We are about a month away from this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), at Los Angeles and while Nintendo is the only one of the big three talking about their next console, Sony still has lots to show off for the upcoming year for their current platforms. More than 20 games from both first and third parties will be expected to be the highlight of their press conference, but the big question for Sony this year is how hard they will go to push their Playstation Vita now that they are able to launch their latest handheld to decent success. Another thing to expect next month is the future of the Playstation Move. If we refer back to history, Sony has not had a good track record regarding leaks to their E3 plans, as their biggest bombshell typically gets revealed before their press conference. It will be interesting to see if they are still able to keep some big things secret by next month in the weeks ahead.
Sony’s first-party lineup for the Playstation 3 this holiday season and winter 2013 is already looking solid. The recently revealed God of War: Ascension for next year will have a big presence at the show with a new demo of both the single player and new multiplayer modes. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony’s Super Smash Bros-esque fighting game that was also recently announced, will be there in big capacity with more details such as new characters and stages. I also expect Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us to arguably be their biggest game this fall as well. Other than those three, LittleBigPlanet Karting and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time are also part of Sony’s solid lineup for the next few months. In addition, the Playstation Move will get some of the spotlight with new games, and maybe some of the ones mentioned will get Move support in some capacity too.
As far as third parties are concerned, expect more exclusive goodies that will get people to buy the PS3 version over the 360 version. They have already got the first BioShock set to be packaged with the PS3 version of BioShock Infinite, as one example, so we’ll see what other deals Sony can come up with this year. It is a possibility that more third-party games will support the Playstation Move, despite it not selling gangbusters compared to the Xbox 360’s Kinect and the Wii during its period of dominance on the sales charts. Even though EA has said they won’t have PS3/Vita connectivity for Madden this year, I do want to see more of that for third party games if the Vita has any chance of success this holiday season. Speaking of the Vita, I wonder in general if Vita versions of popular third-party games will be worth it in this second wave after launch. Activision has said they have a Call of Duty game planned for the Vita, but they haven’t said if it is Black Ops 2 and whether or not it will be identical to the console versions. In addition, Sony can pull off what Nintendo did with the 3DS of a having an early price drop just months after its launch, but it is not likely going to happen along with a PS3 price drop.
Out of the big three this year, we already have a good feeling of what to expect from Sony at E3. Sure, there won’t be anything official about the Playstation 4, but a solid lineup of games that are both first-party and third-party will be enough for a lot of us in the next few months on PS3. The Last of Us has the potential to be a Game Of The Show contender if they make an amazing showing with their demo. One major franchise that was a key part of the Playstation 2’s success, the Grand Theft Auto series, might be at the show in some capacity, but since Rockstar tends to not show off their games at E3, I won’t be surprised if Grand Theft Auto V doesn’t make an appearance at the show. The Vita does have a lot to prove next month if the second wave of games and services are good enough for the handheld to stay successful for Sony. Even though they have said that the PS3 won’t get a price drop this year, I do expect a better bundle with the Move and the Playstation Eye camera to be out for the holidays. Even though I don’t expect any huge breakthrough announcements, Sony may still have some surprises up their sleeve to reveal next month.