E3 is just a couple of weeks away and that means that it is now time to look at what the major powerhouses in gaming might be bringing this year. With Sony and Microsoft battling to get the upper hand in the latest generation and Nintendo looking to establish themselves once again, it’s likely we will see plenty of high-profile announcements from every publisher.
Here, we take a look at what games you can expect to see at this year’s E3 as well as some of the surprises that the likes of EA, Activision and Ubisoft might pull as they look to start building hyper for their biggest releases.
During a presentation for the Electronics Investor Relations Day 2015 earlier in the month, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House outlined his excitement for the upcoming E3. Speaking at the conference he said, “I think that E3 this year will be an exciting show. I think that it will be a show where we see the next generation of hardware really start to deliver great content and great experiences that if not take full advantage of the platform, will a lot more advantage than we’ve seen before.”
So it seems obvious that Sony will be trying to make the most of the current advantage they have over the Xbox One in the current next-generation console stakes. They have already have a number of high profile exclusives, such as Street Fighter V, Amplitude, Ratchet & Clank, and No Man’s Sky, that they will be hoping to persuade customers to choose the PlayStation 4. However, they will surely be announcing a raft of new games and features for the console at E3 as they look to solidify their position.
Firstly, it’s important to look at some announcements that might get made dealing directly with the PlayStation 4. There have been persistent rumors over the past few months that Sony may be preparing to drop the price of their console in order to keep it competitively priced with the Xbox One. If those rumors are true, you can expect to see news of the price drop at E3. It’s also likely that Sony will reveal more information about Project Morpheus. Things have gone quiet in recent weeks about the virtual reality headset, but with Oculus Rift releasing next year and Microsoft beginning to push HoloLens its likely Sony will have plenty to say about their foray into the technology.
There will also likely be plenty of information about the upcoming reboot of Ratchet and Clank in addition to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Even though both games are not going to be available until at least 2016, they are set to be hugely important games for the consoles and Sony will want to ensure that the hype for both begins to build from this summer.
It’s also likely we’ll hear about news about further expansion for Bloodborne. The title has been one of the biggest success on the PlayStation 4, garnering wide critical acclaim and Shuhei Yoshida had already revealed that the game will be receiving at least one expansion in the form of DLC. There’s a good chance more information will be revealed about other exclusive games coming to the PlayStation 4 too, with the likes of No Man’s Sky, Shadow of the Beast, Everybody’s Gone to Rapture, Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and Blight Below.
In addition to these already announced titles, there are plenty of games that could be announced at E3 that haven’t been officially revealed yet. Chief among them would be Gran Turismo 7, a game that we already know is in development though very little information has been released so far. With Forza Motorsport 6 arriving on the Xbox One next year, the PlayStation 4 may well need its own exclusive racing game.
Other titles that could make an appearance include Horizon and God of War IV. The team behind Killzone has been working on a secret project for the past few years and its widely believed that the Guerilla Games title is known internally as Horizon. Meanwhile, SCE Santa Monica Studio have been working on another game in conjunction with the God of War III remaster and this is likely to be the long awaited God of War IV.
Lastly, recent murmuring in the media have suggested that Sony may have scored a major coup in regards to Call of Duty. Microsoft have long had an exclusive deal with Activision that means DLC would arrive on Xbox platforms first and remain exclusive for a set period of time but it now looks like Sony may have taken over this deal themselves.
Nintendo have had a rough few years since they moved onto the Wii U. Although the 3DS has performed pretty well, sales have slowed recently and the Wii U is still struggling to gain any significant traction in the market. Nintendo fans could still have plenty to look forward to though as there are plenty of games that are currently in the works, a few franchises that could make surprise returns and a brand new console that might just be mentioned.
While Nintendo have consistently said that they have no intention of going into specifics about their next console, known as the NX, at E3 it is still possible that they might still have some information to give away at the conference. It would probably be a good idea not to get your hopes up too much though as Nintendo might well goes through the whole conference without even mentioning their future console.
One thing we definitely won’t be seeing at this year’s E3 is the next The Legend of Zelda game. The title was revealed to be in development for the Wii U with a trailer last year but it has since been pushed back to 2016 with some analysts suggesting that a major overhaul could be in the works. Nintendo have since tweeted that the game will not make an appearance at E3 this year.
Now onto games that could well be shown off during Nintendo’s conference. Perhaps the most anticipated is Star Fox for Wii U which was first revealed as a proof-of-concept by Shigeru Miyamoto in 2014. Nintendo said that the game was due to release before The Legend of Zelda so it could be due to hit store shelves later in the year. Hopefully we will get to see some more footage and gameplay.
Another two games that are almost certain to be showcased are Mario Maker and Yoshi’s Wooly World. There has been little innovation in terms of the Mario IP in the past couple of years and Mario Maker looks set to change that by giving players the power to create their own levels and share them with others. Yoshi’s latest adventure not only looks gorgeous but should carry on the great platforming that made its predecessors so liked.
Other games that could see plenty of attention include a new potential Paper Mario title, a new Pokemon game that follows on from X and Y much like Pokemon Yellow or Platinum, a potential new Animal Crossing title for the Wii U and a sequel to Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Other rumors include the fact that Nintendo may have been working on a return for the Metroid franchise.
