With Apple preparing for WWDC 2016 and Euro 2016 about to kick-off, the last thing we needed was something else to have to write about. Unfortunately there's no ignoring it. E3 2016, the annual gaming extravaganza, is almost upon us. From new console launches to the unveiling of all the games you'll be saving up for over the next twelve months this little guide should help you stay on top of the action.
What Is E3, Anyway?
Some gamers say it’s like heaven. Others compare it to Christmas. Electronic Entertainment Expo -- E3 -- is the gaming show of gaming shows, taking place in the made-up land of Los Angeles every year.
This year’s show will be the 22nd overall, taking place from June 14th to June 16th, though gaming powerhouses Bethesda, EA, Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony plan to get a headstart on the competition by kicking off proceedings on June 12th and 13th. For those of you who could swear Easter only just happened, we’re talking Sunday onwards.
What are the Big Rumoured Announcements For E3 2016?
The main rumours will have to be those surrounding refreshed console hardware from Sony and Microsoft. We've heard word of the 4K / VR focussed PlayStation Neo from our pals over at Kotaku UK, while Microsoft is expected to show off a slimmer "Scorpio" Xbox One that may potentially be more powerful than the current model too. Microsoft has teased a move to a modular, regular update cycle for its gaming consoles going forward, so E3 could be the occasion for a first glimpse at that.
In terms of surprise games, there are lots of whispers surrounding a remastered version of Skyrim from Bethesda, headed to the Xbox One and PS4 with upgraded visuals and support for mods. Multiple sources, including the trusted folk at Eurogamer, have this one as a near certainty.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim originally released on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2011, but its popularity (at least on PC) has never waned due to the extensive modding community continually tweaking and improving the massive fantasy epic. With Fallout 4, the most recent Bethesda game, bringing mods to consoles, a mod-freindly revamp of Skyrim could fill what's expected to be a lengthy gap before the 6th Elder Scrolls game proper rolls out.
In addition, Bethesda is also rumoured to have revived its thought-cancelled sci-fi noir adventure Prey 2. It had looked promising in its early teaser trailers (think Blade Runner with aliens), but was seemingly scrapped after a troubled development. But insiders are pointing at it making a fresh faced return at this years show.
Microsoft on the other hand is thought to be preparing a new Dead Rising game (which hopefully will address the performance issues that made Dead Rising 3 stumble along like the zombies it featured), while EA could finally give us a glimpse of its third-person Star Wars adventure, which is being helmed by ex-Uncharted scribe Amy Hennig.
Which Game Developers are Showing at E3 2016?
Everyone who’s anyone, really. Bethesda, EA, Microsoft, Ubisoft and Sony, Nintendo, Square Enix, Kadokawa Games and gazillions of other games publishers with slightly smaller marketing budgets. That said, EA won’t actually be on-site and Activision won’t have a booth either (Sony's press conference will instead be used to show off the next Call of Duty game). Disney Interactive and Wargaming will also be missing, the former of which may not be surprising, given the troubling news surrounding Disney Infinity recently.
When’s Everything Starting?
As mentioned above, some of the bigger companies have decided to make their announcements ahead of the show, because that’s just the ways things are these days. No patience, the lot of them. The pre-E3 conferences are as follows:
9pm BST June 12th - EA
3am BST June 13th - Bethesda
5:30pm BST June 13th - Microsoft
8pm BST June 13th - PC Gaming Show
9pm BST June 13th - Ubisoft
After June 13th, the schedule looks like this:
2am BST June 14th - Sony
5pm BST June 14th - Nintendo
Can You Watch E3 2016 From the UK?
This is 2016, of course you can... if you can be bothered going without sleep for a few days, anyway. Loads of the action will be available online through E3’s official YouTube and Twitch channels, while the usual suspects in IGN and Gamespot will also have extensive video coverage. For those of you who aren’t so caught up in the details, Vine and Twitter will do.
Our chums over at Kotaku UK will be hosting the relevant streams at the right times too, because they’re good people.
What Games are at E3 2016?
There's always an element of uncertainty involved when compiling a list of expected games, but we've done it anyway. Here are the titles we expect to make an appearance at E3 2016. If we're way off the mark with some of them, we can't say we didn't warn you.
- Attack On Titan
- Batman: A Telltale Series
- Battlefield 1
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered
- Civilization VI
- Dead Rising 4
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Dishonored 2
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skrim - Definitive Edition
- FIFA 17
- Final Fantasy XV
- For Honor
- Gears of War 4
- Ghost Recon Wildlands
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- I Am Setsuna
- Injustice 2
- Mafia 3
- Mass Effect: Andromeda
- NBA 2K17
- Persona 5
- PES 2017
- Prey 2
- Shenmue 3
- South Park and the Fractured But Whole
- EA's third-person Star Wars game, yet to be titled.
- Tekken 7
- The Legend of Zelda Wii U
- Titanfall 2
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (PSVR)
- Watch Dogs 2
- WWE 2K17