The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is like Christmas for gamers. We get a chance to see updates on anticipated games as well as surprise announcements for new games or the latest iteration of our favorite franchises. The show floor opens Tuesday 6/11/19, but before that we have a few days of exciting conferences from some of the biggest developers and publishers in the industry. These conferences are where we get the biggest announcements, or that’s how it used to be.
The conferences will continue as usual with the likes of Xbox, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo. The major omission this year is Sony who will not be present in any capacity at this year’s expo. That didn’t stop them from stealing some of the spotlight leading up to E3 though.
Last month, Sony showed off another of it’s State of Play digital events. These are a digital format for Sony to provide updates and new announcements for their titles, much like how Nintendo has their Nintendo Directs. In Sony’s last State of Play, they snuck in a new trailer for the long anticipated Final Fantasy 7 Remake; a game most would have figured would be seen at Sony’s E3 press conference, if they were having one. It would appear the FF7 Remake will have a more detailed look during Square Enix’s E3 conference instead.
Now, just last week– a lengthy trailer from Hideo Kojima’s mysterious new Playstation 4 exclusive, Death Stranding, appeared and contained a surprising release date of November 8th of this year. We’ll have to wait and see if Sony sneaks another State of Play event or another big reveal in the coming weeks surrounding E3.
Sony isn’t the only one making big news before E3. We also have Nintendo, who recently dropped a fifteen minute Nintendo Direct focused solely on the upcoming Mario Maker 2 for Nintendo Switch. This Wednesday, 6/5/19, we will also be treated to yet another Nintendo Direct all about the Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield titles coming out later this year. With these two deep dive Directs taking place before E3, it really makes one wonder what big news Nintendo has up their sleeve for their official E3 direct.
Wow! Lots of big news. Can’t wait for E3, right? Yup, but that’s not all there is! Square Enix teams, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, have been hard at work on an Avengers game that will finally be revealed at E3, as confirmed by Square Enix themselves. Last year I predicted that Avengers would be shown during E3, however that did not come to pass. It’s one I put on my prediction list again this year, prior to the official announcement, and am excited to see what it’s going to look like.
Phew. So there we have it. E3 arrived early…wait. In an interesting turn of event. Google announced a Stadia Connect event this Thursday, 6/6/19 at 12pm Eastern. Google is promising information for launch info, price, and game reveals. It’s unclear if this is a live event on stage, but given the name, it seems likely that it will be a digital event. Either way, this is substantial as they are getting way in front of all the other E3 conferences to showcase their game streaming service. We recapped Google’s Stadia announcement back in March during the Game Developers Conference event. It’ll be interesting to see them elaborate on what we saw earlier this year. Even more interesting is that they are making sure to get out in front of Xbox, who are expected to go in depth on their own video game streaming service, Project xCloud, during the Xbox conference. It will certainly be interesting to see how the services compare in their offerings and how Xbox will respond to Google’s attempt to get out ahead on this new service.
Ok, so there we have it. An absolute onslaught of official information leading up to E3. A meaty sample of news and games to delight on before the main course begins this weekend and continuing on through next week.
We’ve been seeing a major shift in the landscape of E3. Instead of a blitz of conferences jammed into a single day, we now have them spread across several days. It’s gone from a press-only event to allowing the public to join in they hype. We are now seeing major publishers back out entirely while big announcements are being made a week or two ahead of the expo (intentional announcements, not just leaks and rumors). While it’s certainly exciting to get a steady stream of news and announcements over the course of several weeks, it could be an omen of a shrinking of scale to the once monumental annual event.