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E3: What the biggest game companies have in store for the biggest games event

Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo lining up to bring the hype
E3, the world’s premier video games conference, starts Sunday in Los Angeles. Photo:

The video game industry has blown up in recent years. It brings in more money than the movie industry and playing games have become a socially acceptable thing, where it was previously reserved for nerds and children. 

Once a year, everyone in the video game industry gathers at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, for three or four days. The executives, developers, journalists and YouTubers all cram into the building for one thing: E3.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo – also known as E3 – happens once a year and is recognized as the biggest video game event of the year. The three biggest players – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo — all hold press conferences to announce revisions to hardware, new games, and exciting new features. 

The week is filled with previews of new games, exciting announcements, hands-on impressions and plenty of in-depth interviews with some of the biggest names in gaming. 

Suffice it to say, it’s kind of a big deal. 

That’s the short of it, but the long of it is much more interesting. There are typically five press conferences held just before the event proper starts. But in the last year several other publishers have entered the fray, taking to the stage to show off their wares. 

Starting Sunday night, Bethesda – publisher of such titles as Fallout 4, Skyrim, Doom and Dishonored — will show off their newest titles and expansions to some of their older games. The company recently released Doom in mid-May. But they haven’t had a major release before that since Fallout 4 in November, which took the world by storm. 

They will likely be showing off Dishonored 2, the sequel to their popular stealth-action game. They don’t usually have too much to show, so you’ll most likely see a game or two from them and then see the same titles pop up again at other press conferences. 

EA, the publisher behind titles like Battlefield, Mass Effect, Mirror’s Edge, and many of the most popular sports games, also has a conference on Sunday. They will mostly show off many of the titles listed above. Battlefield 1 – the newest entry in the long-running shooter franchise that takes place in an alternate reality World War 1 – will most likely be the standout title, but we could also see new Star Wars games. 

There will certainly be big games on display, but many of them are likely already announced, though there will be at least one big reveal. 

Monday morning, it’s Microsoft’s turn. It’s anyone’s guess what the tech giant will reveal. Very few of the games that they displayed last year have actually been released, so expect release dates for games from last year like Sea of Thieves, Gears of War 4, Crackdown 3 and Halo Wars 2. 

There have been rumors that a new version of the Xbox One is on the way, but it’s unlikely that anything will be shown, mostly because all rumors point to this idea still being very young. 

After Microsoft will be the Ubisoft press conference. For the first time in ages, we won’t be getting an Assassin’s Creed this year, but it most likely moved out of the way in order to make way for Watch Dogs 2. 

The follow-up to the open-world adventure is set to build upon the stellar base laid by the original. The Montreal-based company will most likely also bring titles shown last year, such as the multiplayer game based around sword combat, For Honor. Also, expect more talk about Tom Clancy’s The Division and the newest Ghost Recon game. They’ll have some surprising things to show, no doubt, but everyone is really waiting for Monday night.

Sony’s press conference is in the evening, closing out the day with big reveals and surprising announcements. 

The biggest rumor that is awaiting confirmation is the PS4 Neo. This more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 is rumored to run games more smoothly and make them look even more beautiful. This will be accompanied by talk of PS VR, which launches this fall. 

PS VR is PlayStation’s virtual reality headset, which plugs directly into the PlayStation console. It will give a new perspective to games, so it stands to reason that new games will be revealed to work exclusively with the new piece of hardware. 

There will also be plenty of games on display as there is every year, but there is no telling what will be shown. Sony often has the most exciting press conference of the whole show – usually because they have the biggest surprises hidden up their sleeves. Last year saw very few exclusives on Sony’s little black box, but 2016 should be different, with plenty of exclusive games and content for PlayStation gamers to sink their teeth into. 

The final conference will be Nintendo’s digital event on Tuesday. Sadly, the Wii U is at the end of its life. The company’s newest console – the NX – will not be shown at E3, because it is not set to release until March 2017. 

Instead, the newest Legend of Zelda, which will release on both Wii U and NX, will be the Big N’s only title at the show. It’s a shame that we won’t get to see more of Nintendo’s magic, but it will also be the first real look at the latest entry in the storied franchise. 

E3 2016 will give us plenty looks at tons of new games from hundreds of talented developers. So far, there is no stand out announcements or themes, but this current generation of consoles has been out for two years now, and 2016 looks to be the year they finally come into their own. E3 isn’t just exciting for fans of video games, but also for casual gamers who want to see elegantly edited trailers, beautiful graphics, and innovative gameplay systems. 

E3 2016 will take place between June 12 and 16. 

Matthew Herst is a Carleton University communications student, video game journalist and’s resident geek writer. Yeah, this guy love’s video games. Besides, you can also find his work on Follow him on Twitter @supergurst.


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