Hopes 1

The clock is counting down to the most important convention in the gaming industry, and Push Square towers is in a state of panic as the seconds seep away. Beyond our soggy brows and short tempered conversations, though, there’s a real sense of both excitement and trepidation surging through the office. Will the ill-fated Team ICO exclusive The Last Guardian put in appearance, or was IGN’s dismissed rumour on the money all along? Will new SCEA president Shawn Layden come out swinging, or buckle under the pressure of being fan favourite Jack Tretton’s successor? Will the platform holder be able to top last year’s used games megaton, or will Microsoft and Nintendo steal the limelight this time around? In order to start the show in style – and also take our minds off the impending workload – we’ve pulled together as many staff writers as we could find in order to put together our customary pre-conference hopes and fears article. Don’t think that this is all about us, though, because we want to know what’s got you feeling dizzy in the comments section below.

Hopes 2

Sammy Barker, Editor

This year’s E3 is exciting because I don’t really know what to think. In previous years, I’ve always had a good idea what Sony’s going to announce, but on this occasion, I’m just not sure. There are the obvious titles – Destiny, The Order: 1886, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity, of course – but from a purely first-party perspective, I’m not overly sure what the firm’s going to have. I’ve felt for a while that the platform holder’s been trying to promote Japan Studio to the same tier as Naughty Dog and Santa Monica, so my hope is that studio chief Allan Becker unveils Project Beast and The Last Guardian at the show. Alas, I’ve been dreaming of the latter for what feels like an eternity.

So, I guess my real fear is that Fumito Ueda’s imaginitive cat bird doesn’t reappear. It’s been such a long time since the title’s initial unveiling at E3 2009 that I feel that the saga needs to end soon, and I’m not sure if I can go through another set of press conferences where the platform holder barely utters a word about its progress. The title’s definitely not been cancelled – the company wouldn’t keep stringing fans along if that was the case – but I feel like it’s slowly creeping into Duke Nukem Forever territory, where the protracted production cycle is arguably more interesting than the title itself. The follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus, one of the greatest games of all time, deserves much better than that.

Hopes 3

Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor

My hopes for a good E3 are unsurprisingly pinned on sci-fi properties. For starters, I'm hoping that Destiny finally gets its ‘wow’ moment at Sony's presser. There's no doubt that it looks like a solid title – it's Bungie, after all – but I feel like it's never quite had that gameplay demo or trailer that's really blown people away. Elsewhere, I'd love to see the next Mass Effect make an appearance, even if it's just in teaser form. This would likely be at EA's conference, and together with a good showing from Dragon Age: Inquisition, my RPG hype would go into overdrive.

Sadly, my fears come in the form of exclusive third-party games. While it's still only an educated rumour, the thought that Microsoft has nabbed a big name for its console is a little depressing for an editor of a PlayStation-centric site. Not only that, but the fall out and gloating of overzealous brand champions across the web would probably be too much to bear. E3 always ignites the fires of the fanboy war, and silly exclusivity deals are usually right there, fighting on the front lines.

Hopes 4

Ben Potter, Video Editor

As a huge Bethesda RPG fan, I'd love to see its efforts fully realised on the PlayStation 4. For this reason, a Fallout 4 announcement is at the top of my wanted list, and would not only make me do a little wee in my underpants, but would also make the soul-destroying six year wait far more palatable.

In terms of fears, my choice is a little odd. Last year, in a very similar article to this, I championed the rumoured social features of the PS4, focusing on the ability to take control of a friend's game remotely to assist them with a difficult area, etc. Sadly, as this was announced a while back and we've not yet seen it come to fruition, I'm afraid that this will prove to be a feature exclusive to Sony's game streaming service, PlayStation Now.

Hopes 5

Jamie O’Neill, Retro Editor

Sony will probably allow time during its press conference for gameplay demonstrations of DriveClub and The Order: 1886. With the latter being delayed until 2015, I’d like Ready at Dawn to surprise us by exhibiting a fresh setting that expands upon the cobbles and smog of steampunk Victorian London. Two highlights from Sony's press conference history were Nate's scramble across rooftops in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves at E3 2009, and the rough sea rocky boat dynamics in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception at E3 2011. If Naughty Dog is ready to demonstrate a set-piece from a chapter of Uncharted PS4, I'm confident that it will have as much jaw-dropping impact as The Last of Us at E3 2012. A focus upon core games that utilises Project Morpheus could also make for a fun stage presentation.

