It's time. Time for trailers, for loud dubstep, countless Inception-style bass drops, and "Welcome to the new age" hammered into your ear drums for hours on end. It's time for at least one borderline-tasteless joke made by a corporate stooge, at least three trailers for games that look functionally identical, and Assassin's Creed Whatever-We're-On.
In other words, it's time for E3 2015. Gaming's most important trade-show hits Los Angeles next week, and I'll be there with my boots on the (scorching hot) ground. Here's what you need to know.
It starts Sunday
Don't forget: Thanks to Bethesda, E3 kicks off one day earlier this year.
Or one night earlier, really. Bethesda's press conference is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, June 14. I'll be sitting in the audience in Hollywood (probably making rude jokes on Twitter) but you can also stream the conference in the comfort of your living room thanks to Twitch.
DOOM, Fallout 4, maybe even a Dishonored sequel: It should be a pretty interesting year for Bethesda. Rumors include "Fallout 4 trailer directed by Guillermo del Toro," "Thirty minutes of Fallout 4 game footage," and "John Carmack appears onstage in his demon form and proceeds to burn the entire theater to the ground."
Okay, maybe not that last one. But take note, Bethesda and/or Carmack: I'd pay to see it happen.
It continues all day Monday
Did you remember to call in sick/invent a family emergency/arrange for someone to burn your office down on Monday?
If not, no worries—we'll be hitting you with coverage of the four major press conferences all day. It kicks off with Microsoft at 9:30 a.m. Pacific and continues until whenever Sony wraps up (typically between 7 and 8 p.m. Pacific). That's nearly twelve hours of dumb jokes, deafening music, and staged game demos to look forward to!
You can catch all four live through the magic of streaming video, provided Twitch doesn't dip quality and turn The Year's Biggest Trailer into a series of colored squares. Here are the official links and times:
- Microsoft (9:30 a.m. Pacific)
- EA (1:00 p.m. Pacific)
- Ubisoft (3:00 p.m. Pacific)
- Sony (6:00 p.m. Pacific)
My hope, like every year, is that there are a few surprises left. Publishers have already dumped off a few of the big surprises this month—Deus Ex, Fallout 4, XCOM 2—so…we'll see what's left. We're now nearly two years into the Xbox One/PS4 console cycle and the game lineups for both machines are still looking pretty sparse, so let's hope that pushes both companies to pull out some huge announcements.
So many press conferences
And it just keeps on going. Last year we only had the four major conferences on Monday. This year? Bethesda, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Nintendo, Square Enix, and...THE PC GAMING EXTRAVAGANZA. Or whatever it's called.
This'll be the first year with a dedicated PC gaming press conference, and I am pumped. The roster includes all sorts of companies we normally see marginalized at E3—Paradox, Devolver, Tripwire, Blizzard, Bohemia, Creative Assembly.
It's proof both that the PC is a strong platform and that there are a ton of great PC games that never get noticed because of the age-old fight over console exclusives.
We'll be there in the flesh, but again, you can stream the entire event if you'd like courtesy of our fellow PC evangelists (and event organizers) PC Gamer. Tune in Tuesday, June 16 at 6 p.m.
Hell freezes over...again
Here's what I said last year in our "longshot" category:
"Cue the Journey track. Some dreams will never die.
Half-Life 3 ? The Last Guardian? Fallout 4? A sequel to Red Dead Redemption? A new Tony Hawk? Don't hold your breath… but hope."
Two of those things came true this year, so you can bet your butt I'm praying for the rest to come true too. I mean, I think we can all agree it's high time for a Red Dead sequel.
Party like it's 2008
More predictable: We'll see another set of remastered games to pad a thin 2015 roster.
It's all-but-confirmed, considering we've already heard about the Uncharted collection on its way to PS4. If you think it's the only re-release set for E3 this year, I'm sorry. It's easy money for developers and publishers, especially on consoles with no backward compatibility.
If you don't like the trend (and I can't say I'm too psyched either), remember: For every exploitative cash-in, there's a Grim Fandango Remastered or a Homeworld Remastered Collection.
E3 is a console-focused show, so I can't really say whether we'll see a huge virtual reality presence this year. I'm sure that's why Oculus held its own press conference a week ahead of time.
But we could see something great. Two years ago at E3 was the first time I'd ever tried Oculus Rift, and last year I got to play the amazing Alien: Isolation VR demo (even if the final game shipped without official Rift support). I'm hoping Oculus has something similarly spectacular at E3—something that shows off the true potential of the Consumer Rift launching early next year.
After all, virtual reality is real now. It's time for us to start seeing some launch titles.
As for SteamVR…well, I don't expect to see Valve at the show. Valve's not really one for E3. Never has been. Even though SteamVR is closer to market (supposedly launching at the end of 2015) I don't think we'll hear even a peep during E3. Same goes for Steam Machines—E3's not the right venue. I'd expect to hear more from Valve during PAX, if anything.
Channeling John Henry
Other than that, you can expect us to be throwing up news and previews all next week. I've got meetings booked from an hour before the show starts every morning to two hours after it ends, so...there's a lot to cover.
Can't make it to the show? Like last year, Twitch will be streaming stuff from the show floor all day so you may experience E3 vicariously. You can also check out my Twitter feed, which I can guarantee will be full of up-to-the-minute news, impressions, snarky comments, and shots from the show floor. Anything you have questions about, feel free to comment or email/tweet at me before or during the show. We're here to serve you!
And when the dust settles, hopefully we'll have some games to look forward to. You know—aside from these ones we already know about. See you on the other side.