GameSpot may receive revenue from affiliate and advertising partnerships for sharing this content and from purchases through links.

E3 2012: A Look Ahead

What will E3 2012 have in store for the video game industry? The GameSpot editorial team peers into the future to find out.


No Caption Provided

The 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo has come and gone, and though we're all still buzzing over what we saw at the show, the GameSpot editorial staff can't help but wonder what the future has in store. We asked several editors to contribute their predictions for what will happen at E3 2012, and their responses will surprise, confound, and possibly enlighten.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Sophia Tong, Editor

Now that Nintendo has announced the Wii U, I'm willing to guess that by E3 next year, Nintendo will be trotting out all the "core" titles that the Wii didn't have. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw another Mario game (Galaxy 3!). I don't even want to know what kind of host Ubisoft is going to get next year, and I'm willing to bet that Konami will once again skip out on having an official press conference during the show. As for Microsoft, it's probably going to show some kind of new hardware or, at the very least, some decent Kinect games that don't involve dancing or furry creatures. I'm also predicting that we will once again see absolutely nothing about Kingdom Hearts 3 or Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Dan Chiappini, Previews Editor - GameSpot AU

E3 2011 reset the bar for what gamers will demand from the show in the future. Big-budget hero titles are here to stay. Nintendo's 2012 Wii U showing will be all about the application of the tech on the games. First-party software appearances will be strong, but third-party innovation will be Nintendo's big focus. Maps, mission objectives, inventory management, and viewing screens for those bendable cameras SWAT uses to peer into bathroom stalls. The Wii U tablet will get a real workout.

Microsoft will stay quiet on future hardware to shine a spotlight on the Kinect and its next wave of Xbox services. Live television on the Xbox 360 seems the most natural extension for the company's Kinect-driven interactive ad system. First-party Kinect titles, ahoy.

Sony loves services, so expect more video, apps, and games that will deliver content across both the Vita and PlayStation 3. Core software push will be strong; expect a 95-minute sizzle reel of games coming to its platforms. Move support in everything.

Top-tier third-party devs will struggle with producing fewer, higher-quality games and still being able to ride the transmedia cash wave. All game soundtracks to be scored by Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman in 2013.

Guy Cocker, Editor - GameSpot UK

No Caption Provided
Battlefield 3

The next Xbox will definitely be shown off at E3 2012, but it won't arrive until 2013. It will ship with next-gen Kinect technology as standard. Sony will put the PlayStation Vita at the core of its conference, with Call of Duty a key title for 2012. Nintendo's Wii U will get off to a slow start, but third-party support will bolster its fortunes at E3. Following the success of Battlefield 3, EA will announce Bad Company 3, as well as Mirror's Edge 2 and BioWare's next post-Mass Effect project. And, The Last Guardian still won't be out but will be shown at Sony's press conference.

Carolyn Petit, Associate Editor

At E3 2011, Nintendo created an unclear sense of potential surrounding the Wii U. At E3 2012, it's going to want to deliver in concrete ways on that sense of potential and shift people's feelings about the Wii U's capabilities from curious but wary to excited and confident. Nintendo also knows that there are a lot of misgivings among consumers about a relative lack (compared to Sony and Microsoft's consoles) of quality third-party titles on the GameCube and Wii, and it'll want to send the message that the Wii U will have strong third-party support. As a result, I expect to see Nintendo's press conference contain a few big third-party announcements--perhaps titles like BioShock Infinite or the next Grand Theft Auto--looking comparable to the versions on other consoles and with spiels from big-name designers detailing how they've used the Wii U's unique features to enhance the experience. Finally, I expect Nintendo to detail how the online features of the Wii U will be in the same realm as what Microsoft and Sony have been doing for years, with friends lists and some sort of persistent score similar to trophies or achievements. Finally, and most importantly, I expect Reggie to start his presentation with the command, "Listen!"

Microsoft and Sony will try to steal Nintendo's thunder with massive announcements of their own, and I expect that, in Microsoft's case, the announcement will be a new hardware reveal. But as for just what form that new hardware will take…at this point, your guess is as good as mine.

