E3 is on the horizon

We are less than 2 months away. Here’s what you should look out for.

For exactly 10 years, June has been a big month for games. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, E3, is one of the biggest gaming events of the year which means it delivers multiple announcements and updates from all the major companies in the industry. Nintendo has been a presenter since the first edition back in 1995, Microsoft began in 2000, and this year will be the first E3 ever that Sony is not a part of.

(Source: https://www.e3expo.com/ )

Multiple companies have already confirmed their presence and press-conference at E3 2019. The Microsoft keynote happens on Sunday, June 9th at 1pm PST. Bethesda jumps in next on Sunday, June 9th at 5:30pm PST. The PC Gaming Show is happening earlier this year, on Monday, June 10th at 10am PST. Ubisoft’s keynote will be Monday, June 10th at 1pm PST. The beloved EA won’t do a big show this year, instead they’ll focus on small livestreams for each game they’re showing. Square Enix got the ‘Sony slot’ and will be holding their show on Monday, June 10th at 6pm PST. Nintendo still needs to confirm the Direct date, but it’s safe to assume that it’ll happen Tuesday morning, June 11th.

New Hardware

A big aspect of this year’s E3 are the new hardware announcements. As we approach the end of this console generation, the rumors and excitement surrounding the next generation begins. Microsoft already mentioned that they are working hard on the next Xbox and they will most likely talk about it during their show. Despite the low chances of it being released this year, hearing about the console and possibly new games will fuel hopes and dreams about the future of the industry.

This next one is a little bit surprising. Rumor has it that Nintendo will release 2 new models of the Switch this year, meaning that an announcement at E3 seems plausible. The Wall Street Journal made the report based on its sources, and it says that one of the model will be focused towards “hardcore” players (a slightly stronger version of the Switch) and the other model will be cheaper (missing some features and dockless), going with the idea that Nintendo wants more than one Switch per household.

Why would a revision of the Switch be surprising? Well, Nintendo doesn’t really have a history to revision it’s home consoles, but the Switch is not a standard console, it’s a hybrid. When it comes to portable, on the other hand, Nintendo is really familiar with the idea of remodels and revisions, take the 3DS for example: There’s the regular 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, New 3DS XL and the New 2DS XL. Since the Switch bridges the gap between home and portable, it’s safe to assume that these updates will happen (less frequently) and we’ll likely hear it at E3.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, Sony won’t be attending E3. Recently, Mark Cerny, lead designer on the PS4, did an interview with Wired where he talked about the next generation of Playstation. The information gathered is still vague and far from something concrete, and even if Sony mentioned the next console won’t come in 2019, more news about it might still drop. We don’t know what Sony is planning, so maybe keep an eye out for the week before E3, or sometime around it… they might do something to keep the attention on them.

Games, Games, Games!

When it comes to the games themselves it’s always important to watch every keynote because new IPs might happen anytime. A few stablished franchises will have a comeback this E3, for example, Ubisoft is rumored to reveal Watch Dogs 3 to fill in for a year without a new Assassins Creed game. The company had amazing shows in the past, so they’ll probably have more surprises and good news for us.

In Bethesda’s case it’s quite hard to predict what’s to come and how excited people will be, after the disaster that Fallout 76 was. From their last keynote it seemed like Starfield was supposed to be released before The Elder Scrolls VI, meaning that we might see a little bit of it. It’s also worth mentioning that they’ll show Doom Eternal and most likely give it a release date.

For Microsoft, the play here might be to unveil what their recently acquired studios are working on. By introducing new IPs and big exclusives, the company hopes to eventually compete with Sony when it comes to games, and build excitement for their next generation console.

On the other hand, Nintendo have a lot of good exclusive games that still need to see the light of day on the Switch. For this E3, the company will probably lean heavy on showing a lot of games, since they wanna up the Switch momentum (that has been slowing down). We might see what Retro Studios have been working on, and even get a release date to the next Animal Crossing game.

Most important E3 ever?

On March 27th, CD PROJEKT RED had a financial results presentation in which the company’s CEO said that this E3 “is going to be the most important one ever for us”. A statement like that make us wonder what could make this yearly event so especial to them… there might be only one answer.

Cyberpunk 2077. The game was announced back in 2012 and it’s next appearance was in 2018 during Microsoft’s E3 keynote. Since then the public was able to watch more than a half hour of gameplay and read multiple demo impressions. The scope for this game seems to be pushing the limits on the open world genre, and combined with amazing graphics made a lot of players excited to play it.

It’s safe to assume that by labelling this E3 as the ‘most important ever’, the game will be heavily featured and might be just as surprising as last years cinematic trailer. There’s a chance we might even get a release date/window. It’s definitely something to keep on a high priority for E3, so you don’t miss any new information on the game.

All these things that might happen are just the tip of iceberg that is E3. It comes to show that there’s a lot of reasons to still be excited for E3, even if a few companies decide to skip it or not do a keynote. Watch all the shows and try to keep up the news to stay in the know. Also, Square Enix might bring out the big guns this year… I’m looking at you Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Avengers game.

Graduated college in 2018, Journalism. Pursuing a Gaming Journalist career. You can follow me on Twitter @thalesaugusto .

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