The Electronic Entertainment Expo, known affectionately in the games media as ‘E3’, is the largest and most influential of the many games conferences that occur during the calendar year. Taking place in the Los Angeles Convention Center, it showcases games across all platforms including console, PC and mobile.
This year the conferences begin on Monday 15th June at 3am BST, and conclude on Wednesday 17th June with the first ever PC Gaming Show, after publishers Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony showcase their latest games and technology. Major developers Ubisoft and Electronic Arts (EA) will also host their own conferences, and this year developers Square Enix (responsible for gaming franchises such as Final Fantasy, Deus Ex, and Hitman) and Bethesda Softworks (responsible for The Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout) will do the same, adding to the already hectic schedule for all those in attendance.
Up until the 3rd of June the most anticipated reveal that could’ve taken place at this year’s E3 was Fallout 4, the latest instalment in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic RPG series. However, on that date the wait was finally over as the first trailer was released to the world. This might seem like a shame to some, as it would’ve been exciting to have the game showcased at a high profile press conference, but now that the game officially exists it’s possible that E3 will be the platform through which the developer discloses both gameplay footage and a possible release date.
Alongside Fallout 4, Bethesda have a multitude of popular and beloved franchises which they could display, including the yet to be revealed sequel to Dishonoured and the next instalment in the Doom series. With such weapons in their arsenal this should be an extremely strong first conference at E3 for the developer.
Square Enix have an array of AAA titles on their slate, but the fact that they will host their own conference is a massive step forward, demonstrating the calibre of their upcoming games and their evolution as a developer. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is the most recent of Square’s games to receive a cinematic trailer, and it was received in a generally positive fashion. Similarly to the situation regarding Fallout 4, E3 could be the perfect opportunity for Square to show off what they’ve done to bring Deus Ex to the current generation of consoles, with the possibility of gameplay footage and a release date on the horizon.
Aside from these exciting new additions to the E3 schedule, big names in the gaming industry will no doubt have a serious presence throughout, and they will be fighting one another for dominance in terms of both coverage and hype. Microsoft and Sony are extremely successful companies with a host of fantastic franchises under their belts, and personally I’m a supporter of both in spirit and with my wallet. The Xbox One trails Sony’s PlayStation 4 in terms of both sales and hardware, so it’s likely that Microsoft will have as many of their big guns on show as they possibly can in order to sway public opinion.
We already know that they have Halo 5: Guardians, Forza Motorsport 6, and Rise of the Tomb Raider (as a timed exclusive) which they are presumably ready to show off, but if they’re genuinely looking to get back in this race then we’re going to need to see even more.
Rumours have been circulating that a Gears of War remaster will be present at Microsoft’s conference, but whether or not that remaster will contain all of the previously released games in the series remains to be seen. Alongside this there’s a chance that the series will have a new instalment; a teaser for this game would wet fan’s appetites but alone it wouldn’t set the world on fire. Microsoft also have Crackdown, Scalebound, and a new title from Rare (the developer responsible for Banjo-Kazooie), all of which could make welcome appearances at the show.
Microsoft’s main competition, Sony, are doing pretty well for themselves right now, but they could do with one or two of their AAA franchises appearing at this year’s E3. They’ve already revealed some very intriguing games, such as Uncharted 4 and No Man’s Sky, and the recent reveal of a Nathan Drake Collection was a smart business decision given that it will allow players to reconnect with the Uncharted series before purchasing the new game. However, given the slate that Microsoft are likely to have by the time E3 is over Sony would benefit from displaying at least one huge title. One possibility is the next instalment in the God of War series, which would surely go down well with the PlayStation faithful.
Sony does have an ace up their sleeve in the form of Project Morpheus. Sony’s virtual reality headset will likely give them a boost during their conference, because if they don’t have all their big hitters ready for the show floor they can spend time fleshing out the new technology exclusive to their platform. Hopefully at E3 we’ll get the first indication of a price for Morpheus, and also a release window so that we can start dreaming of what used to belong to the realm of science fiction.
Finally, Nintendo will of course be at this year’s E3, but unlike their rival publishers they don’t hold a traditional press conference. They still host a live event, but it’s less conventional than we’ve come to expect from Microsoft and Sony. Disappointment already looms over Nintendo’s presence at E3, due to reports that their open-world Zelda game will not be shown, but they still have a lot to offer. Star Fox is likely to be Nintendo’s most high-profile game at the show, which is interesting given that the beloved series hasn’t been visited since 2011’s Star Fox 64 3D for the 3DS, but personally I’m most excited to see what the NX is all about.
The NX is a new console, but it’s yet to be revealed what its focus will be on – it could be Nintendo’s way of challenging the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, but it could also be a new handheld device. Hopefully all will be revealed by Wednesday 17th June, and even if you aren’t a fan of the Wii U or the 3DS this is ample reason to tune in.
This year’s E3 line-up is as exciting as ever, with an array of titles across various platforms set to be released, and one or two surprises likely to shock the world along the way. There’s also the possibility of a price tag and release date for virtual reality technology, and a new console for Nintendo, making this year’s E3 one of the most anticipated to date. You can watch the show on various sites, such as IGN and GameSpot, and there’s plenty of coverage on YouTube if you don’t want to watch each conference live.