E3 2010 Predictions Results

Like scampering down the stairs on Christmas morning, the excited search for a steady video feed before E3 conferences is filled with anticipation. The annual summer happening is one of the few times on the gaming industry's calendar we can look forward to some surprise delights from the many publishers playing the role of Santa Claus in business suits. Simply put, it's the industry's biggest event in the year.

As such, the editors of The First Hour tried to guess what unexpected pleasures would manifest at the event. Some were sure bets, like Microsoft showing off Halo: Reach. Others were more risky, like F-Zero hitting the 3DS at launch. And some were planted firmly outside the realm of possibility, with Shenmue 3 topping that list as always.

When all was said and done, The First Hour hit a few out of the park...but mostly struck out.

3ds Blue


We all knew it was coming, but nobody could have possibly foreseen the amazing show Nintendo put on for 3DS. The editors of First Hour certainly didn't.

After predicting various price points between $180 and $250 and release dates ranging from November to February, Nintendo pulled the ultimate prank by showing us an amazing lineup of games for a system with some undeniably impressive tech...and then neglecting to tell us when we would be playing it or how much it would cost us. So those predictions go on, I suppose. I was the only one who Miss Cleo'd any games, and I hit a disappointing one for three with Star Fox, though I certainly didn't expect an upgraded Star Fox 64, and that makes me a happy boy. And the fact that the system has thus far retained the 3DS moniker is a testament to our safe prediction skills!

Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword artThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo's biggest misstep in their conference was also a bit of a blunder on our end. We can all give ourselves a pat on the back for predicting the game would require WiiMotion Plus, but it's hard to feel good about something that's been as good as fact for almost a year. Otherwise, our bold predictions turned out to be too bold for Nintendo: the Vitality sensor didn't show up (not just for Zelda, but for the entire conference) and multiplayer went without mention as well. Mike's lasso didn't come to fruition, but he gets partial credit because the whip mechanic is somewhat similar. I mean, they're both ropes, right?

Wii Successor

Who were we kidding? Wii is still selling like hotcakes smothered in rich, buttery syrup. Nintendo doesn't want to disrupt that by hinting that the system will be abandoned any time soon.

On the contrary, Nintendo showed what may be the strongest E3 lineup ever for its record-smashing console. Ian picked a winner with Kirby, though I somehow doubt he expected the pink puff to show up made out of yarn (though it seems Nintendo's had that in mind for about twenty years!). Grant and I also figured Wii Party would show up, but shockingly Nintendo didn't delight us with an awkward and hilarious demonstration on-stage, relegating the game to trailer material instead. Retro and Sora studios showed off their work this year, as I predicted, though I certainly didn't see Donkey Kong Country Returns and Kid Icarus: Uprising coming. Perhaps most surprising is that Pokemon Black and White went completely without mention. You'd think the next big step in Pokemon, due in Japan later this year, would have at least garnered a name drop.



Dance Central Jazz

We all had our own predictions about Natal's final name, and we were all way off the mark. Though to be fair, our closest guess was Steve's "Motion," because he got three of the seven letters correct! As for launch details, our consensus vote of November saw success, as the device will be available November 4th, 2010. No pricing details were announced, but several retail outlets have listed online prices at $149.99, leaving the $150 predictions from Grant and Paul E. the most credible as of now. Paul also had the right idea with Microsoft's focus, as the camera's impact on system navigation and software features was highlghted for what seemed like the entire conference. I predicted that Microsoft would awkwardly demo a semi-hardcore game on stage, and I guess that was half-true, sort of. The more "serious" games at the show, Your Shape - Fitness Evolved and Dance Central actually went off without a hitch, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't intrigued by each. On the other hand, watching the little girl play with her augmented tiger cub Skittles in Kinectimals was almost too much to bear. Peter Molyneux's virtual boy Milo, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen (except to celebrities, apparently). The rest of the Microsoft conference focused on Halo: Reach, Gears of War 3, and Fable 3, exactly as I and everyone else who has heard of Xbox predicted. Surprisingly, Rare's big reveal wasn't a long-awaited revival of Killer Instinct or Perfect Dark, but Microsoft's answer to Wii's insanely popular pack-in, Kinect Sports. It seems even after leaving Nintendo, Rare's development path is still determined by the company.



Killzone 3 E3demo

Unlike 3DS and Kinect, Sony actually told us everything we need to know about launch details for Move. Grant and I predicted October and September, respectively, and we must be playing musical chairs with a pair of stools because we both won! Sony will launch the device in mid-September for Europe and North America and October 21st in Japan. As for pricing, Sony's smattering of SKUs makes it difficult to determine who is the rightest of the right, but I'll give it to Paul E. who expected a $100 bundle and got one: the required Eyetoy camera, bulb controller, and a copy of Sports Champions will be available for $99. I don't think any of us expected that the controller alone would demand $50, and the camera would remain a $40 investment as well. Greg had the right idea that Move-functionality would be added to current games, but he missed the mark with his guesses of Uncharted 2 and LittleBigPlanet. Ian's Wii Sports knockoff came in the form of Sports Champions, and Mike saw Killzone 3's Move support coming as well.

As for the rest of Sony's show, Grant and I found some success with our predictions of inFAMOUS 2, Gran Turismo 5, Motorstorm 3, and so forth, but highly-anticipated titles like The Last Guardian and Demon's Souls 2 were nowhere to be seen, much to our surprise and dismay. I also must admit I am very surprised with how little Sony pushed the PSP, now seemingly running on empty. They showed off God of War: Ghost of Sparta and unveiled a new ad campaign, but no real surprises manifested for Sony's portable platform at their E3 show.


Thus ended our likeliest predictions and our success at soothsaying E3. Believers in Dreamcast 2 will have to hold their breath, as Sega decided not to announce the coveted new entries for Shenmue, Panzer Dragoon, Jet Set Radio, or Shining Force. Nor did they show off new hardware in any shape or form. Instead, all we got from the Nintendon'ts was Sonic 4, Sonic Colors, Sonic Freeriders, Valkyria Chronicles 2, Phantasy Star Portable 2, The Conduit 2, Shogun 2: Total War, Tournament of Legends, and Vanquish. Not a terrible showing, but I can't see anyone who defended the Genesis at the school playground getting excited for this lineup.

Portal 2 TurretMeanwhile Valve got us all giddy with anticipation by teasing a special E3 surprise not involved with Portal 2...and then revealed that Portal 2 would come to PS3 via Steam Cloud at the show, appeasing some but delighting few. It sure wasn't a new IP or the long-awaited Half-Life continuation that we predicted, anyway.

Square Enix kept quiet this year as well, and didn't offer any new media or information on their Final Fantasy Versus XIII or Dragon Quest X projects, as we expected. Kingdom Hearts III didn't show up either, but Squeenix is definitely milking that franchise dry otherwise with Birth by Sleep and Re:Coded coming to PSP and DS. Final Fantasy is also going relatively strong with FF XIV and Four Warriors of Light appearing at the show. Other games from Square Enix included The 3rd Birthday (aka Parasite Eve 3), Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, Front Mission Evolved, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dungeon Siege 3, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and two Tales of Bearsworth Manor games.

Our predictions for Blizzard were perhaps far too hopeful, as the PC gaming giant didn't even show up! Likewise, the show also came and went with nary a word on Grand Theft Auto Tokyo, the recently-trademarked Mega Man Universe, Mirror's Edge 2, or a new Elder Scrolls. And thus the First Hour editors all have at least one big disappointment from the show. That said, our safer predictions were mostly on the money, proving that even we shortsighted First Hour editors can foresee the obvious...sometimes.