TA Top Five: E3 2016 Predictions and Rumors

By Mark Delaney, 6 months ago
In just hours, the whole gaming universe will have its collective eyes set on Los Angeles, California for the Electronic Entertainment Expo. E3 is treated by many as the premiere event for publishers and studios to showcase their upcoming games, hardware, and so much more. Though this year some big names are backing out or taking an alternative approach to joining the fanfare, there's still no shortage of rumors, hype, and ultimately, reveals. We on the news team assembled over the past several weeks to come up with some predictions for the big show. Some of them are based heavily in rumors heard around the internet, while others are from our own wishful minds. We won't know until later this week how many of our guesses come to fruition, but one thing we do know is there's room for plenty more. So share yours with us, and keep it on TA all week as we forego bathroom breaks and skip out on even the most basic human interaction in favor of diving head first into all things E3.

Honorable Mention

Xbox Reaffirms Their Intent on Media Domination

Place your bets on what Xbox's version of these will be called.Place your bets on what Xbox's version of these will be called.

What do the Amazon Fire Stick, Roku Streaming Stick, and Google Chromecast all have in common?

Answer: None of them are made by Microsoft! Rumors that began on The Sams Report podcast hint, with seemingly good authority, that the Xbox brand is ready to try its hand at multimedia USB devices akin to the aforementioned big three. Whispers say the device will be similarly small in size but loaded with apps. Where it'll stand out, if rumors are to be believed, are that it'll also come with Windows 10 integration, allowing Xbox One and PC game streaming. And it might even have games built in, too. Some speculate Minecraft would appear to be a prime candidate for such a feature. Microsoft's initial pitch of the Xbox One is the reason their console is a distant second to PS4 right now, but after earning back plenty of trust, it could be the case that the green team are looking to get back in living rooms around the world.

For Me, For You, Forza

The rubber will meet the road at E3. But which road?The rubber will meet the road at E3. But which road?

We know a new Forza is coming. What we don't know is what it'll play like. The most obvious guess is a new title in the Horizon franchise. Andrew filed these details under his "Almost Certain" category:

Forza Horizon 3 with the Lamborghini tie-in. The Lambo connection could be similar to having the 2017 Ford GT as the cover car for FM6, It might be a special tie-in or perhaps a pre-order deal. I can't help but wonder if it will be based around Italy (FH2 was a mix of France and Italy). It could also be the first full Forza title to hit the Windows 10 platform.
Meanwhile Kevin thinks a possible alternative could be "a spiritual successor to PGR (which would also be great)."

Metro 20-Something-Something

Rebuild? Nah. Just survive.Rebuild? Nah. Just survive.

Another of Deep Silver's meaty extractions from the bones of THQ is the Metro series. With both previous games having been remastered for Xbox One, late arriving fans got a good jumping on point for the mutated Russian underground. Now it's time to give us the true current gen sequel, right? They say mid-major publishers don't exist anymore, but Deep Silver definitely feels like they fit that billing. If they're to succeed where THQ failed, banking on built-in fanbase sequels like Metro and Saints Row seem like likely next steps.

Backwards Moving Forward

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Backwards compatibility support was a fan favorite reveal at E3 last year, and on the anniversary of the announcement, Xbox will surely look to add to the ever-growing list. Marc C said it well:
I think Microsoft will have a whole portion discussing backward compatibility. Phil Spencer will probably discuss how "X many games have already been brought to the Xbox One and so many more are on the way." I also feel that they'll reveal a whole list of the heavy hitters (BioShock, Red Dead Redemption, etc.) and announce that they are backward compatible starting immediately. That'd be one of those crowd-pleasers for sure.
Later, Gabriël and his umlaut added to the collective wishlist:
...fan favourites like COD: Black Ops II, Skyrim and maybe Mass Effect 2/3 and/or Fallout: New Vegas.
Other rumors indicate that EA will do some BC unveilings of their own. Despite its silver medal in the current console market, Xbox's relationship with EA is as strong as ever. I'd bet Chewie's money that EA will reveal a handful of new backwards compatible games available immediately in the EA Access vault.

Ubi Surprised

If I'm wrong about this two years in a row, I'll look doubly foolish.If I'm wrong about this two years in a row, I'll look doubly foolish.

I really can't recall the last time Ubisoft's presser ended without a big surprise. Whether it's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands, For Honor, Tom Clancy's The Division or so many others, it seems the French developer-publisher always has one last trick for their grand finale. They've deliberately spilled their own beans regarding Watch_Dogs 2, and for good reason; Clearly they don't think they can steal the show with another of those. Not after what happened last time. Instead they'll have to come loaded with another ace in the hole. It could be a new IP, but my bet is we'll see Sam Fisher's iconic goggles during their show. Yes, I predicted this last year, too, but I'm doubling down. Don't be surprised if they also take some time to side step games and promote the coming Assassin's Creed movie, too.


Top Five

5. Resident Evil Goes Home

Might we soon be returning to dark corridors like this one?Might we soon be returning to dark corridors like this one?

A whole slew of rumors hint at something big coming from Capcom regarding their trailblazing Resident Evil series. Never shy about re-releases, we've seen titles from as far back as the GameCube era come to Xbox One recently, and for many it's a welcome return because the games were scarier then. They wanted to be. The departure from survival horror is well documented, but might the publishing giant finally listen to fans' pleas for those scares to come back? The timing seems right. The series is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. They're also working on a Resident Evil 2 remake -- yes, not a remaster, but a full remake, so we'll get the scares somehow. Maybe we'll get a new horror title in the series. Maybe they'll even give it the fully fledged numbered entry, Resident Evil 7. The timing is right, but are the intentions there?

