It's that time of year again. Time for the magical fairy dust known as the E3 conference to rain down on us like a million setting suns. Every year the big three console manufacturers spring forth with a whole bunch of announcements of upcoming games, consoles and other surprises. What's gonna happen this year? Nobody knows for sure, but I am going to enter a deep meditative state and try to stir up some semi-accurate predictions. You're welcome.
Microsoft:One thing is sure about thehouse that Bill Gates built, this year's conference is going to be all about games. The Xbox One has developed a reputation as being about everything but games and with the PS4 (and even the Wii U) racking up big numbers, Microsoft simply cannot afford to allow this conception to continue. Look for a lot of buzz on "Halo 5" and the cartoonish open world "Sunset Overdrive." My crystal ball also says there will be some surprise announcements along the lines of a "Ryse" sequel, "Crackdown 3" or a new "Rare" property. Maybe they'll do all three. They need to at any rate.
Wild card: Microsoft may announce some deals with big name publishers to establish exclusive release of some upcoming games, like "Call of Duty" or "Dragon Age 3."
Nintendo: The Wii U has been extremely slow out of the gate, selling an abysmal amount. "Mario Kart 8" sold well over a million copies in its first two days of release, however, so things are looking up for Nintendo's new box. If Nintendo hopes to keep up this momentum they are going to have to bring out the big guns at this year's conference. There have been rumors swirling that the company are absolutely going to showcase a new "Zelda" for the system, so that's one. Otherwise, the company is going to rest heavily on the upcoming "Super Smash Bros." sequel and some third party exclusives like "Bayonetta 2." This is Nintendo though. They do what they want when they want so really anything can happen.
Wild card: A brand new 3-D "Mario" more akin to the Galaxy games would be a nice boost, as would an old-school sidescrolling "Metroid" for the 3DS.
Sony:PlayStation 4 is the clear leader in the current console race. By that notion, Sony has the least to prove at this year's conference. Still, it's not as if the PS4 has more games than gamers know what to do with. They still need to bring the big guns. This likely means "Uncharted 4" taking center stage, along with "Final Fantasy XV." "God of War IV" will also likely make an appearance. Additionally, it must be noted, the Vita will continue to be treated like the red-heading stepchild of the PlayStation universe.
Wild card: There are plenty of first and second party Sony developers who have been MIA the last year or so. Look for game announcements from "Quantic Dream," "Media Molecule" and "Sucker Punch." My crystal ball prediction is that Sony will unveil "Gran Turismo 6."
Follow Lawrence Bonk on Twitter @sidescrollers