The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, returns to Los Angeles this weekend and looks to be bigger than ever. The most important week of the year for gaming kicks off this Saturday, June 9, and ends Thursday, June 14. The first 3 ½ days are dedicated to the press conferences that are put on by the major gaming companies.
EA gets things started with their conference Saturday at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET. The new “Battlefield” just confirmed to be coming later this year will most likely be EA’s main game showcased at their press release, but their anticipated action game “Anthem” will probably steal some of that spotlight. Unfortunately, the publisher has said the release of “Anthem” was pushed to early next year to allow for the new “Battlefield.”
Microsoft kicks off day two at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET Sunday. Although still just rumors, Microsoft is expected to announce new games for three of their biggest franchises. “Halo 6” is a pretty safe bet, as well as “Forza Horizon 4,” but it also looks likely they’ll be showing a new “Gears of War”. Not only is there a good chance of a traditional Gears sequel, there are rumors spreading of a possible real-time strategy title in the style of “Halo Wars,” as well as a battle royale game for the series. Fans are also hoping to get a release date for “Crackdown 3,” but nothing has been confirmed by Microsoft yet. Coinciding with the Expo, Microsoft has announced they will be having the biggest Xbox sale of the year. All Xbox One models will be discounted $50, which will be the first price reduction for the Xbox One X. They’re also taking $10 off controllers for the console, so if you’ve been waiting to grab an extra controller, or replace an old one, this will be the time. Many games are also going on sale, with some being cut by up to 75 percent. And you can also pick up a month of Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass for only $1 apiece. The sale starts this Thursday, June 7, and will continue until the end of E3 or later.
Bethesda follows Microsoft that evening starting at 6:30 PM PT / 11 PM ET. There are two games we know will be shown off at their press conference, “Rage 2” and “Fallout 76.” “Rage 2” is the sequel to “Rage,” a first-person shooter developed by id Software and released in October 2011. Although “Rage” received generally positive reviews, especially for its impressive visuals and brutally satisfying combat, some critics pointed out the story line and character development was almost non-existent. There are many rumors about “Fallout 76” going around, but with only a short teaser to go by so far nothing is guaranteed. Hopefully Bethesda gives us a lot more information about it on Sunday. Most likely they will also show off another game or two, as well as some updates/expansions for some of there titles already out, such as “Elder Scrolls Online.” And be ready for at least one big surprise. Bethesda is known for keeping things under wraps until the last minute, and they love to show brand-new titles at these events (here’s looking at you, “Starfield”).
Devolver Digital finishes up Sunday, starting at 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET. Devolver Digital is a publisher best known for its “Serious Sam” and “Hotline Miami” series. They focus primarily on smaller indie titles, but I wouldn’t put it past them to bring out something bigger.
Monday, June 11, is the busiest day for the expo beginning with Square Enix at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. This will be Square Enix’s first showcase at E3 since 2015, but they will be doing a pre-recorded video rather than a traditional stage event. Although the company hasn’t been publishing big hits over the last decade at the same rate as others like Bethesda, Square Enix is set to prove they’re still a competitor. Building off one of their most successful franchises in recent years, “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” is expected to be a big part of their show. They’re bringing back the popular series “Dragon Quest” to the U.S. with the 11th installment. Fans will finally be able to get back into the fantasy world of Lotozetasia later this year, more than 8 years after “Dragon Quest IX” was brought to the states. “Dragon Quest X” was only released in Japan. “Kingdom Hearts 3” will most likely take up a good amount of time in the program, as it’s due to release later this year. Hopefully they will finally give the release date, as the game was originally announced five years ago at E3 2013! Another highly anticipated game we should get some information on is the “Final Fantasy 7 Remake.” With just a teaser back at E3 2015 and a longer trailer featuring gameplay later that year, as well as some screenshots, very little else has been said about it’s release. With their return to E3 after a three-year hiatus, it’s pretty safe to assume there will be something shown for it. Other possibilities include “Just Cause 4,” the Avengers project they’re working on, and “Life is Strange 2” to name a few. Be ready for a jam-packed show.
