E3 2016 is almost upon us. Developers and publishers from all over the world will be descending on Los Angeles to share their work and get those hype-trains rolling.
This year, more than any other, we are seeing changes in how the industry sees and utilises E3 to speak to their fans. Already, EA and Activision Blizzard have stated that they are not attending, with Disney Interactive and Wargaming following suit to confirm they won’t have booths this year. So what can we expect from this year’s event then, and what major announcements will top what has come before? We here at Big Red Barrel Towers have some ideas…
12 June, 21:00 GMT
Jamie – If there’s one thing I’ve realised over the past few years it’s that EA is almost too predictable with its press conferences and, 2016 will probably be no different. As far as I can say it’ll probably go something like Star Wars, Titanfall 2, Sports, Sports, Mobile, Sports, Sports, Battlefield 1. Also, where is the Criterion game you showed concept art of in 2014, EA? Give us that.
Kath – It seems likely that EA will try to expand the Access Vault, maybe adding Star Wars: Battlefront to the list to outweigh all those sports titles…
We have to get some Mass Effect: Andromeda news! A game-play trailer is possible, given that some testing footage was leaked several months ago. Even a CG trailer would be great if it reveals more about the game’s protagonist.
Tim – We will probably get details on the big game sequels everyone wants to hear about – Peggle 3 and Plants vs Zombies 3! Also, we will possibly get details on a new Dead Space game. I expect to see a playable (i.e. in-game) portion of Mass Effect: Andromeda also.
Coleman – I know Star Wars: Battlefront doesn’t have the staying power to keep me hooked and that Amy Hennig is working on (what I assume is) a story driven title set in a Galaxy Far Far Away… I’d like to see just what we can expect. Oh and if EA could tie that reveal into Star Wars: The Force Unleashed’s titles coming to Xbox One’s backwards compatibility, well that would just be ace.
PacManPolarBear – I think Battlefield 1 will be EA’s big game of the night. Mass Effect: Andromeda will be the next biggest, with probably a minute or two used to talk about Titanfall 2. They will also continue to try and convince us that Battlefront is a game worth returning to after we all abandoned it. Don’t expect any surprises.
Diarmuid – Outside of the usual sports titles, I expect to see lots of footage from both Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. However, what will make my socks roll up and down would be a new Star Wars game reveal, preferably Amy Hennig’s project.
Bleezeyboy – I won’t lie, I’m a fairly big fan of EA’s press conferences. Sure, they’re predicable and it’s just franchise after franchise but I enjoy what they do and I’m always excited to see they’re next line-up. I’m thinking game-play (maybe) of Mass Effect: Andromeda, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2 and possibly a new Sims game. FIFA/Madden/NHL are a given.
As for outside chances – I’d still throw my wallet for a Battlefield Bad Company 3 or a Mass Effect Trilogy remaster. And they must have a Peggle 3 in the works.
13 June, 03:00 GMT
Tim – I fully expect to see a new Elder Scrolls title, although I would prefer a new engine and a new IP announcement. Considering how well Wolfenstein and Doom went down, I’m keen to see what old-school shooter Bethesda publishes next!
Diarmuid – After the success of Wolfenstein and Doom, could Quake see a revival? Possibly, but it may be too soon to reveal it if it’s a id Software joint.
Coleman – Bethesda have seen a fair bit of success lately with Fallout 4 nabbing many Game of the Year awards (including our own) and Doom finding much critical triumph since releasing last month. However, I can’t foresee the same accolades showering over the fan favorite’s next confirmed titles. I mean Dishonored 2 will probably do well and there’s a Hearthstone-style card game on the way but nothing that looks as if it will score the same praise as those that came before.
Now here’s usually where I’d follow up with a need for a new Elder Scrolls title but it’s too soon after a Fallout release and ES Online had kind of muddied the waters for me. That’s why I’d like to see something new from Bethesda this year.
Bleezeyboy – I love Bethesda’s games; however, I’ve only really come into it recently. The online game I can think of that hasn’t had a recent outing is Elder Scrolls, Skyrim came out in 2011 so I’d put my money on an Elder Scrolls 6 (I think, whatever number comes after Skyrim).
Jamie – Bethesda is a tricky one as it’s only their second outing to E3. They’ve been on top form recently with Wolfenstein, Fallout 4 and Doom so it’s hard to say what they’ll have up their sleeves. Dishonored 2 game-play is a definite, but I’m wholly predicting The Elder Scrolls Online going fully free-to-play.
Kath – Future DLC for Fallout 4 may be on the cards, with rumours of a ‘Nuka-World’ expansion. Visits to a post-apocalyptic theme park, perhaps?