Ryan MacDonald, Director Technical Production - GameSpot Live

While E3 is exciting each and every year, E3 2012 is already shaping up to be an incredible show. I know what you're thinking…with E3 2012 11-and-a-half months away, how could we possibly know what's going to be there? Thanks to historical trends, modern science, and lots of math, we can probably give you some fairly accurate guesses. So here goes; let's get the easy stuff out of the way first: Microsoft Unveils New Console at E3 2012.

While Microsoft will wait until E3 2012 to debut its new system, it won't be a surprise because we'll have already heard some rumblings at CES about the new device. What will it do? I think Microsoft will focus largely on delivering the most advanced console possible while keeping its price point in check. Bigger, badder, better--like a certain NEO GEO system--is what I think it'll be going for. Meaning, I don't think it'll look to reinvent the box, but just to make its three key Xbox components (Xbox Live, graphics, and gameplay) even stronger. Core and mainstream gaming will still be its main targets. Xbox Live and the connected experience will grow and possibly even touch on capabilities that expand to using your Xbox as a cable box decoder for Comcast or other cable providers.

Brendan Sinclair, News Editor

No Caption Provided

After the uninspired sequel-fest that was E3 2011, new IP will be the dominant theme of E3 2012. We already know about a bunch of projects on the way, including the new IPs from Bungie and Respawn. Even though they typically don't attend E3, there's also Blizzard's next massively multiplayer online game, and Nintendo will need to launch a new IP on the 3DS and Wii U as people stop being excited by a parade of remakes and rehashes. THQ will show off Insane, and I bet Ubisoft is about ready to try another new IP that it hopes will replicate the Assassin's Creed success story. EA will still have Insomniac's OverStrike to show, but Take-Two will likely be content to just push GTAV or a sequel to Red Dead Redemption. Expect a number of these new IPs to be pushed onto the next generation of consoles.

Tom Mc Shea, Associate Editor

I expect the expected. Every year I arrive at E3 hoping to find games that make me giggle with joy, and every year I'm inundated by high-priced blockbusters with barely a whiff of creativity. E3 2012 will continue this trend because, quite simply, set-piece-driven adventures are significantly easier to convey in a brief demo than off-the-wall ideas. Nintendo will launch the Wii U with three of its biggest franchises (Mario, Donkey Kong, and F-Zero are my guesses); Microsoft will convert beloved franchises into Kinect atrocities (get ready for a Gears of War rail shooter!); and Sony will show off another God of War and keep its lips sealed about The Last Guardian. E3 is a place for embarrassing press conferences and sequels--not for originality.

Justin Calvert, Section Editor - Reviews

No Caption Provided

I'd like to think that E3 2012 will be a big show for both the Wii U and the PlayStation Vita. Unveiled at this year's E3, what both platforms need now are strong software lineups. There will surely be a number of promising first-party games shown for the Wii U, but I imagine third-party games will mostly look like inferior versions of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games that have "new controller" functionality shoehorned into them. I'm sure developers will come up with all kinds of ingenious uses for that thing in time, but I doubt we'll see much evidence of that a year from now. On the Vita, I suspect we'll see mostly scaled-down versions of popular PS3 games, as well as plenty that, like Ruin, can be played on either system using cloud saves. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that there's also a new Patapon game at the show; possibly one that's played using the Vita's rear touch pad.

Shaun McInnis, Editor

Because my brain is actively forcing itself not to think about E3 right now, I make no claims as to the quality of these predictions. But here they are anyways! One, Sony will introduce a new console with a bizarrely new-age name not unlike the Vita. It will be called the PlayStation Life Essence. Two, Microsoft will announce Kinect support for Excel. Three, Nintendo will announce a robust online infrastructure for the Wii U, only to follow up with "Psych! We're totally doing friend codes." And lastly, Valve will continue to defy all logic by announcing Half-Life 3 will be out next week, and each copy will be bundled with a chocolate cake and a Lamborghini. [Ed. note: Why not just make it a Lamborghini made out of chocolate cake? Two birds, one stone.]

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 171 comments about this story