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July 5, 2007 - Okay, so most of the IGN AU crew is flying out to Santa Monica via LAX on the weekend for what is likely going to be the busiest week of the gaming calendar. We'll be joining up with the US and UK branches to bring you news coverage saturation. Before we jet off though, we're going to put on our purple velveteen turbans and gaze into the patented IGN AU crystal ball for our biggest E3 predictions, format by format, and the percentage chance of their eventual fruition. Ready? Let's go.

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IGN AU's patented crystal ball in action. What speculative gems has it dug up?

Microsoft:

It's been a good year for Microsoft - they've been sitting pretty, now that the 360 has established a quality game library and has proven to be the console company to beat. What could they be plotting? Let's roll the dice.

Xbox Portable Announced
Percentage Chance: 65%

It's coming and it's going to look like a Zune spin-off, with media capabilities that the iPhone currently touts, a big screen and plenty of tech specs that will give it the grunt to play games that are as sophisticated as those on the original Xbox. All the hints are there, and the market seems ready to embrace Microsoft as market leader right now. We'd also guess that the Xbox portable would connect to Xbox Live marketplace for its download service, feature Live Anywhere multiplayer and Zune compatibility. We shall see, eh?

360 Price Drop / PAL release of the Elite Announced
Percentage Chance: 95%

This one is almost a given. The Xbox 360 could use a broad price-cut to keep it competitive against the PS3 and Wii. We'd guess that, in Australian dollars, the reduction could be as much as AU$100 off the price of the 20GB model, bringing it down to AU$499, opening the door for the Elite to enter the PAL market at the equivalent of $AU699. The base model would be phased out.

Live Anywhere / Dashboard Updates
Percentage Chance: 98%

Shadowrun's rebirth and MSN Messenger integration will only take the PC and 360's Live Anywhere integration so far. What we're expecting to see is a full unveiling and proper hands-on demonstration of what Live Anywhere is capable of. Expect to see new titles that better demonstrate the potential - and new applications that we haven't even thought of yet. Necessity is the mother of invention, so what do gamers want and need? More games. So expect some tailor-made titles coming through the pipeline.

New Rare Titles Finally Unveiled
Percentage Chance: 75%

Okay, so we're pretty sure that Killer Instinct isn't coming, but we're sure that Banjo Kazooie 3 is going to be on display for all to see. But what else? A new franchise or two? We know for certain that there are three or four teams working on games over at Rare these days, and we're pretty sure that Microsoft isn't funnelling funds into that joint without good reason and some lofty goals for Rare to meet. Expect to get your socks knocked the heck off.

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Show us your guns, Pete.

New Peter Moore Gets a New Tattoo…
Percentage Chance: 90%

It's almost becoming a tradition. We want to see one on his butt-cheeks this time. Or, on second thought, we really don't.

… Revealing Metal Gear Solid 4 Coming to 360
Percentage Chance: 80%

Moore's tattoo will reveal what we've long expected - the next instalment of the Metal Gear Solid saga will launch on 360 alongside the PS3 version. After Kojima's recent comments that the game was able to run on 360 hardware, this would suggest that Kojima Productions is experimenting with the hardware. Why simply experiment? Particularly when this game is certain to be costing a lot of R&D dollars which may not be recouped with a PS3 release alone? More than that, history points to a version of Metal Gear Solid 2 making its way across to the original Xbox, so it wouldn't be a big leap to see number four from day one, or perhaps after a short window of exclusivity.

Long-shot Prediction:
Duke Nukem Forever Surfaces on 360
Percentage Chance: 5%

Hey - we can dream, can't we?

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