E3: Top 10 Things to Watch For

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- E3 (otherwise known as the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is right around the corner, and gamers are growing in anticipation about the new games and gameplays lineup in store for them.

From gameplay footage and cinematic teaser-trailers to tech demos, gamers will once again have plenty of content to feast on at this year's E3. Simultaneously, publishers and developers will have the chance to finally showcase the projects that they've been keeping under wraps for months.

Big name publishers and developers Nintendo (NTDOY) and Microsoft (MSFT) are expected to be in a particularly hard-pressed situation to promote after Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4 outsold Microsoft's Xbox One for the fourth straight month and with Nintendo in the process of fighting its way out of a deep slump of operating losses. Sony's PS4 was the top-selling gaming hardware in the U.S. in April, outstripping Microsoft's second-placing Xbox One for the fourth straight month, according to the NPD Group.

With that, the video game industry and investors will for one be watching for a new Zelda game at E3. When Nintendo initially launched the Wii U in November 2012, there was a lot of disappointment about Nintendo not having an original new game for this flagship title; they were all remakes of older Zelda games. The company is likely trying to change that.

"One of the big criticisms for the Wii U has been a lack of content, and bringing a new Zelda game, and creating interest for a new Zelda game on that platform might help curb that a little bit," says Mintel games market research analyst Bryant Harland. Nintendo is also expected to feature its next Super Smash Bros., given that it's always been a high-performing franchise for the company. "Especially for Nintendo, I would expect them to go back pretty significantly on their really, core game titles just because of the Wii U's lackluster performance."

The upcoming Halo 5 exclusive for the Xbox One is also expected to get heavy promotion at E3, as Microsoft tries to boost the Xbox One to the number one spot. The company recently addressed a core Xbox One criticism by offering a new Xbox One console that's decoupled from Kinect starting at $399, starting June 9th.

Ahead of event, TheStreet has a list of the top 10 list of game titles and products likely to generate top buzz at E3 2014, according to Liam Callahan, NPD Group industry analyst for video and PC Games (the names are not ranked in any particular order within the list).

Halo 5

Xbox's flagship franchise. A new Halo was revealed at last year's E3, and with a rabid fan base and an official announcement that Halo 5 is coming in 2015, Halo 5 will likely get a lot of gamers attention.

They're eager to learn where Master Chief's new adventure will take him.

The Order 1886

This PS4 exclusive features new intellectual property and seems fresh with its Victorian and steampunk trappings, Callahan noted. The launch of a new generation is a great time for new IP to gather attention.

Uncharted 4

The flagship first-party franchise for Sony's platforms, it could be the game to showcase the "horsepower" of the PS4.

Super Smash Bros.

While Nintendo is changing its format for this E3, they have announced a tournament for the new Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, which is sure to be an event to watch.

New Zelda

A new Zelda for the Wii U was briefly mentioned at E3 last year, so Callahan expects there to be more details pending this time around about how the "open world" gameplay feature will be handled.


Bungie-developed and Activision (ATVI)-produced, this game has revealed more details about character classes over the past few months. Callahan expects more gameplay and details on dynamic social experiences that can take place within the game, at E3.

NFP, Nintendo Figurine Platform

Nintendo has clearly been paying attention to the success of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, and are going to reveal details about their new Nintendo Figurine Program at E3. "One interesting detail I am looking to understand further is the figurine's ability to be used in multiple games," Callahan noted.

Far Cry 4

Far Cry 3 was a solid hit when launching in Dec. 2012. Only promotional art has recently been revealed, so gamers will be hungry to see what new gameplay elements will be incorporated into the latest iteration.

Batman Arkham Knight

The Batman Arkham franchise has raised the bar for superhero-based games. So far, a video trailer has announced the game. Gamers will want to see how the Batmobile is being integrated and learn more details on the new villain being introduced for the game.

Star Wars Battlefront

With the acquisition of Lucasarts by Disney (DIS), EA (EA) was announced as the publisher for the Star Wars games. "A brief video with a snowy, Hoth-like environment was teased at the last E3, so hopefully we will see more at E3 2014," Callahan said.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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