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One of the best things about big shows like E3 is the surprises. It’s why the “Big Three” (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) have press conferences at the start of the show, and it’s why fanboys everywhere watch those conferences with bated breath. When the surprises don’t live up to expectations, then “defense forces” roll out, as fanboys from the other camps try to pick at the weakened console maker.

In other words, E3 is about hype -- but really just for the “Big Three.” It used to be that third-party companies like Take-Two, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts would also reveal big new things at E3. It was the perfect time to do so since E3 used to be a truly ridiculous spectacle. But now E3 has been neutered so to speak (later in the year, invite only), and third-party companies are revealing their big surprises when they see fit via “Gamers’ Days,” game- or company-specific events, or other media-heavy events like the Leipzig Games Convention or the Tokyo Game Show.

There are still exceptions to the rule though. I think most people remember the buggy Assassin’s Creed demo from last year’s E3; the amazing sniper level snippet from Call of Duty 4; and the uncomfortable banter between Reggie Bush and Jeff Bell as they played Madden NFL 2008. And that’s why I’m writing this article. I want to be Miss Cleo for a moment, and make some of my own sports-related predictions for E3 2008.

-Nintendo will announce a Wii Sports 2. I figure since the company is almost entirely mainstream focused now, it makes sense to announce some sort of Wii Sports 2 since it’s Nintendo’s most marketable Wii title.

-Microsoft will announce some sort of Wii Sports equivalent when the company announces its own motion controller at E3. There are already rumors about Mii equivalents being included in the Xbox 360 moving forward, why not continue with the similarities?

-This one is already a rumor, but I’ll regurgitate it: Nintendo will announce the next Punch-Out!! It seems like a way to appease the “old school” user base, and it would be Nintendo’s way of saying that the hardcore user base isn’t completely dead to the company.

-Sony’s NBA 09 title won’t be mentioned at Sony's press conference. Sony already has a bunch to roll out for the fall/winter, so I think something has to be dumped from the conference. Therefore, I think NBA 09 will take a backseat and the gaming public will have to wait until a later date to hear about the game.

-Most people know by now that EA is making a game called EA Fitness -- at least that’s the name for now -- that will use the Wii Balance Board. EA wants to go with a more “western” style for this fitness game, meaning more heavy breathing and activities that are still “fun.” So it’s a safe bet to assume that EA Sports games will find their way into this game in some way. But for EA Fitness, I also think EA will use real athletes and the art style found in games like FIFA 08 (Wii), where everything looks more Nintendo-like than EA-like.

-NHL 2K9 will show off an all-new control scheme this year. (I have to preface this by saying that NHL 2K8 was the one yearly title I didn’t play much of last year. I was a huge fan of the series from its roots on the Dreamcast, all the way up until the first version on the Xbox 360. But then last year I didn’t play much of either NHL series (EA or 2K) because both seemed half done. Then this year I stuck more to EA’s NHL game.) Anyway, it seems like the controls were a bit overly complicated, so my guess is they are going back to the drawing board for the ’09 version.

-Since Be A Pro modes are being implemented in most of EA Sports’ games, I’m guessing that NBA 2K9 reintroduces a solo-type mode once again.

-Activision will announce that long-time Tony Hawk developer Neversoft will be focusing on other projects for good. Also the rumored Tony Hawk peripheral will be announced.

-The secret feature for NHL 09 is supposedly already out of the bag, and I’m assuming Live’s secret feature is similar to it since the “super secret feature” hasn’t been officially announced for either game. It seems like a logical guess because NHL and Live work on similar development cycles, they’re both made at EA Canada, and both titles already had the Team Play feature in the ’08 versions.

And two really whacky predictions just for kicks:

-Take-Two and Ubisoft will announce a publishing partnership of sorts. Ubisoft isn’t as large as EA, but from what I gather, they are able to send their games to more markets than Take-Two can at this point. It doesn’t really help Ubisoft if EA gets bigger so it would be similar to the MTV/EA partnership for Rock Band, where Ubisoft just helps ship the product, but Take-Two and Ubisoft are still independent.

-The Wii Balance Board will be implemented in every EA Sports game on the Wii moving forward. It would just be an announcement since the games are too far along in the current development cycle; but, EA is already using the Board in Skate It, plus the aforementioned EA Fitness game. So it seems like the company really wants to use the Balance Board whenever it can.

Those are my predictions. What types of predictions do you guys have for E3 2008?

Member Comments
# 1 DocHolliday @ 07/13/08 03:37 PM
My predictions:

Wii Sports 2: And it will involve a new type of add-on controller, it will also have something to do with the Beach

GTA will be announced for the DS, and it will have something to do with a "china Town"

A new animal crossing will be unveiled.

The wii balance board will come out strong.

# 2 wildthing2022000 @ 07/13/08 06:49 PM
I hope they come out with a new Mario Tennis & Golf game soon though it's not really a prediction but Mario games seem to play better than most others.

Microsoft is pathetic for just ripping off the Wii. Why not just release the BluRay drive so they can rip off the PS3 too.

Punch-Out Wii
Wii Sports 2(4 sports: hockey, basketball, volleyball, & soccer)
Kid Icarus Wii
Based on Nintendo Power magazine preview for Sept issue:

Kingdom Hearts 3 Wii(may or may not sneak in Mario & Co....)
Katamari Damacy Wii(would be good on the Wii)

Wii Flash Drive announced
# 3 rspencer86 @ 07/13/08 06:56 PM
I predict Chase will be hit on by at least six guys.

Originally Posted by ChaseB
Since Be A Pro modes are being implemented in most of EA Sports’ games, I’m guessing that NBA 2K9 reintroduces a solo-type mode once again.
That would be sweet, I love these types of modes that offer new ways to play the game.
# 4 DocHolliday @ 07/15/08 12:11 PM
Damn Im good

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