Without Media Molecule or Guerrilla Games, I expect other surprises to come from unexpected indie titles and third-parties. It'd be interesting to compare new in-game footage of Deep Down to From Software’s Project Beast. Elsewhere, I'm most excited about huge licensed games, including Batman: Arkham Knight and Alien: Isolation. I'm based in the UK, so I’ll stay awake for 02:00AM on Tuesday morning for Sony's show, but I’ll also be ready earlier at 20:00PM on Monday for the EA conference. I'm hoping for a lengthy DICE demonstration of the PS4 version of Star Wars: Battlefront, and my fingers are most tightly crossed for a brand new Star Wars intellectual property, after the cancellation of the impressive looking Star Wars 1313.

Hopes 6

Brett Young, News Reporter

After last year's mic-dropping E3, Sony’s going to be hard pushed to top some of the euphoria that greeted some of its hardware announcements. However, with the platform holder playing its cards close to its chest in recent months, I'm pretty sure that there will be one or two surprises. In particular, this year will be all about the software. I'm hopeful that several unannounced games from the Japanese giant’s first-party studios will be revealed, even if it is in the guise of pre-rendered trailers. With Microsoft touting a huge third-party exclusive for the conference, I'm excited to see how the PlayStation maker reacts with its growing relationships with publishers such as Warner Bros, and how that will impact on upcoming releases such as Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight.

This leads me onto my fears for the conference. There is no doubt that the PS4 is winning the fight against its arch rival, and as such, Microsoft is going to come out swinging – it has to. With this in mind, I fear that the Xbox One, which appears rejuvenated under the leadership of Phil Spencer, will have some heavy hitting reveals, first and third-party, which may just set be a bit too much for Sony to topple this year. With Microsoft up first, the Japanese company will have to show a fair amount of its first-party studios’ wares in order to maintain its current momentum.

Hopes 7

Nicola Hayden, News Reporter

Last year, Sony reaffirmed its focus on the players, and what we want most: games. I don't expect it to stray too far from this winning formula, as you should never fix what isn't broken. While I expect many exclusive reveals, the amount that will be ready for the Christmas period is my main concern. With titles such as The Order: 1866 and The Division already being pushed back to 2015, the firm needs to whip out a gigantic exclusive in order to get fans excited.

My other biggest worry is Project Morpheus, and the possibility of it taking centre stage. While it’s an amazing piece of technology, it won't be everyone's cup of tea, and we have seen conferences of past fall flat due to gimmicks. I’m also concerned that Square Enix may fumble due to the absence of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3, but I’m hopeful that it’ll make up for the lack of these titles by announcing a new Tomb Raider or Sleeping Dogs – with the latter sure to make me a happy puppy indeed.

Hopes 8

Kell Andersen, News Reporter

My hopes for this E3 can be succinctly summed up as follows: Uncharted PS4. Uncharted PS4. Indies. Uncharted PS4. Nathan Drake aside, I'll be chuffed to bits with basically any new IP that's announced for the PS4. As much as the intense hype surrounding a new franchise can often be misplaced (see: Watch Dogs), I still find the announcements of new IP to be the most exciting. On the Vita front, I'm currently sat here twiddling my thumbs while I wait for any news regarding Gravity Rush 2. The first game, while absolutely gorgeous, was a bit rough around the edges, so a sequel makes perfect sense.

As for fears, all of mine have already come true. We know that both Guerrilla Games and Media Molecule are working on totally new projects for the PS4, and I had my heart set on seeing them at this year's E3. Unfortunately, in the last few days it’s been confirmed that neither of these titles will have a presence at the show. And as excited as I am for Naughty Dog's next outing, it is very much a known quantity. Oh well, I guess there's always GamesCom.

Hopes 9

Alex Stinton, Reviewer

The first couple of years of a new console generation are usually an exciting time for new IP, but so far things have been a little disappointing, with sequels and licensed games dominating the landscape. Hopefully this will change at E3, and we’ll finally see an increase in the number of new titles that offer not only unique worlds and settings, but innovative gameplay as well. With the Xbox One now at parity with PS4 in all but a couple of areas, it’s going to come down to the games more than ever. Therefore the time is right for Sony to announce exclusive titles that will satiate my appetite for something new and interesting. Do I know what I’m looking for specifically? No, but I’ll tell you when I see it.

The run up to E3 has also been a little odd this year, with titles being announced before the show that you’d normally expect to be held until the press conferences. Everyone seems scared that their games will be lost in the overwhelming noise that’ll come from the L.A Convention Centre over the next week. My biggest fear is that all of these announcements have left very few surprises for the show itself, and I’d be hugely disappointed if all we saw from Sony were already announced first-party titles – such as DriveClub and The Order: 1886 – as well as the usual procession of annual third-party franchises, like Assassins Creed.

