For followers seeking to hear about the way forward for video games, E3 has at all times been an thrilling week. This 12 months, although, there’s a giant cloud hanging over the present. Two of the largest names within the trade aren’t holding their common press conferences; mega writer Digital Arts will as an alternative be reside streaming information and bulletins over the course of a weekend; and Sony isn’t simply forgoing a keynote, it’s skipping E3 altogether. On the similar time, the weeks main as much as E3 have been filled with main bulletins, from the following Name of Obligation and an odd array of Pokémon experiences, to long-awaited particulars on Google’s cloud gaming service and a launch date for Dying Stranding.

It has left some to ponder — and never for the primary time — whether or not E3 is even related any extra. Must you nonetheless be excited?

Effectively, even with out these two large names and their commanding presence, there may be nonetheless so much taking place in Los Angeles subsequent week. The absence of Sony has left a giant opening for Microsoft, whereas different platform holders like Epic and its fledgling PC video games retailer wish to make a splash. On prime of that, there’s the actual motive E3 is so enjoyable: the video games. We’re going to be getting our first real-look on the long-in-development Avengers sport, in addition to Nintendo’s anticipated return to Animal Crossing, the most recent Gears of Warfare, and the slick-looking Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from Respawn.

And that’s simply the stuff we learn about. Ubisoft likes to shock (multiplayer curler derby, anybody?), and with all of these new studios beneath its umbrella, Microsoft probably has loads of new titles to speak about. With the primary digital actuality keynote at E3, VR video games could have a giant presence as effectively, and there are additionally present titles preparing for giant updates: assume Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Monster Hunter World.

So yeah, E3 could be lacking a couple of large gamers, however there’s nonetheless going to be so much to soak up. Right here’s what to anticipate.

First particulars on the following Xbox

With no PlayStation to compete with, count on a giant drop from Microsoft. And what’s greater than a brand new console? Chances are high that the following Xbox received’t really be bodily current on the present, and we most likely received’t see a field or hear a last identify, not to mention value or launch date. However, in the identical approach Microsoft teased the Xbox One X (then Mission Scorpio) at E3 2016, we count on to listen to a) affirmation that the brand new console exists and b) some high-level specs and a broader philosophy. It’s the identical technique that Sony has used with the PlayStation 5, slowly dripping particulars forward of a giant, last reveal that’s nonetheless to return.

Photograph by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Cloud gaming’s buzz retains rising

The massive buzzword at this 12 months’s GDC was cloud gaming, primarily due to the disclosing of Google Stadia. That development continued forward of E3 when Google detailed the service’s launch value and video games simply yesterday. However Google isn’t the one participant on this house. Microsoft additionally has its xCloud platform, which can be a big a part of the corporate’s future gaming plans, and will have some type of presence throughout the Xbox E3 keynote.

Nintendo lastly reveals off Animal Crossing

For the previous few years, Nintendo has chosen a single sport as its major E3 focus. It began with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and continued with Tremendous Mario Odyssey and Tremendous Smash Bros. Final. This 12 months, count on that highlight to fall on the following Animal Crossing. (It probably received’t be Pokémon Sword and Protect, provided that Nintendo introduced new particulars for the Swap video games simply this week.) The animal-themed life sim can be a serious vacation sport for Nintendo, however we’ve got heard nearly nothing about it because it was introduced final 12 months. Although there received’t be hands-on alternatives with the sport, we nonetheless count on to study some precise particulars about it.

Gaming Industry Conference GDC Held In San Fransisco

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Pictures

Epic retains pushing its PC retailer

PC gaming hasn’t historically been a giant a part of E3, which leans extra in direction of the console house, however that appears to vary. And a giant motive for that’s Epic. The Fortnite developer can be headlining this 12 months’s PC Gaming Present keynote, which suggests we’ll be listening to extra about Epic’s video games retailer. That might imply new options to higher compete with Steam, and it’ll additionally most likely embody much more unique titles coming to the store.

Digital actuality will get a highlight

VR has at all times been current at E3, nevertheless it’s at all times felt largely like an afterthought. This 12 months, although, will mark the primary VR-centered keynote. Referred to as the E3 VR Showcase, the occasion is being placed on by fanatic web site Add VR. Don’t count on a lot in the best way of recent {hardware}, however as an alternative a wave of sport reveals, each large and small. “We’re going to be jetting off across the globe to satisfy VR devs of all styles and sizes, discuss to them about their newest tasks, and reveal them to you,” the occasion description reads.

Current video games get greater with expansions and updates

One of many largest modifications to video video games over the previous few years has to do with lifespan: we not play a sport as soon as after which overlook about it. As an alternative, they proceed to develop and alter over time. Which means a few of the most fascinating revelations at E3 can be about video games you’ll be able to already play. We’re going to listen to extra about Apex Legends’ (hopefully much-improved) second season, in addition to the primary main enlargement for Monster Hunter World, which simply so occurs to be Capcom’s best-selling sport of all time. And don’t be shocked if we get some Fortnite-related bulletins as effectively.

Final Fantasy 7 remake

Sq. Enix makes up for final 12 months

Final 12 months Sq. Enix held its first correct E3 keynote and, effectively, it was a little bit of a disappointment. (Until you actually like Kingdom Hearts.) However it seems just like the writer goes to make up for it with a minimum of two vital bulletins. For starters, we all know we’re going to get the very first have a look at the corporate’s mysterious Avengers sport, which is being helmed by Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics. And it additionally seems like we’re going to see extra of the much-anticipated remake of Remaining Fantasy VII, with many anticipating an precise launch date announcement.

Netflix strikes additional into gaming

Netflix has slowly been increasing its presence in video games, with the whole lot from the choose-your-own-adventure present Bandersnatch to online game iterations of Stranger Issues. The streaming firm can be on-hand at E3 for a panel dialogue about bringing Netflix properties into the world of video video games. It additionally guarantees there can be “a couple of surprises in retailer,” which hopefully means we’re getting a Russian Doll journey sport.

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