Gamers, twenty-four of the most important hours of the year starts here. Welcome to the E3 press conferences, with the first to drop being Microsoft's, and we'll be showing the whole thing LIVE.
With special thanks to Machinima, we will be showing the entire conference on New Rising Media. Just be here for when the clock counts down to zero at precisely 5:30pm, you can watch it as it happens with us, and react with us on Twitter using '#E3.' Until then, however, we've made some sound predictions based upon what sources and various stories have alluded to. Get comfortable, this could be big.
As has been apparent with the logical predictions we've made, this show could either be quite the jam-packed event of big-time announcements, or a general contradiction of competing brands and visions if not pulled off properly. With both Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on the horizon, this poses a problem for Microsoft in the form of juggling between two industry bohemoths. It will be interesting to see how they deal with this.
For the games in particular, Black Ops 2 will probably be demoed on stage, and Halo 4 will have a multiplayer beta scheduled for sometime just after E3.
We don't expect a next generation announcement as such; but with the Wii-U-esque tablet technology they've been working on, simply known as 'Smart Glass,' it's probably going to make a maiden appearance at E3 this year, to combat the hype around Nintendo's aforementioned console.
A possibility for this technology is to take another stab at taking the 'Xbox' experience and putting it on a PC. Games for Windows was a failure, no getting around that; but the concept behind this convergence of technologies is one that they cannot ignore, especially with the tablet-centric OS of Windows 8 just around the corner. It just seems like the right time.
As they've just released a subsidized version of the 360 with a two-year contract, the falling price suggest that we're on the verge of an Xbox 720. However, it would be a kick in the teeth for those who've purchased this commitment, and with the long list of potential AAA game announcements, we can't see Microsoft raining on their own parade by revealing this too soon.
One thing I personally will be craving for is an update to the dashboard UI. With the lack of a Kinect, all the intentional design does not combine well with a controller, so it will be great to see some fallback to compensate for this.
Other games we predict you'll be seeing are GTA V, a new Gears of War running on Unreal Engine 4 (possibly a prequel, as the third was pegged to be the end of the story), Infinite Blade Kinect, Tomb Raider, the unannounced titles from Bungie and ex-Infinity Ward developers 'Respawn Entertainment,' and a reveal of the upcoming Mass Effect 3 'new ending' DLC.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.