Hopes 10

Ben Tarrant, Reviewer

A brief glimpse back at my 2013 hopes for E3 yields much the same as this year’s: The Last Guardian. I’m hoping that the near-decade long development of this game has concluded with it finding refuge on Sony’s new format, and I’ll be blissfully content with anything from another gameplay trailer to a release date. I’ll also say it to simply go on record: please, oh mighty video game gods, bless us with Fallout 4, and lead us from sinful hoaxes toward salvation in the form of buggy, 100-hour, post-apocalyptic survival.

On the flipside, I’m adequately concerned about another indie-centric release schedule. Don’t get me wrong, indie games are fantastic (Resogun, people!) but the organism known as ‘The Internet’ doesn’t take too kindly to these eccentric titles, so a more AAA focused performance wouldn’t go amiss this year. I’m also rather apprehensive about Sony simply repeating itself; its game booth seems stuffed with titles that we already know so much about, so could this year hold little to no surprises for us? I sincerely hope not.

Hopes 11

Graham Banas, Reviewer

Obviously E3 is one of the bigger conventions for important announcements in the industry, so I have hopes that Sony is going to make some noise. I have my fingers crossed that we see some things that no one has any idea about so far – with no leaks and no rumours. It’s unlikely, but it’s so rare in this industry to be truly surprised that I’m hoping for one or two shock announcements. However, there are some specific products I’d like to see revealed as well. Chief among them is an Uncharted collection for the PS4, bringing all of the previous entries (including Uncharted: Golden Abyss) to Sony’s new baby. I’d also love to see some actual footage of Uncharted PS4, The Order: 1886, and maybe even The Last Guardian. Finally, as a fan of indie games, I’m hoping that Sony shows off a slew of new titles, and provides some updates on the best looking ones like RIME and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.

What about concerns, though? Well, with all of the changes at Naughty Dog, we might not see anything of its latest game at all. However, the biggest concern I have is how Sony’s show is going to feel without Jack Tretton. Simply put, the veteran SCEA executive is awesome, and his presence on stage has always been great, so I think his absence might detract from the show a bit. Granted, the company has quite a few likeable suits, so it might not hurt too much, but it’s still definitely a concern. I’ll forgive all if The Last of Us: Remastered releases the day after the conference, though – I want to experience that game again!

Hopes 12

Joey Thurmond, Reviewer

With the delay of high-profile PS4 titles like The Order: 1886 and Batman: Arkham Knight, in addition to Square Enix announcing that Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 will not be making E3 appearances, everyone has reason to be concerned about what will be revealed for Sony’s super machine at E3. However, I think that the company has some tricks up its sleeve when it comes to expanding the appeal of the PS4's library. I'm hoping that we'll get to see a substantial amount of new AAA and indie exclusive titles. However, I'd also be interested in seeing a lot of details on PlayStation Now – perhaps we'll see classic PSone and PS2 titles playable in high definition with the streaming service?

On the flipside, I could cite a couple of concerns that I have for Sony, but the one that sits on top by a long shot is the state of the Vita. It's a handheld powerhouse with so much potential – as seen in spectacular games like Tearaway and Killzone: Mercenary – but it’s not really getting the attention that it deserves. By establishing a newfound and strong commitment to the platform by bringing in more big developers, creating a better marketing strategy, and announcing some surprising titles, Sony could make the handheld a great success – but I’m not sure how likely that is.

Hopes 13

Simon Fitzgerald, Reviewer

I hope that this year’s E3 is all about the number three – specifically Just Cause 3 for the PS4, which has been rumoured for a long time. I would also like to see the likes of LittleBigPlanet 3, Portal 3, and, er, Half-Life 3. Back in the real world, though, we’re probably going to learn the latest on Uncharted PS4, The Order: 1886, and Batman: Arkham Knight. As for new titles, I’d love to see a fresh God of War and perhaps even a Grand Theft Auto title for the Vita.

My worries, however, pertain to the recent spate of delays. There have been a lot of changes lately regarding releases that aren’t yet ready for retail release. This is perfectly acceptable if it results in better end experiences, however I’m concerned that even more studios may follow suit at the big show. Indeed, if many more games get pushed back, we may end up with a bit of drought on Sony’s latest super machine.

What are you hoping is announced for PS4, PS3, and Vita at E3 2014? Do you have any concerns about the show? Hop aboard the hype train in the comments section below.