Finally, it almost certain that Nintendo will make an announcement about brand new Amiibo figures, especially considering the likelihood of new games. The Japanese publisher might also let us know what Next Level Games has been up to for the past two years and give us more information about their mobile partnership with DeNA.
Phil Spencer has spent the last few months trying to convince people that Microsoft is going to try to focus more on games with him at the helm. He has spoken about the need to ensure that the Xbox One has plenty of high quality titles available, including exclusives and first-party games, so we should probably expect to see the Microsoft E3 conference being used to highlight the upcoming release schedule.
However, it company could still spring some surprises in the hardware department. Numerous reports have suggested that a new Xbox One model could be announced at E3, with a Slim model similar to the smaller Xbox 360 that released later in its life the most popular choice. According to the rumors, this would be accompanied by a price drop so that Microsoft can better compete with the PlayStation 4 and win back some supporters. They’ll also likely want to talk more about HoloLens and how exactly it could integrate with their gaming platforms.
Back to games, the major headline will undoubtedly be Halo 5: Guardians. Halo is the flagship Xbox franchise and its killer app and with the release coming up in fall, it is almost certain that Microsoft will be promoting the title heavily during their conference. Some key information that could be revealed might include a few more details about the story, a possible open beta and any new features it will have over its predecessors.
Another big talking point will be the Gears of War series. Black Tusk has been hard at work on the next entry in the series for some time and we might finally get the chance to see exactly what it is that they have been creating. Whether it will be a reboot, a sequel or even a prequel is still up in the air but it’s very likely that Microsoft will be revealing all during the briefing.
Speaking of Gears of War, there’s also the strong possibility that a Gears of War remastered collection could well be announced during E3 too. The fact that the games are being remade for the Xbox One is something of an open secret and the conference could be the perfect time to officially announce the project.
Microsoft have plenty of work to do in order to get gamers on their side and a few more exclusives could definitely start to gain the Xbox One some momentum. Obvious candidates for further announcements are titles such as Crackdown, Forza Motorsport 6 and Quantum Break. We already know that both Forza and Quantum Break are under development but official release dates, gameplay trailers and more information about them are likely to surface during the conference. The same applies to another exclusive game, Scalebound. Of course, one game that is sure to have a prominent presence is Rise of the Tomb Raider, the timed exclusive that will be heading to Xbox One and Xbox 360 months before any other platform.
There might also be a few surprises up Microsoft’s sleeve. Since acquiring Rare in 2002, the developer has largely been tasked with developing Kinect titles and smaller games. Recent hints from Phil Spencer and ex-employees seem to indicate that the studio has now gone back to its roots and is developing a game that is more deserving of the famous Rare name. There’s plenty of IP to choose from, Banjo-Kazooie, Battletoads, Conker and Perfect Dark are all candidates and it will be exciting to see whether any of them are being brought back for a return on the Xbox One.
Apart from the main three manufacturers there is also plenty of games from the likes of Activision, Ubisoft, EA and others that could make significant appearances at E3.
Activision will no doubt focus much of their attention on the latest Call of Duty game. Blacks Ops III is due to release later in the year and the publisher will likely be dumping plenty of footage and information during their briefing about the latest title. Skylanders will most probably have a significant showing too thanks to its huge popularity, while the new Guitar Hero and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 could also feature.
2K Games has been teasing for several months that they will be announcing an AAA title at E3 this year, with speculation growing that it could well be Mafia III. The last game in the series was released in 2010, giving the publisher plenty of time to have developed a sequel for next-generation consoles. Recent teasers from the publisher also hint at a possible future BioShock game that could show up during the conference.
EA will arguably be the most busy of the major publishers. They’ll have information and trailers for all of their big sports franchises, including the likes of Madden and FIFA, but also plenty of other titles that could grab headlines. The biggest will certainly be Star Wars Battlefront, with the title set to be released alongside Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Another DICE developed game that will be detailed is Mirror’s Edge, the reboot was first announced last year and with any luck we’ll get to see some gameplay footage.
Other games from EA that they might highlight include the latest Need for Speed game. Rumors have persisted that the title could be a reboot for the franchise and take it back to what it made it so successful in the first place. On the other hand, BioWare have at least two projects under development, including the next Mass Effect instalment and an unannounced Star Wars title. There’s a good chance we might hear more about both games, along with whatever Star Wars game that Visceral Games have been working on since Battlefield Hardline.
Meanwhile Ubisoft has their hands full with a host of announced and unannounced games that might take center stage during their briefing. They have already announced games such as The Division, Rainbow Six Siege and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and will likely see much more of those but the French publisher could also surprise us with some other titles. It’s possible that a new Splinter Cell or Ghost Recon game could be announced, or perhaps another Rayman title.
Bethesda also look like they could be pretty busy. They are actually holding their own press briefing for the very first time and so much be looking to use that to announce some upcoming games. The latest Doom title that has been announced should get quite a lot of attention, with the publisher revealing whether it is a reboot or simply a sequel, but another highly rumored title that they might talk about is Fallout 4.