Technically, the E3 kicks off Tuesday, June 14, but we all know that much of the show’s biggest news will be announced before the show floor opens, at the parade of publisher “keynote” press conferences in the days prior to the show. With more and more publishers broadcasting live-streams, there will be more live content coming out of this year’s show than ever before. We’ve rounded up some of the biggest broadcasts, including all of the press conferences, so you can follow along the news as it happens, hassle-free.
June 12 (1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET)
As you may or may not have heard, EA backed out of E3 this year. Instead, it hosted its own fan event, EA Play, adjacent to the show. At its keynote, the publisher showed off the bevy of games EA promised to debut ahead of the event, including Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Madden NFL 17. There were, however, a few surprises.
Details of Titanfall 2, the highly anticipated follow-up to last year’s hit Titanfall, may have leaked in trailer form early Sunday afternoon, but that didn’t stop EA from dishing the details of Respawn Entertainment’s futuristic FPS. The publisher announced a tentative release date, Oct. 28, and debuted snippets ofTitanfall 2’s offline, single-player campaign.
The event’s sci-fi tilt continued with Mass Effect: Andromeda, the next major entry in the developer Bioware’s blockbuster Mass Effect series. The game is a prequel of sorts, EA said — players follow humanity’s journey out of the Milky Way in search of a new home. It’ll run on EA’s Frostbite engine, the same engine that underlies Star Wars: Battlefront, Battlefield 1, and the new Mirror’s Edge, and will grant players “more freedom” than any BioWare game before it. It is scheduled to land sometime next year.
Star Wars was next up. EA is prepping a new Battlefront title for launch next year, and Visceral games is working to finalize a “narrative” title set in the Star Wars universe by 2018. And separately, Respawn’s started work on a Star Wars action game of its own.
Battlefield 1, the newest entry in Dice’s titular Battlefield series, got a few moments of fame: EA debuted a new in-game trailer featuring zeppelins, planes, and tanks, horses, and motorbikes, and other WWI-era modes of transport. Dynamic weather’s in tow, said EA, plus “destruction physics” and “Ultimate Vehicles.”
Sports remain a steadfastly profitable arena for EA, so it wasn’t exactly surprising that the publisher gave the upcoming FIFA 17 some attention. A new trailer showcased “The Journey,” a single-player story mode, and a club managers mode. FIFA 17, like Andromeda, uses the Frostbite engine, and features new gameplay physics and an “artificial intelligence system” informed by data from real-life players.
Last but not least, EA debuted EA Originals, a publishing program for indie developers. Devs who partner get strings-free access to EA’s resources — the publisher’s not taking a cut from game sales. The first EA Original, Fe from Zoink studio, sees players take on the role of a bear cub that fights ominous baddies known as Silent Ones with musical melodies.
- “Titanfall 2″ suits up on Xbox One, PS4, PC in October
- EA is really going all-in on Star Wars
- “Battlefield 1” adds dynamic weather, “Ultimate Vehicles,” and a 3D map
- EA Originals announced, “Fe” will be the first game
June 12 (8:30 p.m. PT/11:30 p.m ET)
Elder Scrolls and Fallout series publisher Bethesda is the “new kid” in the E3 keynote crew. Returning for its second annual press conference, Bethesda had more to say about the games it announced last year, such as Dishonored 2, content updates for its current games, including Fallout 4 and Doom, and two surprise debuts: Quake Champions and Prey.
Bethesda started its press conference with a bang: it announced Quake Champions, the long-awaited follow-up to 2004’s Quake and the latest entry in the eponymous first-person shooter franchise. It, much like its predecessors, features arena-style gameplay at a breakneck pace — 120Hz with “unlocked framerates,” to be exact — and a “diverse” cast of characters with unique abilities and attributes.
Quake Champions wasn’t the only surprise Bethesda had in store: it announced Prey, a reboot of the 2006 3D Realms game of the same name. The accompanying trailer was appropriately cryptic.
Dishonored 2, the sequel to the well-received Dishonored, received mention. Bethesda highlighted the upcoming stealth shooter’s new engine and autonomous NPC characters, and debuted a new in-game trailer featuring one of the series’ new protagonists, Emily. And Bethesda’s Doom got attention, too. New DLC dubbed Call Unto The Evil packs a bevy of maps, weapons, and a new playable character. Separately this week, Bethesda is making the first level of Doom available for free.
Next up was news of upcoming Elder Scrolls and Fallout content.
