What a difference a year makes. Last year around this time I was writing in advance of E3 that all was ‘uncommonly quiet’. This year, the hype train didn’t even wait to arrive at the station before blasting its proverbial horn. I have had to delay and delay my predictions article this year, not due to a lack of something to say, but because this year publishers and developers are popping up weeks early to either leak or fully reveal new games in what seems like a daily occurrence at this point. What had started as a rumour I could sink my teeth into, have become full-fledged press releases in mere hours. So what’s left for E3 itself? And what do I personally hope to see, and see more of? Read along.
Sequels, remakes and revivals are all expected to be back this year, with some welcome twists. Of the games already announced: Mafia 3 is moving South, Battlefield 1 is going back in time, Titanfall 2 is finally getting a campaign and Watch Dogs 2 is completely changing its setting and protagonist in favour of a new West coast locale: San Francisco, and a new main character Marcus who will carry quite a bit more personality than 2014’s Aiden Pierce. Other early confirmations include a Final Fantasy 12 remake, and Injustice 2. I am hoping to get some serious gameplay footage, as all these titles (with the possible exception of FF12) are likely launching this Fall.
On the hardware side, expect to see a lot more of Sony’s PlayStation VR headset, including the upcoming launch line-up. ‘VR’ is going to be out this Holiday season, and aside from spot announcements of different titles for the peripheral over the past year, we haven’t really seen the launch catalog as of yet.
Microsoft is also rumoured heavily to be bringing Oculus Rift support to its console. This would likely coincide with its also rumoured new Xbox ‘One.5’ (codenamed ‘Scorpio’) that will bring 4K graphics and updated internal spec to support the VR headset. If this, or Scorpio are mentioned at all this year, I expect we’ll see them in stores sometime in the Spring. Additionally, Microsoft is rumoured to be bringing out a Slim version (see ya, TV input) of its console, as well as a streaming Xbox device that may allow for PC/Xbox gaming over WiFi. These more minor iterations are likely to see the light of day at this year’s conference, and will probably come out this Holiday. Not to be outdone, online chatter as well as developer chatter at this years GDC have pointed to Sony launching its own PS4.5 console (codename ‘Neo’) this Holiday. The console will likely slim down, but beef up the internal spec to support 4K gaming, including ‘up-resing’ of existing titles, and a more seamless VR experience. I’m hoping they scrap the VR breakout box, personally.
Nintendo is also still in the console business! The Big N have announced no new hardware showings at this year’s conference, marking another year with a limited presence at the show. With the other console manufacturers getting farther and farther ahead, Nintendo needs to make some bold moves and at least give us a glimpse of what they are working on. The new Nintendo NX hybrid console is rumoured to include a Tegra chipset for the handheld/controller (allowing for PS3-like quality gaming on the go) and internal specs on par with PS4 for the base/console unit. Without NX, Legend of Zelda will be Nintendo’s big draw this year, but is it enough?
What I’d like to see, or know more about:
– Sea of Thieves. Rare’s newest IP and pirating adventure.
– Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay, and my personal pipedream: a full ME trilogy remaster
– Final Fantasy VIII Remake. Give us some of that sweet, sweet turn-based gameplay!
– Cliffy B’s ‘LawBreakers’
– Dishonored 2 gameplay
– Just what the heck IS ‘Recore’?
– How exactly is Destiny going to pull me back in with ‘Rise of Iron’
– Is Microsoft HoloLens, for gaming, dead?
What else may be coming:
– An actual Red Dead sequel. Though Rockstar isn’t big on E3 unveilings, Red Dead would sure make a big splash.
– A new Elder Scrolls, and/or a Skyrim remaster
– Borderlands 3
– God of War 4. Based on Norse mythology this time around.
– Prey 2 gets revived, and retitled
– Wolfenstein 2
– Evil Within 2
– Dead Rising 4
– Forza Horizon 3
– A Spiderman game from Sly Cooper creators, Sucker Punch
– Crash Bandicoot spins his way back into our hearts
– Beyond Good & Evil 2 shows us it’s still alive. If not, it’s dead, Jim.
Your E3 Press Conference Schedule!
Sunday June 12th
EA Press Conference 4:00PM EST
Bethesda E3 Showcase 10:00PM EST
Monday June 13th
Microsoft E3 Press Conference 12:30PM EST
Ubisoft E3 Press Conference 4:00PM EST
Sony E3 Press Conference 9:00PM EST
Tuesday June 14th
Nintendo ‘Treehouse’ E3 Event 12:00PM EST