E3 2018: What To Expect, Predictions & Potential Surprises

Between June 9 and June 14, 2018, gamers from around the world congregate at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. The last few years have been incredibly kind to gamers, with major innovations in both video game hardware and software demonstrating that the industry is moving forward into new and exciting ventures. New IPs like Horizon Zero Dawn and A Way Out showed the potential for meaningful artistic growth in the medium while the triumphant return of Mario, Link and Kratos proved that you can teach old dogs new tricks.

Overall, this is arguably the best time to be a gamer and the best part of each year for gamers is E3, where all the developers and companies roll out the red carpet and display all the shiny new toys gamers can play with sometime in the next 6-24 months. This year’s expo promises to be one of the biggest ever, with a slew of hypothetical reveals, game updates, and the so-called ‘E3 Coliseum,’ a lineup of panels and celebrity guests organized with the intent of hyping up the rest of the events.

Several companies have already set up press conferences, some of them live streamed, to discuss their upcoming projects and developments. Though not much has actually been confirmed, gamers have been shooting rumors left and right online about what could be presented from what company. While some are pretty outlandish (it’s safe to say that Half-Life 3 isn’t happening), many are quite credible and some are even confirmed. Here’s a streamlined outline of what you can expect coming out of E3 this year.

What To Expect From Sony:

The technology behind the PlayStation 4 isn’t obsolete yet, so rumors that PlayStation 5 is waiting in the wings are likely greatly exaggerated, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sony was already in the early stages of development on a new next-gen console. CEO Shawn Layden has confirmed that the June 11 conference will be centered on PS4 exclusive titles, such as the hyped Spider-Man game that was first revealed in 2017, the long-awaited Last of Us 2, and perplexing Hideo Kojima project Death Stranding.

One of the games that’s been thrown around Sony lately is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It’s been revealed that the game’s DLC will be PS4 exclusives, so the Most of these games already have release dates and some gameplay has already been revealed for a fair few of them, so don’t expect too many surprises from Sony this year. But it will be cool to see some more of these highly anticipated games before they finally come out.

What To Expect From Nintendo:

With the surprise success of the Switch, last year’s joyous return of both the Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises and the prospect of a new Smash Bros game on the horizon, Nintendo could present nothing but a dead turkey at their conference and still be one of the most popular companies in attendance. Fortunately, it looks like they might have one of the most interesting shows of the entire expo. Nintendo has already put forth that most of their conference will be focused on that Smash Bros game and may even feature some new character reveals, an exciting prospect if there ever was one.

Other topics of discussion will likely include the new Kirby and Yoshi games scheduled for a 2018 release on the switch as well as a follow up on both the Metroid Prime 4 tease that rocked the house at last year’s E3 and their promise to develop a new Pokemon game for the Switch. It’s also expected that Nintendo will unveil some new hardware, which may include new kits for Labo and Switch controller accessories. In terms of unconfirmed rumors, there have been rumblings about the potential of a new Star Fox game and a Fortnite port.

What To Expect From Microsoft:

At last year’s E3, Microsoft announced the Xbox One X only a few years after the release of the Xbox One. With two big hardware changes in a relatively small timeframe, it’s expected that this year’s Microsoft conference will focus primarily on new software and exclusive titles. One of the projects that might be brought up is the unnamed Fable game that Microsoft reportedly tapped Eurogamer Studios to design back in January 2018. It’s probably too early to see any game footage or a reveal trailer, but it wouldn’t be too much to expect a confirmation that it’s in development.

Other games likely to come up are the announced additions to the Halo franchise, a new Forza Horizon game, and the long-delayed Crackdown 3. It’s also suspected that Microsoft will briefly touch on HoloLens, it’s answer to the Oculus Rift VR device. So far, the only game that has been revealed for the device is an interactive Minecraft port which was cool but fairly insubstantial. There’s no confirmation that Microsoft will even address the device, but it would be good to see them invest more heavily in the project.

What To Expect From Developers:

Bethesda announced its presence at E3 2018 with figures representing its three tentpole franchises, Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Doom. It’s already been confirmed that Bethesda is considering two more games before finally focusing on Elder Scrolls 6 so mitigate your expectations on that one, but we’ll probably get a good look at the announced Elder Scrolls Online expansion Summerset. But with so many triple-A releases in the last few years, including Dishonored 2 and Wolfenstein 2: New Colossus, it’s unlikely they’ll display anything more significant than some DLC content or port announcements this year.

E3 2018 promises to be a big even for Square-Enix. It’s been three years since they announced the Final Fantasy 7 remake that they’re finally ready to showcase and Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to be the return to the classic Lara Croft that had been teased since the company rebooted the franchise in 2013. Though it’s not been confirmed to make an appearance, keep an eye out for a teaser of their Avengers game made in collaboration with Marvel Entertainment. Perhaps most exciting is the prospect of seeing Kingdom Hearts 3. The last legitimate Kingdom Hearts game came out in 2005 and fans have been subsiding on Square-Enix’s scraps ever since.

After the success of Assassin’s Creed: Origins last year, you’d think Ubisoft would have learned to let a franchise breath. But they’ve already announced that they’ll be discussing an upcoming Assassin’s Creed project as well as some new Tom Clancy adaptations they have on the backburner. Fortunately, the Ubisoft conference has a trump card: Beyond Good & Evil 2. It was one of the biggest reveals at last year’s E3 and 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the first game, so Ubisoft is expected to hype up this project to a high degree.

EA, currently the most hated gaming company still earning a profit, has already announced that its conference will focus on the new iterations of its many sport-centered franchises as well as the upcoming Battlefield V. Interestingly, the only other game EA has confirmed to be presenting is Bioware’s first new IP in over a decade, Anthem. Gameplay trailers for the RPG have already made the rounds online, but it’ll be interesting to see what EA chooses to say about the game, especially if they plan on implementing their loathsome loot-box mechanic into it.

Rockstar Studios is going to display Red Dead Redemption 2 and if you need to know more than that, you’re not gaming properly. Oh, and they’ll probably have some more stuff for GTA Online to show us. But seriously. Red Dead Redemption 2.

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