Ubisoft is up next at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET. Thanks to some leaks we know of at least a few games that will be shown by Ubisoft. They have already revealed a teaser for “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” after a single photograph of a giveaway keychain was leaked. This title in the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise looks to be taking place in ancient Greece, with a possible focus on the warrior nation of Sparta who were depicted in the blockbuster movie 300. Their new racing game, “The Crew 2,” is expected to be released later this month, so we can expect to see a lot of footage from it. After a leak in March, Ubisoft confirmed the existence of “The Division 2.” Since that confirmation they have kept tight-lipped about any other information, but we should see something at their conference. “Skull and Bones,” a naval combat game based off “Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’s” naval combat was revealed last year, but Ubisoft announced in May that it would be delayed until the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Even with that delay there should be some news from them about it this weekend. Developers at Ubisoft have said there will be more information given about “Beyond Good & Evil 2,” the sequel to the 2003 action-adventure game. An unconfirmed, but highly dependable, leak showed a new untitled installment in the “Splinter Cell” series will possibly show up as well. There will also most likely be additional content displayed for some of their other games, such as “For Honor” and “Far Cry 5.” Knowing Ubisoft, you can expect many other odds and ends throughout their presentation.
In the middle of all these blockbuster presentations comes the PC Gaming Show. Starting at 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET this presentation will showcase games from publishers dedicated to PC gaming, as well as some indie developers and hardware manufacturers. While not as anticipated as the other presentations, they have been great in previous years.
Monday wraps up with what promises to be an exciting show from Sony starting at 6 PM PT / 9 PM ET. Sony is well ahead of the pack in sells recently, and there are no signs of them slowing down. Many of the games that will most likely be shown are already known, like “The Last of Us Part 2,” “Spider-Man,” “Days Gone” and a remaster of “MediEvil.” There are a few rumors that have popped up recently of unannounced games. It’s possible we might even see something about sequels for “Bloodborne” and/or “Horizon Zero Dawn.” Even if all they give us is more information about the games we already know about, there are so many it could easily fill up their whole show and still be entertaining.
Tuesday, June 12, marks the final day of the press conferences and there’s only one presentation. Nintendo will kick the day off with a Nintendo Direct beginning at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET. Similar to last year’s E3 it appears this will be a relatively short, pre-recorded video, followed by Nintendo Treehouse Live Streams that will continue throughout the rest of the expo. Nintendo has said that their Nintendo Direct will focus on games releasing in 2018, and that anything coming in 2019 and beyond will be shown at a later point. If last year’s presentation is any indication, we can expect that 30+ minute video to be full of surprises. We already know the new “Super Smash Bros.” will be there, as well as “Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go Eevee!” We can also expect more from “Mario Tennis Aces” and the “Yoshi” game originally announced at last year’s E3. After just showing us the title “Metroid Prime 4” at the end of their presentation last year, it’s a safe bet we’ll get some more information this year. “Fire Emblem” is another we heard about last year but have not received anything else since. Many other rumors abound surrounding the little console, with some that might as well be confirmed. There are too many possibilities for me to put them all on here, but there is something I saw that makes me very excited for what’s in store for the system. Someone at Gamestop took a photo of their list of SKUs, which are the placeholders for new games in their system. In the photo we can see the number of unidentified games, and the price of each. This one shows 10 new titles for the Switch all priced at $59.99. This means that we should be seeing more big titles this year than most people have been expecting.
All of these presentations can be streamed live for free on a number of sites. If you want to watch them without a random streamers commentary, I suggest going to each individual company’s website to find the best way to watch them. They typically will have their own YouTube channel, or have it streaming directly from their site.
No matter what system you play on, or what type of games you like to play, you can bet you’re going to find something at this year’s E3 that will have you pulling out that credit card or giving your parents your Christmas list early this year.