PacManPolarBear – Bethesda’s big game of the night will be Dishonored 2. Their big surprise will be either a new Quake or showing off Prey 2.
13 June, 17:30 GMT
Coleman – 2016 started off with a delay to my most anticipated Xbox title Scalebound, so I’d like to see some more on that game ahead of it’s 2017 release.
There’s also rumors of two new versions of the Xbox One in the works, a (much needed) slimmer model and then a more powerful console that will follow the new slimmer model. Having the console the size of a betamax player sitting away from my other systems due to it’s size and need for it’s own shelf, has always bugged me. So let’s see the console get a reduction in size and maybe even a price cut to help it along into more homes.
Kath – A new iteration of the Xbox One is sure to be announced soon, likely following the pattern of the 360’s slim. I’m probably one of the very few who like the huge, heavy, block aesthetic…
In terms of exclusives, let’s hope for some Scalebound and ReCore action! ReCore’s CG trailer from last year’s conference presented an intriguing concept that would definitely benefit from some decent length game-play footage.
Jamie – After the backwards compatibility bombshell that Phil Spencer dropped at E3 last year I foresee a massive amount of new backwards compatible games to be announced and dropped on the day of E3. We’re still waiting on things like Red Dead Redemption, Skyrim, Mass Effect 2/3 and BioShock to name a few. Hopefully we’ll be playing some of them on our Xbox Ones in a few weeks.
Xbox Game Preview has been great so far with the likes of Ark: Survival Evolved, Prison Architect, Subnautica and The Long Dark. I’m anticipating a few more surprising announcements of games we never thought we’d see coming to console, but more than anything I’m pining for news on when DayZ and Starbound will be making an appearance.
PacManPolarBear – Microsoft will definitely show off Gears of War 4 and Halo Wars 2. We’ll be interested in their latest HoloLens demo for a hot minute then forget about it as all the other pressers talk about VR. Maybe they showcase Scalebound despite its delay. The big surprise will be anything related to the rumored in-between “Scorpio” Xbox One console.
Bleezeyboy – Now, I’ve had to think a lot about this, there are two sides to this, the games I want and what’s actually likely. I think we’ve got a high chance of seeing a Forza game on the horizon (hehe, get it? Forza Horizon 3) and Halo Wars 2 (yay, more Halo) – I think we’re likely to see a teaser for Halo 6 on the back of this. I’m also really intrigued with ReCore – a simple looking game with an adorable little robot dog that I’ve heard nothing about since E3 last year. Also, I think there’s another Gears of War game soon, so I expect to see that.
Finally, outside chance – Crackdown 3, simply because it’s been a really long time and no information.
Tim – I expect to see details on some new hardware, but I’d expect this to be a “slim” model rather than a major overhaul. Microsoft will probably have surprisingly sparse details on Oculus and Hololens integration.
Diarmuid – There are already rumours of Xbox Slims, Xbox streaming sticks and Xbox TV boxes so I think we’re sorted on the hardware front. In terms of software, Gears will lead the way.
13 June, 20:00 GMT
Bleezeyboy – I’m not a PC gamer really; I don’t have anything powerful enough to play on, so this is pure guess work based on what the internet is expecting. A lot of VR based games is a given.
For the outside chance – Half Life 3, I don’t want to play it, honestly I don’t much see the appeal. But just so commenters lose their favourite conspiracy theory.
Diarmuid – With Microsoft making major strides to incorporate Xbox into PC gaming, I expect them to feature here. I also expect more footage from LawBreakers and Hearts of Iron IV.
Kath – Competition between Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will probably see a focus on adding to the VR games lineup.
Coleman – HALF LIFE 3 CONFIRMED! Yeah, I’ve got nothing. I’m just holding on to hope that this year’s PC Gaming show is more entertaining than the last.
Tim – They will probably have countless new graphics cards to show off. Also, Half Life 2: Episode 3 for Oculus will happen!
13 June, 21:00 GMT
PacManPolarBear – Ubisoft will take an obnoxious The Division victory lap and lay out the road-map for the next year. Hopefully with a crowd member mocking their bug riddled patches and delays. Ghost Recon: Wildlands will be their big game this year. I expect For Honor and Watch Dogs 2 to get a mention as well. Not expecting any big surprises. Do expect a proud French man to explain all of this in broken English to a crowd of Americans.
Coleman – With Assassin’s Creed taking a year off, I don’t think 2017’s iteration will make an appearance just yet as Ubisoft tends to follow a “reveal to release” (with the one E3 in between). Obviously we’ll be getting a look at confirmed titles like Ghost Recon Wildlands, along with support to existing titles like The Division – there’s also the all but confirmed reveal of the 2014 release Watch Dogs.
