Thankfully, so is the internet, as a smaller show means fewer people producing which results in fewer loose lips. Microsoft, aside from having the biggest title of the year, is something of an enigma this E3. We know of their lineup that includes heavy hitters like Mass Effect, Bioshock and Halo Wars, but what about those we haven't heard of in a while such as Alan Wake? Or games we haven't seen, but know exist like Marathon: Durandal?
Of course, when you don't know what to expect, making things up is always a great solution and the rumor mill has been working overtime. We've heard everything from the likely (Gears of War 2 trailer, Rare to show Banjo-Kazooie 3) to the totally absurd (Microsoft announces Power Stone 3, Phantom Dust 2).
Join us behind the cut for the first of three speculatory sessions this week as we attempt to ground ourselves in reality and think out loud about what we're hoping to see in Long Beach.
Christopher Grant: I'm hoping to hear more about the Live Anywhere mobile integration. Maybe even see the flailing Zune platform tied a little closer to the Xbox with some Live Anywhere integration on there as well. The real question? So you can see what games your friends are playing ... who cares. How are they going to sell the functionality?
I don't expect to see a full fledged Xboy however.
Likelihood: Aside from Halo 3 Zune numbers, don't expect to see the Zune.
"Welcome to the Social, dirtbag."
Kevin Kelly: Seriously, the best thing that could come out of Microsoft's E3 is ... another Crimson Skies title. Bring me some sort of swashbuckling, cliffhanger-esque, old Republic serials type flying gameplay with a sense of humor and I'm sold on it. The original Xbox title had really great flying physics, a nice upgrade system for your planes, and fairly decent multiplayer. It's high time we had a good flying game that took advantage of Xbox Live. Microsoft really had the world of flying locked down for years with the Flight Simulator games, why no similar love for their console?
Likelihood: Not like FASA has anything better to be doing.
Richard Mitchell, Xbox360Fanboy: An E3 invite for Xbox 360 Fanboy (BA DUM BUM!).
Failing that: The official reveal of Marathon for XBLA, some exclusive love from a Japanese developer aside from Capcom or Tecmo (Beautiful Katamari for XBLA doesn't count), something new about Peter Jackson's project. I imagine Microsoft might have another former PS3 exclusive to announce for 360 as well.
Nigh impossible dream: 360 version of Virtua Fighter 5 will have online play.
Likelihood: Nigh impossible, indeed.
"We are releasing the most grand of celestial gasses towards your general direction, Richard Mitchell."
Ludwig Kietzmann: For the most part, I think Microsoft's keynote needs to focus on detailing several games that have been announced, but are currently stuck on the edges of our peripheral vision. Show us something substantial on Lost Odyssey, the Marvel Universe MMO, Peter Jackson's Halo project, the next Banjo-Kazooie and despite Denis Dyack's protests, Too Human.
From the imaginary realm, I'd like to yank out a showing of Rallisport Challenge 3, Double Fine's next game and... how about Namco Bandai showing off a refined Breakdown 2?
Likelihood: Ludwig as the rumor monger behind Phantom Dust 2, confirmed.
Dustin Burg, Xbox360Fanboy: Yeah, I'm going to have to say a Gears of War 2 announcement, followed by a Gears of War 2 trailer, and in closing a personal shout-out to me, Dustin, for my support of the Gears of War franchise. But if that were not to happen, I'm thinking Microsoft will be unveiling IPTV details, some Halo 3, Halo Wars, PGR 4, and Banjo-Kazooie media, and talk about the Metal Gear Solid franchise headed to the 360. Though, I truly think we'd all be satisfied with any Gears of War announcement ... I kid! I kid!
Likelihood: Enjoy your future job, professionally shilling for Epic, Dustin!
Dustin's future responsibilities include answering Cliffy's fan mail, shampooing his hair and brushing his teeth six times a day.
Alexander Sliwinski: I'd like to see something on Dead Rising 2. The first game was a good try, but they could really work out the kinks this time around. And a real look at Halo Wars, maybe even the chance to play it. It would also be nice to see some more original IPs. Xbox has been doing well with the new franchises and it would be nice to see that trend continue.
Likelihood: The moneyhats are strong with this one.