E3 2012, this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, is upon us, running from today through Thursday, June 7th – although you could be forgiven for thinking it started a month ago, given all the hype. Beyond the corporate PR machine working overtime, there are many misinformed pundits deliberately concocting rumors. That E3 has the security wall of a NATO conference means many gamers believe, well – anything! Let’s take a look at what the Big Three in video games – Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft – are really up to for 2012.
Nintendo and Sony…asian tigers
Nintendo is doing a “full reveal” of Wii U later today (Tuesday, June 5th) and, until then, the details of the revamped console are mostly unknown. Official specs from Nintendo list a multi-core processor, like CRE’s iMac rentals, and a Radeon graphics card. But how much more powerful is the new Wii U than the current model? Also unknown. Of the remaining rumors, forget a special Final Fantasy edition or other product tie-ins and focus on the real possibilities, which include potential cloud storage.
Sony arrives at E3 2012 enmeshed in problems with its PlayStation Portable (PSP) Vita. Sony lacks the high-quality, wide-appeal game titles that helped Nintendo out of its 3DS mess. (Nintendo launched the 3DS at Vita’s price point, $250, but didn’t get results until it cut the price and added titles.) Sony has to turn the Vita product line around, starting this week at E3. Like Apple, Sony makes superior hardware, but the reason an iPad rental is a hot item still has more to do with usability and content. Can Sony saved the Vita?
Microsoft: always in the mix
Facing some development “kludges” with its new Windows 8, Microsoft will keep the focus at E3 on its successes. Kinect has been a super (and satisfying) one, and keeping that momentum going is essential, so the firm will likely show demos of core Xbox titles coming in 2012 (particularly Call of Duty: Black Ops 2). And after E3, when Microsoft finishes “getting its Windows in order,” CRE will certainly implement the new OS in part of its PC desktop computer rental line.
There may be a Kinect Sports 3 in the offing, and Microsoft may share scenes from the recently announced Harry Potter for Kinect. The only “for sure” announcement coming from Redmond execs will concern the core apps for the Kinect platform, including Internet Explorer and the new Woodstock music service.