It’s hard to think of a more exciting time of the year for video game fans than the week of E3. The video games expo has a long history of seeing some of the most interesting moments, and even the most embarrassing moments, in gaming news, from the announcement of brand new games to the full specifications of new hardware. Whether it’s a new console or a much-wanted sequel, E3 has long been the time when developers and publishers have let rip some of their most important news.
This year’s E3, which is due to kick off just next week, already looks as though it is going to be no exception to its forerunners. There are already a ton of highly anticipated games that have been confirmed for E3 2016, including the likes of Final Fantasy XV and Gears of War 4, and if the CEO of retailer GameStop is to be believed there is even going to be some new hardware on the cards in the form of new versions of the PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, this year’s E3 could actually be the best one that gamers have had to date.
Even though the likes of the new Legend of Zelda and Dishonored 2 are some of the most exciting games in development, and many video game users are intrigued to see what Sony and Microsoft have to offer with these updated consoles, this isn’t necessarily down to the quality of the hardware and software that is expected to be at the show. Instead, it comes down to the sheer balance that E3 2016 is expected to have. Whether gamers are interested in the spec side of things, hunting after a more detailed look at a game that was already expected to be at the expo, or climbing readily aboard the hype train for a fantastic new reveal, this year’s E3 seems to have a little bit of everything.
Take, for instance, the slew of in-development games that are already confirmed to be at the expo. Developers and publishers seem to have been more vocal than in previous years about exactly what attendees and online viewers can expect from the show. As one example, Ubisoft has been readily building up expectations for its exhibition at E3 2016, complete with teaser trailers for the full reveal of Watch Dogs 2.
Nintendo, too, has already outlined what plenty of gamers can expect from E3 2016. The Nintendo Treehouse event, which is due to take place over the course of two livestreams on the 14 and 15 June, was initially going to focus solely on the new The Legend of Zelda title that so many gamers are waiting for. However, the company has now expanded its focus, with more time also spent on Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, as well as on the likes of Monster Hunter Generations and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past.
Of course, some Nintendo fans will be disappointed that one rather major development is missing from its list at the moment. As of yet, Nintendo has not provided hints that the Nintendo NX console will be making any sort of appearance at E3 2016, in spite of the many questions that the gaming community has over the platform. Those who want to have a focus on hardware in general, however, may well be in a bit of luck.
It’s clear that some kind of console announcement is due to happen. Be it in the form of an updated console or a whole new peripheral, both Xbox and PlayStation users will no doubt have their ears peeled for some kind of addition to their system of choice. As well as the constant rumblings surrounding the Xbox 1.5, which is codenamed the Scorpio and will allegedly have four times the power of the current Xbox One, there are also suggestions that the console will be receiving VR support at the expo. Indeed, with several developers listed for VR development for Xbox One, the E3 2016 schedule may have already confirmed as much.
No doubt many of the rumors that have hit before E3 2016 will prove to be little more than smoke and mirrors, but there are also bound to be a number of surprises in store. Already, gamers will have come up with long lists of games hoped for an E3 2016 reveal, including titles such as Left 4 Dead 3 and Red Dead Redemption 2/Red Dead 3. As-yet-untitled games are also much-wanted, such as Batman Arkham developer Rocksteady’s next game.
E3 2016 will definitely see a number of new, unknown titles seeing their official reveal, and that’s not just expectations based on previous expos, either. Already, EA has teased that a new IP is going to see its official announcement at E3 2016, with some suspecting that it may be the Assassin’s Creed-esque Motive Studios project. The Witcher 3 dev CD Projekt Red has also hinted that a new game might make it to E3 this year, even if Cyberpunk 2077 will not be at the event.
Perhaps more than any other year, developers and publishers are more open about exactly what their plans are. This year, too, sees the launch of E3 Live, which will offer hands-on demos to not only press members and industry professionals, but also to members of the public. It’s a neat touch, and a savvy one that will no doubt boost word-of-mouth press for a number of games and projects.
It seems as though, now more than ever, everyone involved in E3 has decided to fully embrace the spectacle of the expo, too. The entertainment factor of E3 is perhaps at an all-time high, and publishers have also changed their focus. As one example, Sony has doubled down on its previous action of showing its conference in cinemas across the United States, and its showcase on June 13 is no doubt going to be one of the most interesting parts of the entirety of E3 2016.
It may not be subtle, and more than a little brash, but this year’s E3 seems to have something for everyone. From industry experts to fans, from hardware nuts through to those awaiting new game announcements, E3 2016 looks likely to tick all the boxes gamers could want for. Let’s hope that E3 2016 ends up being worth the wait.