GDC 2007: A Handheld Wishlist
Portable gaming has never been bigger, and without a massive E3 to plan for, will GDC be the place for pubs to drop DS & PSP bombs? We've compiled a list of our most optimistic hopes...
The Game Developers Conference is a mere sixteen days away, taking place in early March at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. As expected, Modojo should have a heavy presence at the show, keeping an eye on all things mobile and scattering our super-secret spies about to get the latest information to you, the readers. (Yes, we have super-spies. How else would we know about what you eat at Arby's, Donald? AHA!)
With E3 changed (and turned into a small business affair), the GDC has become the latest event where many developers reveal their latest development wares. Corporate companies such as Nintendo and Sony also like to show off surprises, and Microsoft should be no stranger to this stuff as well. So...with that, what would we really like to see that would blow us away at GDC this year? Well, there's a lot of console stuff to mention, but, being handheld concentrated, we decided to get right down to the details about what would really do the trick for us at the event. So here we go, in no particular order...
SCEA fesses up about God of War PSP- Ready At Dawn has been hinting at it for some time to come on their website, complete with a blood-soaked screen and familiar "COMING SOON" text (which has since changed, to kinda throw off the trail). But it's time that the company just steps forth and announces what was inevitable anyway- Kratos should be striking the PSP by around year's end. True, it'll be interesting to see how Ready At Dawn approaches content usually left in the hands of David Jaffe and his very capable team. But they did great work thus far with Naughty Dog's Daxter character, so who knows? Let's just see what they're working on already.
Halo DS, is it or isn't it?- 2007 is already a landmark year for the Halo franchise, with no less than three new Halo developments announced for the Xbox 360...including Halo 3. But what about the rumors that a portable version is in the works for the Nintendo DS? Well, rumors have been off again and on again for some time now, and in the year of Master Chief, the folks at Bungie just might have a surprise waiting for Nintendo's little handheld-that-could. Of course, Microsoft could very well be holding off the game for their own little handheld device, the Zune. Master Chief will have a huge showing in some form at GDC, but it's pretty hard to tell if it'll be in a portable guise. One might hope for that, though...
Apple talks up Iphone gaming- So we've seen the Iphone, right? Very schnazzy, very cool, and probably very expensive. But the paycheck still has yet to be spent, and questions are left unanswered. How will the Iphone approach the gaming scene, for instance? Well, at the GDC, Steve Jobs or some other Apple exec should spill the beans and hopefully let us know how the portable device's gaming scene looks. Will it have Tetris? Will downloadable games be a thing that's pretty instant, like in a matter of seconds? What about network play? How will the touch interface work? A lot of questions remain, and we believe it's a safe bet that a lot of them will be answered with this event...hopefully.
What's Nintendo planning? Last year, during the Game Developers Conference, Nintendo revealed a portable version of Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo DS, in the form of Phantom Hourglass (due to arrive later this year). So what surprises are in store for the game company this year? A new Mario, perhaps? A sequel to New Super Mario Bros.? Maybe even a portable version of Super Smash Bros. with Wi-Fi play? Or how about some good ol' sports games? Unfortunately, the company's keeping pretty tight-lipped about any new revelations, but we can't wait to see what they've got planned. After all, a lot of major Wii developments aren't coming until fall. That leaves the Nintendo DS to entertain us over the long, hot summer.
The new PSP specs?- Talks have been going around regarding a newly designed PSP, one with better comfort and abilities for gamers to grasp. Will the GDC be the place where the system's early design is showed off for the public to see? There wouldn't be a better place for it, for Sony to begin building their hype machine and a second life for their little widescreen gaming wonder. Maybe we'll even get some details as to when to expect the portable little beauty...we hope.
SCEA probably has a few surprises up their sleeves, aside from God of War. Like, say, a portable Sly Cooper game from Sucker Punch, more details on the elusive Gran Turismo 4 Portable, and others.
Activision might be willing to show off some ideas regarding their forthcoming Guitar Hero DS game, although work on it probably hasn't even begun yet.
Microsoft may try to introduce more of a gaming community to work with their Zune portable device, probably in the form of easily accessible games. This might include favorite franchises such as Halo, Project Gotham, and maybe even a few faces from Rare.
The cell phone scene might see a bevy of new game announcements, and maybe even some kind of portal to give would-be designers a chance to create their own independent effort. Note, we said maybe. We're not sure how crazy Cingular is about taking a chance on some kid's redesign of Luxor 2.
Anyway, that's what we'd like to see out of the event. If you guys have your own little predictions or well wishes for GDC, by all means, comment away.