What I want to see from Ubisoft this year though is something I’ve been asking for each year and still seeing nothing of, Beyond Good and Evil 2!
Diarmuid – If there is one press conference that has become a little formulaic, it’s Ubisoft’s. We will undoubtedly get more of Ghost Recon Wildlands and For Honor, with either the new Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs 2 to finish the show.
Kath – Ubisoft have marked 2016 as a quiet year for Assassin’s Creed, but we may see some news on the confirmed Watch Dogs sequel that will, fingers crossed, build upon the first game’s shortcomings.
Bleezeyboy – I think Ubisoft will keep with what works for the most part, mainly Aisha Tyler – some love her, some hate her, she was so much better than Mr Caffeine. But I think she’s coming back this year regardless. I actually forgot about a lot of what Ubisoft had last year. The only thing I’ve got is Ghost Recon Wildlands – The cross of The Crew, The Division and Just Cause 3, I do hope we get to see more of that madness. Also, I want another Driver game, nuff said.
As for outside chances – Watch_Dogs 2, I think the first game got a bit of a rubbish reception. It wasn’t a bad game, it was an interesting concept but the protagonist was so dull and the game was just kind of average. If they did make a sequel, I really hope they learnt from this.
Tim – A new Assassin’s Creed game to tie in with the film will likely get announced and shown. We will also get details on Watch Dogs 2.0 and Ghost Recon Wildlands.
14 June, 02:00 GMT
Kath – The new PlayStation 4 model seems a likely focus for Sony’s conference, and a big selling point will potentially be its stronger capability with Project Morpheus.
Since the sad demise of the Kojima-Reedus collaboration that was to be P.T., Hideo Kojima has recently confirmed his work on an upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive. News on what, exactly, it’s going to be would certainly pull in those Kojima fans.
Bleezeyboy – I’m not great with PlayStation exclusives/franchises, so forgive me if some of this is a little generic. VR is coming! We all know it to be true. The Last of Us 2, I think the first one was amazing (from the little bit I’ve played) and it’s not unheard of for a well-received game to get a sequel (gasp). I also think the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is going show game-play to its adoring fans, or, like my friend last year, screaming, shouting expletives and then not caring about the rest of the conference. Oh yeah, as No Man’s Sky has been delayed, I hope we get to see some more – and possibly find out what you do (apart from look around).
Outside chance – I don’t really have one, so any surprise game I will happily take credit for
Coleman – VR! Yeah we’ll probably get a bunch of PlayStation VR info, not just this E3 but for every show in 2016. Having already made my pre-order on Sony’s headset, I’m not too interested in what’s coming to the hardware just yet (having already been shown so much in the way of launch titles).
I think more updates on Final Fantasy VII Remake, Shenmue and The Last Guardian are pretty likely, but I’d like to see more of what Rockstar have in store for the PlayStation stage. Could we finally see the long-promised campaign DLC for Grand Theft Auto V? A new IP from the company? Or maybe the Red Dead Redemption sequel finally… yeah that, do that please.
Diarmuid – With PlayStation VR releasing in a few months, I expect to see a bevy of full launch titles for the device. We’ll also hear about more games that have VR compatible modes included too.
Tim – There won’t be a massive amount of surprises – not as many as last year at least. They will likely focus on PlayStation VR with more in-game trailers and release dates announced.
Jamie – Let’s be realistic, we’re going to see a lot of PlayStation VR this year at Sony’s conference. Whilst a lot of people are on board with the idea, I’m still on the fence. It would take something big to get me on board the VR train and I’m hoping we’re going to see something that will do just that.
PlayStation Now is something I’m not willing to touch after backwards compatibility was launched on the Xbox One. I get the feeling Sony are going to go back to the drawing board with it and do something similar to Microsoft (and honestly, if they did, I’d be completely on board). Also, where are our PlayStation 1 games?!
PacManPolarBear – Sony are guaranteed to show off Call of Duty and No Man’s Sky. No chance they won’t. More Final Fantasy VII Remake info seems pretty likely too. They might mention Tomb Raider (no longer an Xbox One/PC exclusive) coming to the PS4. The Last Guardian will show up again. I’d bet that a new (Norse?) God of War is one of their big games. The big surprise will probably by whatever Naughty Dog has up next (The Last of Us 2?) and anything related to the rumored in-between “NEO” PS4 console.
Finally, the Vita will get zero love.
By the way, the header image for this article was created by our own Bleezeyboy and it is awesome. Here is the full thing so you can appreciate it fully.