E3 2016 is just around the corner and already our expectations are being dampened. Delays are being announced, leaks are springing all over the place and our attention is much more focused on the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony that we've heard so little about.
What this means is that we can say with some certainty what we won't be seeing at this year's expo. So here are six games, studios and characters we know won't be making an appearance, or that we can reasonably assume won't be.
The Nintendo NX is the most conspicuous item on this list because not only is it absent, not only do we now know it won't be released until 2017, but one of its expected launch games will be playable at E3 on an inferior console. And with the greatest respect to the WiiU, I don't just mean inferior to the NX.
If new consoles are announced by Microsoft and Sony, the Wii U will effectively be a generation and a half behind its rivals and made to show off a game that will (in theory) drive the hype for the NX. That's like getting a Mega Drive to show off a Dreamcast game.
It's a shame we have to wait but at least we get a new Zelda game to soften the blow. Although that does beg the question of what the NX will be capable of once we've seen how the Wii U handles it. More questions than answers will come from this.
The next Assassin's Creed
Assassin's Creed is taking a developmental break, so it stands to reason that we won't see anything new from the mega franchise, even with a big screen adaptation set for release later this year, starring Michael Fassassinbender... I refuse to apologise for that pun.
We won't see anything from next year's game, but I'd be shocked if we don't see anything. A teaser for the new era? An Ezio trilogy remaster? A cameo appearance at best here is possible. There's bound to be something that will tie in with the movie's release, but other than a collection or possibly mobile-based games, we aren't going to get a big reveal. In fact we'll probably see more of the movie.
You can bet your PlayStation VR pre-order that Sony will wheel out Hideo Kojima at some point. But don't expect there to be any games or even announcements from the newly-formed Kojima Productions studio at this early stage.
For one, it's far too soon for anything to be near the pre-production phase, let alone for there to be enough to show off, a title or anything resembling a definite idea. If anything, we'll see him, the logo will appear, Kojima will say how excited he is to be working with Sony and that we can look forward to his next game being announced this time next year.
Unless, that is, we find out Sony has brought P.T./Silent Hills from Konami - but that's very unlikely.
It's a bit of a sentimental one this, but it is the 20-year anniversary of Sony's former mascot and rumours have persisted that the famed jorts-wearing bandicoot is set to return. Rumours always swirl around E3 (Dead Rising 4, Skyrim Remastered, Prey 2, etc) but recently the case for this fondly remembered platform to make a return has grown.
Why? Well, other than the anniversary, Naughty Dog gave us a great big nod after including a snippet of the first game in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. They might also be buoyed by the figures from recent release Ratchet and Clank, and the reception for independent title Yooka Laylee by Playtonic Games - which will be at E3 and is out in 2017.
Why won't we get Crash though? Well it is still owned by Activision, not Sony. Sony probably can reproduce the old game in its original form, but may not be able to make a new one outright. Plus if there was a desire for it, and money to be had, Activision would be on it like gamers on free cans of Monster.
There hasn't been a Crash game in six years, and the publisher isn't at E3 in a big way (Call of Duty being the only title of theirs making the effort). I'm sure we will get something eventually, just not at E3.
Half Life 3
It's time to move on, people.