Early next month, the annual E3 expo starts in Los Angeles and it's a frantic time where big-name game publishers peddle their upcoming blockbuster titles for the next year and smaller companies compete for a piece of the gaming pie.
E3 is always a time for speculation and rumour, when pundits try to predict what will be the biggest gaming trend in the next 12 months and which hardware manufacturer will win the war.
Well, as far as I know, the only one of the big three console makers - Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo - is showing off new hardware: Nintendo with its Wii-U and what I've been hearing over the past few weeks has piqued my interest. I think I read somewhere that Randy Pitchford, of Gearbox, stated that the Wii-U version of Aliens: Colonial Marines will be the best of the bunch.
Microsoft and Sony remain quiet as to whether they'll announce any new hardware - and I don't think they will. Personally, I think Sony wants to get the Vita bedded in a bit more (it's not doing too well at the moment) so it won't want to divert attention from that, and Microsoft, I'm not sure: I was sure they would have announced a new console soon but perhaps they want to focus on Kinect at the moment. I guess we'll know next week.
E3, though, is all about the games and while there's no Bioshock Infinite on show this year (it's been pushed back to 2013) or glimpse of GTAIV (Rockstar isn't even having a presence this year), perhaps of the upcoming games the one I'm most excited about is The Last of Us from Naughty Dog, the developer that made the Uncharted series. Known for its storytelling and deep characterisation, The Last of Us tells the story of a teenage girl and a hardened survivor making their way through a post-apocalyptic world.
I'm certainly learning more about Aliens: Colonial Maries as I've long been a fan of the Alien movies, and I'm actually intrigued to see where 343 Industries is taking the Master Chief in Halo 4. I'm sure it'll be a bit of the familiar mixed with the new.
I'm keen to see what Ubisoft has this year, especially more of Assassin's Creed 3 (Ubisoft will live-stream its press conference over YouTube at 10am NZ time, June 5) and for the first time you'll be able to watch the Xbox pre-show press conference over Xbox Live. I'm sure Sony, Nintendo and other major companies will live-stream their pre-show conferences.
What about you, though? Are you intrigued by any games being shown at E3 this year or do you feel that the trade show is becoming less relevant these days?
Please note: There won't be a blog on Friday as I'm heading to Sydney today for a Samsung press event and won't be back in New Zealand until Friday afternoon. Have a good weekend and happy gaming!
Stuff you might also find interesting: Game Junkie is on Twitter and you can email him here. He'll even answer your emails, not get some smart robot to do it. You can also hear him on Kiwi FM every Tuesday chatting about video games with Glenn Williams, and, if that isn't enough, he has another gaming blog here. It's updated at least once a week.
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