It’s that time of year again. June has finally rolled around and, as has become the customary arrival of the midway point of the calendar year, the video game industry’s best and brightest have begun filing in to Los Angeles ahead of 2015’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short.
The 3 day long convention has seen a momumentally exponential growth in the past ten years as gaming has burst its way into modern day mainstream culture, and 2015 looks to be bigger and bolder than ever, with no less than seven companies looking to win over gaming fanatics with their wide array of games, tech and bold press conferences (eight if you include Oculus’ pre-E3 conference from June 11th).
And, before the task of receiving more news than is possible to memorise and write up about kicks off, it would be wise to take a look at the seven main contenders who are looking to ‘win’ this year’s event, along with what particular titles are likely to be on show during the event.
The technology giant recovered from a below par-2013 E3 showing last year to reclaim some semblance of respect amongst gamers in particular and, fronted once again by Xbox chief Phil Spencer, will be looking to have an even stronger press conference than 2014’s.
Spencer has already revealed that time constraints have ensured that three Xbox One exclusives in Scalebound, Quantum Break and Crackdown will not be presented at E3 – the trio will be given coverage at Gamescom in August – which, considering how anticipated these titles are, is a strange move on Microsoft’s part. One can only assume that Spencer et al belive their E3 lineup is strong enough without such exclusives. Only time will tell.
What we can expect to see: Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza 6 and the Gears of War remastered collection. It is also possible that MS will briefly touch upon their collaboration with Oculus Rift, following yesterday’s announcement that the virtual reality headset will ship with an Xbox One controller, as well as companies such as Insomnic Games creating content for the device.
Press Conference date and time: 15th June – 9:30am PT / 12:30pm ET / 5:30pm BST
After stealing the show from Microsoft back in 2013 and winning over fans the world over with their “It’s just a games console, and nothing else” pitch, Sony’s 2014 showing was a little more hit and miss with the company preferring to showcase technology, such as Playstation TV, over games – a complete role reversal to their conference the year before.
Still, the Japanese conglomerate will likely push a wide variety of its first party content during this year’s presentation as they look to continue their strong hold on the gaming market.
What we can expect to see: Unchartered 4, definitely. Unchartered: The Nathan Drake Collection is also very likely to be officially unveiled, alongside other first party titles such as Until Dawn, No Man’s Sky, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and a number of JRPGs. Project Morpheus – Sony’s own in house VR device – will potentially figure heavily throughout their presentation.
Press Conference date and time: 15th June – 6pm PT / 9pm ET / 16th June – 2am BST
The American games studio behind the much loved Elder Scrolls and Fallout series is holding its inaugural E3 press conference at this year’s event.
Not much is known as to what the publisher will show but, after teasing the likes of Fallout 4 and a Doom reboot in recent weeks, do they need to showcase anything other than two of the most hotly anticipated games in recent memory?
What we can expect to see: Fallout 4. Lots and lots of Fallout 4. Also on the agenda will be the Doom remake/reboot, as well as a further look at last year’s tease for a new IP in Battlecry.
Press Conference date and time: 14th June – 7pm PT / 10pm ET / 15th June – 3am BST
Often barracked in some quarters for its over reliance on the production of sports based video games during these types of presentatinons, EA have branched out and away from that position in the gaming industry a lot more in recent years.
Naturally, a company that distributes the likes of FIFA, Madden and NBA will see a good portion of its showing taken up by sports based titles, but the California-based organisation has some potentially outstanding non-sports brands to show off this year. Expect these to draw the punters in.
What we can expect to see: Sports games. Lots of sports games. If that’s not something to whet your appetite, perhaps the Star Wars: Battlefront reboot, a new Mirror’s Edge game, Need for Speed or Mass Effect 4 will do nicely.
Press Conference date and time: 15th June – 1pm PT / 4pm ET / 9pm BST
The Japanese based corporation is set to hold another digital event, in much the same vein as last year’s weird-but-slightly-funny presentation, but it remains to be seen what the giant will actually showcase during its event.
It has already been confirmed that the Legend of Zela Wii U title – so brilliantly teased at the 2014 event – will not be making an appearance. Nor will Nintendo show off its supposed new hardware, currently codenamed the Nintendo NX, so it could be safe to assume that the Mario makers could exhibit the likes of the new Star Fox game and demonstrate more of what we might see with regards to their venture into the mobile gaming world.
What we can expect to see: Star Fox, Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Woolly World look set to hold the stage, but Nintendo is reknowned for its surprises so expect to see a few unannounced tidbits from them.
Press Conference date and time: 16th June – 9am PT/ 12pm ET / 5pm BST
The Japanese video game developer, publisher and distributor will have the likes of Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider featured in Sony’s and Microsoft’s own press conferences, but the Tokyo based company will no doubt hold back some exclusive detailings in these titles for their own conference.
Those games aside, expect to see multiple JRPGs on show, as well as future releases including Star Ocean, Nosgoth and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, alongside a raft of mobile only games.
What we can expect to see: Final Fantasy XV, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Rise of the Tomb Raider will be the big hitters for Square Enix, but expect a whole host of other anime-inspired titles to be showcased.
Press Conference date and time: 16th June – 10am PT/ 1pm ET / 6pm BST
The French-Canadian based company has almost become synonymous with its Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed series that it’s easy to forget just how many other projects they’re working on, and it looks like this year could be another keenly anticipated showing from the Montreal based corporation.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and Tom Clancy’s The Division will hopefully be present at the convention, in addition to other hotly tipped titles such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege, Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 and a number of indie developed games that Ubisoft have spawned in recent years to critical acclaim.
What we can expect to see: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, The Division and Rainbow Six: Siege are the main draws for Ubisoft this year, and any indie titles that catch the eye (much like Child of Light or Valiant Hearts) will once again end up front and centre by the year’s end.
Press Conference date and time: 15th June – 3pm PT / 6pm ET / 11pm BST
Who do you expect to come out on top at this year’s E3? Sound out in the comments with your opinions!