Elder Scrolls: Legends, a free-to-play trading card game set in the universe of Bethesda’s mystical Elder Scrolls series, will feature a story mode and support for mobile platforms. Elder Scrolls Online, the publisher’s seven million players-strong multiplayer online game, is launching in Japan and gaining an update, One Tamriel, that will allow players to embark on quests regardless of their current level. And Skyrim, the last mainline Elder Scrolls title, is getting a remastered edition with improved graphics. It’s bound for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Fallout 4, Bethesda’s other flagship role-playing game, is getting downloadable content. The Contraptions Workshop DLC will let players build working machines with cogs, gears, and all manner of mechanisms in between. A new Vault add-on lets players assume the role of an Overseer, building and populating underground abodes with unwitting residents. Nuka-World Amusement Park adds a post-apocalyptic fun fair to the barren wasteland that is Fallout 4’s Boston. And next year will see Fallout 4 released on virtual reality platforms, Bethesda announced, starting with the HTC Vive.
Last but not least: Fallout Shelter, Bethesda’s breakout hit of a mobile spin-off, is heading to PC later this year.
- Bethesda Softworks reimagines Prey with Arkane Studios
- Doom getting multiplayer and snapmap DLC, free demo available for limited time
- Upcoming Fallout 4 content lets you tinker with experiments, your own vault, and more
- “Skyrim” is back on PS4 and Xbox One
June 13 (9:30 a.m PT/12:30 a.m. ET)
Microsoft kicked off E3’s de facto press conference day with big, in-depth looks at Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3, Scalebound, Halo Wars 2, Dead Rising 4, Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, Recore, and Minecraft. There was news, too, about Microsoft’s recent initiative, Play Anywhere, designed to bring Xbox and Windows 10 closer together. And last but not least, new hardware was in tow: Microsoft debuted the Xbox One S, a new console that’s smaller, 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) capable, and that packs significantly more storage than the Xbox One model currently on the market.
Missed Microsoft’s conference? Don’t sweat it. We’ve got a play-by-play recap of the whole thing.
The PC Gaming Show
June 13 (11 a.m. PT/ 2 p.m. ET)
Though it is a press event held during E3 press conference day, the E3 PC Gaming showcase gives a myriad of PC-only developers the chance to show off their games on the same big stage the console makers provide for their partners. This year, PC saw games like Boss Key’s Lawbreakers and Epic Games’ MOBA Paragon, among others.
June 13 (1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET)
For the first time in almost a decade, Ubisoft didn’t have a new Assassin’s Creed to headline its keynote presentation. To fill the void, the studio showed Watch Dogs 2, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, South Park: The Fractured but Whole, and For Honor, but the news didn’t stop there. Ubisoft let slip that Just Dance 2017 was bound for Nintendo’s secretive NX console, and it demoed a few VR titles on stage: Eagle Flight, which has players assume the role of predatory birds over Paris; and Star Trek: Bridge Crew. And the publisher announced Steep, an extreme snow sports game centered mostly around performing death-defying tricks with friends online.
June 13 (6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern)
Going into E3, Sony seemed to have more stuff to show than any other publisher this year. In addition to games like Gran Turismo Sport and Detroit: Becoming Human, it had more than a few blockbusters in store, including a new God of War game, and footage from the long-delayed The Last Guardian. Sony’s conference featured a bevy of PlayStation VR-supported titles, too: Resident Evil 7, Batman Arkham VR, Final Fantasy XV, and Farpoint. And the company took the opportunity to announce PlayStation VR’s availability: October 13, for $400.
We’ve got a full recap of Sony’s press conference on tap, if you’re interested.
June 14 (9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET) and June 15th (10 a.m. PT/1 p.m ET)
Watch live video from Nintendo on www.twitch.tv
While Nintendo will only show one game at E3 this year, the upcoming version of The Legend of Zelda, which will launch on Wii U and on its next-gen console, the NX, Nintendo will host two live-streams during the show so fans can see new footage of upcoming games Wii U and 3DS games. The Tuesday morning show, which takes place during Nintendo’s usual keynote slot, focused on The Legend of Zelda and Pokémon and Moon. A second stream during the show Wednesday will have sneak peeks at games like Monster Hunter: Generations, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past.
Updated on 06-15-2016 by Kyle Wiggers: Added details of Microsoft, Sony, and Ubisoft press conferences.
Updated on 06-13-2016 by Kyle Wiggers: Added details of Xbox One S.
Updated on 06-12-2016 by Kyle Wiggers: Added video of EA’s press conference and a summary of events.