Even though 2017 is but a tiny sapling, it’s never too early to start looking forward to the biggest event in the video games calendar: E3.
Taking place from June 13-15 in sunny Los Angeles, it’s where all the big guns announce their exciting new games. This year we’ve also got the bonus of new hardware, with Nintendo’s Switch making its E3 debut and Microsoft’s Xbox One successor – Project Scorpio – being fully unveiled. June is set to be an early Christmas for fans. Here’s everything we’d love to see.
Sony at E3 2017
Games, games, games: The Last of Us Part 2, God of War, Spider-man, and more
Sony will go into E3 2017 as the clear market leader, the PlayStation 4 being multiple millions ahead in the console sales war. Without any new hardware to launch, however, the platform holder will have to focus on games. 2016 saw the release of PlayStation VR and PlayStation 4 Pro, meaning the company is done on that front for a while.
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Expect lots and lots of games. The big names we already know about are The Last of Us Part 2, Spider-Man, Days Gone and Detroit: Become Human. All should be given gameplay demos or trailers to whip the crowd into a frenzy. If Sony is to stop PlayStation VR going the way of PlayStation Move, we’ll have to see more VR titles too. Hopefully it won’t stretch the dev studios too thin.
Death Stranding is shown off as a game rather than a bizarre art project
Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding is unlikely to be a sales juggernaut when it finally releases, but it’s without a doubt one of the most talked about games coming to the PlayStation 4. So far, Sony has used every event possible to show off the game, such is the draw of Kojima amongst fans.
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If the game isn’t at E3 2017, let’s just say we’ll be more confused than we were after watching the first trailer. Fingers crossed Kojima actually shows gameplay, too, even if it’s just the briefest of glimpses and surrounded by images of half-naked people, babies and Guillermo del Toro.
Final Fantasy VII Remake reappears
Do you remember when Sony showed off The Last Guardian, Shenmue 3, and Final Fantasy VII Remake all during the same E3 2015 conference? It was hard to believe, but it really did happen. Now Final Fantasy XV is out (although still being tweaked/added to) E3 2017 will be the ideal place for Square Enix to give the hype-fueled fans a new look at what’s being done with the Final Fantasy VII remake. XV has generally been well received, so we’re pretty hopeful that the remake we’ve craved for so long will live up to the hype.
Microsoft at E3 2017
Project Scorpio breaks cover
There’s a chance we’ll see something of Microsoft’s next console, Project Scorpio, ahead of E3 2017, but E3 is the best event for the unveiling to make a big splash. We already know that the machine is a 6 teraflop monster, aimed at delivering true 4K gaming, but we have no idea how much it will cost and when we’ll be able to buy one.
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With Sony’s PS4 Pro already on the market, Microsoft will hopefully have seen what worked and what didn’t, and have a presentation that provides plenty of much needed information as well as impressive graphics.
What games will launch with Project Scorpio?
New hardware is great, and we all want Scorpio to deliver the goods, but it’s just a shiny new box unless the games arrive alongside it. We already know that all Xbox One games will work on Scorpio, so a lot of existing titles (Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, etc) should get a bump into native 4K. If Microsoft really wants to generate buzz around Scorpio it’ll need to show off new games looking significantly better, which might be tricky considering the company has already stated that all Scorpio games will run on Xbox One. It’s not impossible, though. PC gamers have always benefitted from their games featuring improved effects, textures, shadows and the like.
E3 is the time to impress us, Microsoft!
A new Halo and something original from Rare?
Microsoft loves to pack the end of the year with new AAA releases. We’re almost guaranteed to see Forza Motorsport 7 revealed at E3 2017 for a September release, but what else does the platform holder have up its sleeve? A new Halo is a possibility, given that Halo 5 launched in October 2015, but maybe Halo 6 is being too optimistic. We wouldn’t turn our noses up at a Halo 3 remake, though. Plus, playing that iconic music inside the conference hall will guarantee E3 2017 gets off to a great start (bonus points for a choir and orchestra).
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Crackdown 3, Scalebound, Sea of Thieves, and Halo Wars 2 should all be out by the time we get into the busy holiday season, so what else could spearhead Scorpio’s launch? Rare, the studio working on Sea of Thieves, is pretty big. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if another project is in development there. Wishful thinking, but it would be a brilliant way for Microsoft to gain fanboy points at E3 2017.
Nintendo at E3 2017
Switch’s honeymoon period is over
By the time E3 2017 rocks up in June we’ll hopefully have been playing Nintendo’s hybrid console handheld for a good three months. By that time we’ll have exhausted the launch line-up and be desperate for new games. If Nintendo is to avoid another Wii U level disaster it has to deliver a stronger and more frequent exclusive portfolio of games than the competition.
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If we assume the leaks are accurate, we already know about the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a new Super Mario, and reworked versions of Splatoon and Mario Kart 8, but Nintendo fans really want to see some of the neglected classics return. We’re talking about Metroid and F-Zero. Please show off new entries in these two cherished franchises, Nintendo. We’ll love you more than ever if you do.
Third-party woes or unique partnerships
Sony and Microsoft will always have third-parties to rely on, delivering the likes of Call of Duty, Destiny, FIFA, Fallout, and more. Nintendo will try to court these publishers, but it’s going to be tricky considering the relative power of Switch in relation to PS4/PS4 Pro and Xbox One/Scorpio. Rumours of a Rabbids RPG starring Mario characters suggests that Nintendo is being more open with its prized properties, so collaborations aren’t out of the question. Ubisoft has always been a big supporter of Nintendo platforms (even the Wii U), but hopefully others will follow this time. Call of Luigi and FIFA Mario All-Stars, anyone? We can dream.
EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft and the rest at E3 2017
A lot of the big E3 2017 announcements will come from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, but we expect to see a lot of cool new games from the industry’s mega publishers. EA will likely host its own event again, and if we don’t see an extended look at Visceral Games’ Star Wars project we’ll frankly be very sad. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is more or less a given, though, so that’s something to look forward to alongside FIFA 18. Ubisoft usually has something special up its sleeve at E3, and this year we’re betting on a big demo of the next Assassin’s Creed. If the team gets it right, this could be the star of E3 2017.
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Bethesda will likely have something to say about that, though. The publisher is looking to go even bigger than its previous two impressive E3 line-ups. Prey and Quake Champions are the only two upcoming games we know about at this point, but surely it’s time for a proper new Elder Scrolls game and another entry in the Wolfenstein franchise. Capcom, not one to host its own event at E3, may well make some announcements via Sony and Microsoft, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Square Enix reveal Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
All in all, E3 2017 is set to be quite the event.