E3 Gaming Expo: Humdinger Or ‘Ho-Hum’?

E3 Gaming Expo: Humdinger Or ‘Ho-Hum’?
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B&T has teamed up with Sydney-based agency Rinsed to provide exclusive news, analysis and innovation from the biggest gaming show on earth, E3 2013.

Simon Micarone founder and managing director of Rinsed, is on the ground in LA at the event and will be reporting back the big stories for B&T this week, including exciting new opportunities for content marketers, brand managers and media owners.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is held in Los Angeles each June and is a window into the Video Game industry. It showcases the biggest and the best the industry has to offer in a jam packed couple of days.

I always enjoy my time here for a variety of reasons but one thing is for sure – it is the one place you can get an intense download on what is to come for the industry over the next 12 months.

The dizzying sounds, mesmerising lights and epic scale stands to provide a stimulus of the senses wrapped up in useful information for marketers and agencies alike.

With 2013 being such a big year for announcements with Sony and Xbox releasing their next gen consoles there is a sense of ho-hum about this year’s expo.

The majors all have their Monday keynotes apart from Nintendo who will again deliver a digital press conference on Tuesday. But there does not seem to be anything big to expect.

Personally, I can’t see much of any great note coming out of the Ninendo camp.

No doubt they will lean on their big franchises like Mario, Pokemon and Zelda but with the Wii U struggling to deliver a significant install base considering how long it has been in market, major third party publishers really have not supported game development on this platform.

One innovation that I am hoping for this year is the use of NFC technology which was incorporated into the Wii U. There has been some speculation around a NFC figurine game similar to Skylanders and Disney Infinity.

As always Sony and Xbox keep console innovation close to their chest.

It’s fair to say that Microsoft will spend a decent amount of time talking about Halo, whether it is previewing Halo 5 or getting an update on the Steven Spielberg Halo TV series.

Call of Duty has been a part of Xbox keynotes over the last few years so I would expect that to feature prominently again. I’m not really expecting experience innovation however one could only hope that we get a visit from Kevin Spacey who plays the games villain.

Franchise IP is so important in both the movie and gaming industries and everyone seems to lean on them heavily. Launching new IP is difficult so Xbox will have it’s fingers crossed for Sunset Overdrive. This could be a smokey for the platform and I am looking forward to what they serve up in the keynote.

Sony have had a strong year. They got it right last year – a simple message focused on gamers – but what next?

I am anticipating hardware innovation. Their Virtual Reality headset, Project Morpheus, seems to be gaining momentum. With the purchase of Oculus Rift by Facebook it is evident that tech companies see this as the new frontier for gamers and social. Although early days, Sony will be looking to establish its leadership position by serving up something using this technology and you can expect if it works for them we will be seeing it more broadly through facebook.

I don’t see EA giving us a lot outside of sporting franchises. They do them well and they make a lot of money out of it. In past they have delivered a lot of real time data to the gaming experience and I think this is where they may play again. Could they have a surprise for Fifa fans around this years World Cup?

Ubisoft will go big with Assassins Creed Unity as this is the first of the series to be built with next-gen hardware in mind. One could only hope they have tried to harness the power of the consoles to deliver a truly innovative experience for the fans.

Probably the most anticipated new IP to be launched this year will be Destiny. Another year in the development cycle for the Bungie team and this title should deliver everything you come to expect from a blockbuster. I am really looking forward to seeing where this title will land in relation to the industry Epics like Halo, COD and Assassins Creed. Activision need to deliver a big bang here as expectations are high.

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