4. Bethesda Back-Slapping

Gamers still recall fondly how Bethesda unveiled a game and released it on time all within a five month window.Gamers still recall fondly how Bethesda unveiled a game and released it on time all within a five month window.

Several staffers had big ideas (and dreams) regarding what Bethesda will bring with them this year. I'll hand it over to them. Sam had this to say:
They'll obviously talk about Dishonored 2, but I think there will also be a lot of 'aren't we great?' talk around Fallout 4 and Doom. This will be made relevant with an in-depth look at the console mods for the former (maybe announcing some Bethesda packaged 'best-ofs' for console gamers new to modding). We may even get a little more DLC out of it, but I expect anything further will be mostly small, cosmetic. For the latter, Bethesda will celebrate a decent launch with a full DLC roadmap. And no, there won't be news of Elder Scrolls 6, not with Online's Dark Brotherhood expansion, and Legends, already on the table.
Marc C followed up Sam's thoughts with more on the DC studio:
I think there's a decent chance Bethesda reveals the next Wolfenstein game at their conference. With Fallout 4 out last year, DOOM just released and Dishonored 2 coming this year, a lot of their franchises are already out in the open as to what is going on with them. Maybe it'll just be a short tease and that's it, but The New Order and The Old Blood came out in 2014 and 2015 respectively, so I'd imagine MachineGames has been working on the next one. Maybe they even flash that it's scheduled for Spring 2017 to match the May release date of the other two.

3. When There's No More Room In Hell...

Is that Frank West? Is this even real?Is that Frank West? Is this even real?

Photos of what appear to be hastily taken shots of Dead Rising 4 materials, like a logo and an off-screen snapshot, imply Capcom's other zombie series is getting another game in the series. It's good timing, if so. Dead Rising 3 released alongside the Xbox One three years ago. It would be a big win for the green team if they manage to secure this one as a brand exclusive like they did with 2013's release. Some fans felt DR3 was the best so far, while others yearned for the last gen mechanics and gameplay of the first two. Our bet is that the game will follow the gameplay path of number three. Accompanying the photos is a rumor that the story will return to Willamette, Colorado, the site of the first game, and the picture above, if real, certainly seems to star a Frank West lookalike. He's even holding a camera. Hmm... Could it be our war-covering original hero has returned to a starring role?

2. Rockstar Gets Back In The Saddle

RDR showed us the dying west. A new game might have to go back to when it was thriving.RDR showed us the dying west. A new game might have to go back to when it was thriving.

It's one of the most rumored, hoped for, and speculated about titles in video game history. A new Red Dead from Rockstar. Is this the year? More alarmingly, is it even being made? All signs and logic would say yes, but Rockstar has never compromised on quality, nor do they usually have much of a presence at E3. They do things their own way, on their own schedule, so don't be surprised if yet another E3 week comes and goes without seeing any new shots of the old west. Still, it would make for one of the biggest reveals in the history of the show if it happens. Small leaks here and there have been left unverified and shady at best, but it's hard to fathom a future where this game isn't released. The whole world is waiting for it. Will Rockstar deliver? We think so.

1. Next Box And The Future of Consoles

Xbox One... and three quarters? This counting is getting confusing.Xbox One... and three quarters? This counting is getting confusing.

Unless you've been rooming with Patrick Star for the past several weeks, by now you've heard about the Xbox One Slim and "Scorpio" rumors. With PS4 apparently ready to reveal their upgraded console, the Xbox team is rumored to be doing the same. A slimmed down Xbox One is said to be due later this year, while a newer version with improved specs rivaling gaming PCs may be on the horizon late next year. What this means for the future of console gaming is why this rumor takes the top spot. It could forever change the landscape of the consumer market. The plans seem to fall in line with Phil Spencer's comments about iterative console upgrades, though he stresses that he wants his brand's leaps to be substantial ones. In other words, he doesn't want to go from an iPhone 6 to an iPhone 6s. He envisions something more impressive.

This type of rumor could be totally falsified, which is why we haven't reported on it or even mentioned it until now, in this list, where it's most relevant. It is strange, you have to admit, that they'd release a slim Xbox only to improve the specs a year later. Could it be that this really is a reaction to Sony's "PS4 Neo", or maybe the unnamed sources are off the mark with their details, or maybe it's all a big lie. t seems like a tough sell for either manufacturer to tell recent adopters of the newest consoles that they'll soon be considerably disadvantaged in terms of their machines' power. Most gamers, I think, watch E3 for the discussion on the games themselves.

Other rumors say Microsoft will make all future first party exclusives available on Windows 10 as they continue to bridge the gap between consoles and PC via their Universal Windows Platform (UWP). And even more say they'll be announcing a new partnership with Oculus. It all seems equal parts possible and dizzyingly intriguing.

It's probably never been the case that a majority of pre-E3 buzz resulted in a lot of truths being confirmed. Rather, we see how far off we all were as gamers, journalists, speculators, fans. Whatever this week brings, it's sure to be fun.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a lifelong gamer and current Assistant (to the) News Manager on TA. When not playing games, he can be found cheering for a bad football team, playing Batman action figures with his son, or going to concerts with his lover. Days where he does all of those things are his favorite.