect front for our liking. We don't know much about what shape this next game will take, although rumour has it that we're looking at a new narrative, sans Shepard and his/her galaxy saving antics. Does that mean a prequel set during the Turian-Human Wars, or a story set in the wake of the Reaper invasion? So many questions, so little knowledge. One half of Bioware are still beavering away at Dragon Age: Inquisition, and with ME3 and Star Wars: TOR both released some time ago now, this year's E3 could be the perfect opportunity to show us what they're working on.
Verdict: Maybe. We already know that Mass Effect 4 is in a playable state, and with EA wanting to have a good show, we're expecting them to pull out the big guns. And Mass Effect is definitely one of the big guns.
11. New Nintendo hardware unveiled
As the Wii U continued trawling through troubled waters this past year, there was idle discussion whether its continued poor sales performance would see Nintendo pull the plug early rather than continue if questions arose over its long-term viability as a platform. Yet the financial strain of pushing - and explaining - new hardware so soon after Wii U's launch mightn't make that plan viable.
Things heated up this month as speculation mounted that was exactly what Nintendo were going to do, with several sites running stories from sources claiming the company were to unveil new hardware at this year's E3. However, Nintendo have since come out and refuted the claim.
Verdict: Not a chance. That there's new hardware being designed? Yes. Every company looks to the future post-console launch, but sadly it looks like we won't be seeing what Nintendo has planned next just yet.
12. New Gears of War gets named
After four games in the franchise, the last farmed out to People Can Fly, it wasn't surprising that Epic had decided to leave the series that helped define Xbox 360 for a while at least. Yet that clearly wouldn't fit in with Microsoft's plans, who need surefire hits for Xbox One - so it came the surprise that they'd bought the IP outright from its creators, and handing it over to new outfit Black Tusk Studios.
As much as Halo 5's tease last year flagged its existence to keep fans happy (even if it was a long way from release), expectation is that something will be shown at Microsoft's E3 Briefing this year.
Verdict: Definitely. Microsoft need to show their heavy hitters are coming, but don't expect anything more than an Uncharted 4-style name reveal to officially put it on the company's schedule.
13. New Wipeout
There's few names that have as strong a connection with Sony's success than Wipeout. While the franchise had declined since its PSOne heyday, the Wipeout brand was still a strong one for Sony - either trying out the digital market with PS3's Wipeout HD and Fury or launching the PS Vita with WipEout 2048. So we were all completely blindsided when it was announced that Studio Liverpool, the home of the series since the franchise's inception, was to be closed. Wipeout seemed dead.
Yet there's been rumblings here and there about a return of the anti-grav racing series, perhaps as a possible reboot or restart to the series. A source recently pointed to it appearing as E3. Yet even if that particular list is taken with a grain of salt, the idea of a new WipEout is still a strong one. The questions remain though as to who will be behind the game's development (ex-Liverpool staffers now part of new startup Firesprite are interested), and what format, in what form, will the game be released on?
Verdict: Maybe. Officially Wipeout is as dead as the dodo. Yet with Sony's other big franchises already debuting or announced for PlayStation 4, it wouldn't be outside the realms of possibility - especially as Sony try and continue to reconnect to gamers this generation - that they resurrect the franchise as part of their E3 Briefing.
14. Beyond Good & Evil 2 revealed
Ubisoft historically end their pre-E3 conference with something new and huge; honestly we would have thought Far Cry 4, revealed last week, would have been in the running. But then the company have managed to surprise us all the last two years - Watch Dogs, The Division. You could look at Far Cry 4 announcing early to cushion the blow of the Division's delay, but as we've know about that for a while, maybe FC4's been pushed off the slate to make way for something bigger. We know we're getting a new Assassin's Creed (actually two of 'em) this year alongside Far Cry 4. With The Division's now releasing 2015, it could be the re-reveal of Rainbow Six, but again, the franchise hasn't a big enough bang. An all-new reveal of Beyond Good & Evil 2 would be the easy headline not just of Ubisoft's conference, but the entire E3.
Verdict: Looking Likely. We know it's in the works, and talking to Ubisoft Montpellier recently, they mentioned Valiant Hearts was a side project between much bigger productions. What else are they working on? Oh right...