E3 2011: Our predictions

Here, in handy bullet-point form, are our collective predictions for the most and least likely news to come out of this year's E3. Feel free to print this page, tack it to a wall, and keep track of our hits and misses during the week.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR | Gaming | Metaverse technologies | Wearable tech | Tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Dan Ackerman
Jeff Bakalar
Scott Stein
3 min read

Dan Ackerman

With the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo happening simultaneously with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference this year, those in the habit of making technology-announcement predictions have a big week ahead of them. We've put our collective heads together to make some forecasts, and you're welcome to play along at home and score us on how we do.

To be fair, many of these have been so reliably leaked or telegraphed that they're virtually sure bets. Others seem likely based on corroborating clues we've seen or historical precedent. We've also thrown in a final list of E3 announcements you're very unlikely to see, even though several of those items fall on our personal wish lists.

Take it to the bank: A sure thing

  • Nintendo announces next-generation console hardware (doesn't even count as a prediction, really).
  • Cult hit Minecraft comes to the Sony Xperia Play platform.
  • Sony profusely apologizes for PSN hacking debacle during a press conference (perhaps via faux spokesman Kevin Butler).
  • Nintendo details the eShop addition to the 3DS, including launch titles.
  • Kinect functionality comes to some well-known game franchises.
  • Plastic discs continue to lose ground to downloadable content.
  • The Sony NGP is backward-compatible with PSP titles.
  • Microsoft spends time selling the Xbox 360 as an "entertainment console" with new media offerings.

We'd take that bet: Fairly likely

  • 3DS software updates for video recording and streaming get a launch date.
  • Microsoft teases an Xbox 360 successor.
  • Sony teases a PlayStation 3 successor.
  • The Rock Band franchise comes back from the dead.
  • The Sony NGP is $349.
  • Nintendo's Wii2/Project Cafe is backward-compatible.
  • The Sony NGP is officially called "Vita."
  • The US release of the Sony NGP won't be until 2012.
  • Other online services answer Call of Duty Elite by promising "online for free" or by attempting premium service tiers of their own.
  • Nintendo resurrects one more classic franchise.
  • Apple is referred to at least once during each of the big three gaming keynotes.

We'll throw in one final category, for random ideas and products for which we have no basis in fact or even a trustworthy rumor to point to. Some of these are things we think it would be cool to see, others are just out-of-left-field musings, and please, don't count them against us while scoring the predictions above.

Wishful thinking: Very unlikely

  • New Halo, GTA games spotted.
  • Nintendo dips a toe into mature-rated games.
  • New Nintendo console controllers will act as portable tablets that retain some functionality away from the console.
  • Just like Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword is delayed and made a Wii 2 launch title.
  • Being the only company without a portable system, Microsoft announces the "LiteBox."
  • The Vitality Sensor makes a surprise comeback!

There you have it, our educated predictions--and some hopeful wishes--for what video game news will break at this year's E3 show. Check back next week to see how on the money we were, or just to marvel at our prescience.

In the meantime: what do you think will--and won't--be revealed next week in Los Angeles? Share your predictions below.

Related links
E3 and the video game bubble
Evolution of the console
E3 2010: Where are they now?
Dust-bunny ratings of E3 2010's high-profile game hardware
E3 2011: Complete coverage