It's June, and that means it's time for E3. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is coming back to Los Angeles, and I'll be there (with plenty of support from our reporters back in New York). The announcements start this weekend, but between leaks and speculation, there's already plenty to discuss.
No New Consoles
While Sony has recently said the PlayStation 4 is nearing the end of its life cycle, PlayStation 5 at E3. Game console life is long, and the PS4 is not dying out any time soon; developers are still busy wringing every ounce of power out of the hardware, producing fantastic-looking games like God of War. Do not expect even a hint of the PS5 until at least E3 2019.
Microsoft is in an even more tenuous boat. The Xbox One X is still fresh, and was pushed as a more significant upgrade to the PS4. Considering the system's position, and Microsoft's continued push for Windows 10 cross-compatibility and PC gaming on its own store, there will not be an Xbox Two, Xbox 720, Xbox One Plus, or whatever it calls the next one.
Flagship games, meanwhile, tend to be a wild card. The PS4 and Xbox One have the very strong third-party offerings, and the major publishers tenders for Microsoft and Sony. The Nintendo Switch: Year Two
The Nintendo Switch is a year old, so we're not getting new Nintendo hardware, but the device had an amazing first year, with several amazing new games and ports of fantastic Wii U games.
Super Mario Odyssey stands as one of the best Mario games yet, and Breath of the Wild was a format-changing revelation on the classic series.
The Switch version of Super Smash Bros. Nintendo hands-on opportunity at the show. The fourth Smash game was released on the Wii U and 3DS, and it's still clear if this will be an enhanced port on the Switch, or if it's Smash 5.
We know Metroid Prime 4 is in the works, but it probably will not be at the show. Nintendo is very cagey with its big names, usually waiting for stream a Nintendo. Expect to see a few announcements, though, even if they're just more Wii U ports. The Ubisoft and Square-Enix: Assassin's Creed and More
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey has been confirmed, taking the improved mechanics of Assassin's Creed: Origins and adding even more RPG elements. Retailer leaks also have fans holding out for a new Splinter Cell, another previous tentpole franchise for Ubisoft. On the top of that, The Division 2 will be shown off, and hopefully we'll see more about Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Square-Enix will not be showing the Final Fantasy 7 remake at E3. Let's get that out of the way. It will, however, show off a new season of content for Final Fantasy 15, and possibly a new expansion for the MMO Final Fantasy 14.
The really big games it'll be showing off, though, will be Kingdom Hearts 3 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Kingdom Hearts 3 has been in development for ages, and will hopefully wrap up the series' convoluted story. Shadow of the Tomb Raider Tomb Raider / Rise of the Tomb Raider Thematic trilogy, but like God of War before it, ending one cycle will probably just start another, even more interesting one.
EA and Activision: Big Shooters and No Surprises
EA's Battlefield V and Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 have already been announced. Both are their respective publishers' major non-sports franchises, and they will be pushed hard at E3. They are primarily multiplayer, both are well-established, and neither look like they are going to throw up big mechanical formula changes.
On the more sci-fi end, Activision will probably show off a major expansion or update to Destiny 2, and EA will likely give us a closer look at its Bioware-developed shooter Anthem. Anthem looks visually stunning, but little has been announced about how it will play. Hopefully it will come together more at E3.
Sports will be the usual fare-new FIFA, new Madden, etc. EA Captain's Convention
Monster Hunter XX (the updated version of Monster Hunter Generations for the 3DS). The Monster Hunter The Monster Hunter The Monster Hunter The Monster Hunter is a monster, Resident Evil 2 is confirmed, so there are a lot of big Capcom names that could show up at E3. Capcom is still holding DMC5 close to its vest, but that just screams major E3 announcement. The big wild card is the RE2 remake, or even a new Resident Evil game.
Bethesda: Fallout 76 and Elder Scrolls 5.9999
The cat's out of the bag for a new Fallout game from Bethesda. Fallout 76 has been announced, with little information and lots of caveats that will not be the same. This implies spinoff, either with a more guided and action-focused single-player campaign or an online-only survival game.
Skyrim is several years old and has not gone through but ll see The Elder Scrolls 6 at E3. Bethesda recently rolled out a new expansion to The Elder Scrolls Online, so it could focus on promoting its MMO. It would be great to see a new massive single-player RPG that takes place in Tamriel, though. If we see it, it will just be a tease for a 2019 release.
Doom 2 is a good opportunity. Doom was a surprise hit, and there's definitely room for more insane violence in Bethesda's library.