Lots of video game rumors and leaks have popped up in the past week, which is normal during the lead-up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). E3 is the video game industry’s biggest event, so while video game companies are gearing up to unveil their most exciting announcements, they’re also struggling to keep everything under wraps.
This week we have murmurings about possible new content in Grand Theft Auto V, why Nintendo’s next console was delayed, and a lot more. The best part is that we’ll know if most of these rumors are true when E3 kicks off next week.
1. Could Grand Theft Auto V be heading to Liberty City?
Seeing as Grand Theft Auto V is on its way to becoming one of the best-selling video games of all time, there’s a good chance you know it takes place on the West Coast. If this leak is legit, it’s possible the game may be bringing players across the country to Liberty City, the NYC-like setting of Grand Theft Auto 3 and 4.
Sparking this rumor is a screenshot found on the website of an artist for Rockstar Games. The screenshot (above) shows what many GTA forum members think is Liberty City’s Middle Park from GTA 4. (Here’s a shot of it in GTA 4 — see the resemblance?)
Is this screenshot legit? And if so, does it indicate a Liberty City setting for unannounced GTA 5 content? The jury’s still out, but I’d say it sounds like a stretch.
2. Was Nintendo NX delayed to include VR?
Nintendo’s next console, code named NX, is set to release in March of 2017. That’s later than many fans had thought it would come, seeing as signs pointed to a holiday 2016 launch.
If rumors reported by Digitimes are to be believed, Nintendo delayed the NX to add a virtual reality component to the console.
No further details are available on the VR front, but the report goes on to say:
The device features a 5- to 7-inch display, controller and joystick for users to play as a mobile gaming product, but it is also able to connect to a TV for users to play as a video game system.
If that’s true, the NX may look basically like the Wii U’s GamePad controller. On the other hand, Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to rumors, so let’s take this information with a grain of salt.
3. Is Dead Island 2 canceled?
Dead Island 2 was originally announced in 2014 with the stylish trailer seen above. Since then, the game has gone through what’s lovingly called “development hell,” with all kinds of problems plaguing the making of the game.
The latest development is that Dead Island 2’s Steam page has vanished, raising questions about whether this sequel will ever end up seeing the light of day. If you want to look at the Steam page’s disappearance in a positive light, you could say a new one may take its place after an announcement at E3. We’ll find out next week.
4. Is a new Crash Bandicoot game in the works?
Old-school PlayStation fans have been pining for more Crash Bandicoot ever since developer Naughty Dog moved on from the franchise to create some of the best PlayStation games of all time, including Uncharted and The Last of Us.
There’s no way a studio with that kind of talent is going to go back to making mascot platformers. But it’s possible another studio could take up the mantle, especially considering that Activision currently owns the rights to the orange fur-ball.
A couple of shaky rumors have surfaced to suggest we might see a new Crash game at E3. One in particular seems like a stretch, seeing as it’s based on the style of the “PlayStation E3 Experience” logo, which kinda, sorta, if you squint, resembles the logo for Crash. The other one carries a little more weight, as it comes from a Swedish retailer that posted a preorder page for a game called Crash Bandicoot.
I’m not convinced a new Crash game is in the works, but if it is, I’ll certainly play it.
5. Is Xbox becoming a platform?
Twitter user Nibel has noticed a slight change of imagery at Xbox. Previously, all Xbox One trailers ended with a screen that said “Xbox One.” The company’s newest trailer ends with a screen that simply says “Xbox.” Nibel’s theory is that Microsoft is transitioning into branding Xbox as a unified platform.
Such a shift would be a major change from how game consoles have operated in the past. Previously, we could expect new consoles to come out every few years to replace the old ones. Going forward, as Xbox head Phil Spencer hinted recently, we may be seeing more incremental hardware upgrades every few years, while maintaining compatibility for all (or most) of the games.
That may sound like quite a leap based on the removal of a single word from a trailer, but Mr. Spencer said recently on Twitter that he’s “excited to share our gaming story at E3.” Which effectively means we won’t have long to wait to see if a backward- and forward-compatible Xbox platform is in Microsoft’s future.