So, E3 is almost upon us. At 18:00 PDT on Monday (01:30 GMT on Tuesday) Sony will share their thoughts with us on how they will take the PlayStation brand forward. The last couple of SCE keynotes have not exactly been kind to the Vita with the handheld only getting a fraction of the spotlight, despite the actual event having its fair share of gaming on display. Whilst the PS4 will be the undoubted main focus, this lack of Vita discussion has got to change at some point, right? With that in mind we thought we would make a few predictions ahead of the presentation.
We firmly believe that Freedom Wars will be showcased in some form, as will the recently announced Ratchet Trilogy. Sony will tell us when we can get the 64 GB card in the West as well as some more news on PlayStation Now, and how the subscription model will work and how that ties in with the Vita. More indie titles will be show-cased – with the usual cross-buy mechanic, but the emphasis will be on the PS4 as the main platform. We already know that Sony will be announcing a new PS3/4/Vita title during the show, what could it be? It’s not a Vita exclusive clearly, and we are hearing suggestions of a PlayStation All-Stars sequel. Is this the game we will see? With Minecraft set for an August release, are we going to get a concrete release date, as well as the first vita footage?
The Vita memory cards are probably the biggest single obstacle (aside from marketing) to the success of the Vita and they already had a price drop last year. Another price reduction may be a bit far fetched, but we can see an announcement that all Vita packages will come with an 8GB card as standard. We also expect that the rumoured PS4/Vita bundle will be confirmed for specific regions.
Also, a word on the heavily rumoured GTA title. If the HD remakes of Liberty and Vice City Stories is true, surely they will be getting a mention at E3?
We would love to see something on Gravity Rush 2 – and wouldn’t rule it out – but we would expect the first concrete details for it to appear at TGS in September. Perhaps some Third Party support from at least one publisher with a at least one new AAA title will be announced? Could EA surprise us and develop a “true” FIFA 15 or will it just be a re-skin? Maybe a newer Call of Duty could be in the pipeline? Declassified received quite a mauling from the critics yet still sold a decent amount of units from a much smaller install base. With more Vita units in the wild could Activision be tempted again?
We would have said that a NA/EU release for the Vita TV would have been a dead cert until the financials stated 3.5m total units this fiscal year, so we may be out of luck with that. We mentioned memory prices above, perhaps the Vita itself will see a price drop, possibly $20 or more?
We will surely get a Vita Gran Turismo at some point, but will we see it this early? It would easily create a bit of excitement – and in the absence of some big name Third Party presence SCE need to bring out some more of their own big guns. We are almost 2 and a half years into the Vita’s life now, how much longer are they going to leave it? We think it’s possible that the infamous Vita Bioshock will get a mention – with Iron Galaxy confirmed as the developers. Gio Corsi’s third party team have completed their first project in Borderlands 2 and we will surely hear what they are doing next before long.
Vita owners are crying out for more sports titles – NBA and NHL games in particular, could EA surprise us by confirming them for this year? Perhaps a new Skate, or the long suggested Dead Space Vita? What about Pro Evolution Soccer? The definitive Soccer/Football simulation was well supported on the PSP, and it would be an amazing addition, not just for fans of the series, but to those of FIFA, who need the competition to get EA to buck up their ideas.
We also hope that Sony really hype up Minecraft and announce a bundle. It’s still so relevant, and a more complete portable version of the block building hit is bound to move units – the far more limited Pocket Edition has shifted over 21m units worldwide and whilst this title alone will not revitalise the Vita’s fortunes but it will sell.
What do you make of our suggestions? What do you think Sony have in store for us?