You could argue that with last night’s Stadia Connect and the reams and reams of pre-announcements, E3 is already here. In truth, we’ve barely even begun, with the expo only opening its doors on Tuesday and a weekend of press conferences and streams to look forward to before then.
We’ll have you covered throughout with news coverage, opinion pieces and preview – you can keep track of all of this in our E3 hub – but in the here and now, let’s take a look at the major press conferences and what we expect to see.
Saturday 8th June – 9:30 AM PST / 12:30 PM EST / 5:30 PM BST
EA are set for a rather subdued E3, or since they’ve been sidestepping the main show for the last few years, EA Play. With no opening press conference, they’ll be holding a string of 30 minute streams dedicated to a handful of already released games and predictable sports titles.
So there’ll be updates for Apex Legends’ Season 2, more news following on from Battlefield V’s Chapter 4 reveal and Pacific War teaser, something about The Sims 4 and, of course, FIFA 20 and Madden NFL 20.
The one exception is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the highly anticipated action adventure game from Respawn Entertainment. There’s a 30 minutes slot for this starting at 5:30 PM BST, with the promise of a gameplay demo as Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis and a band of other characters trying to survive on Bracca in the wake of Order 66.
Sunday 9th June – 1 PM PST / 4 PM EST / 9 PM BST
In the absence of arch-rival Sony, Microsoft are going all in on E3 with a 2 hour slot for their press conference that’s longer than previous years. Phil Spencer tweeted that they’ll be bringing a whopping 14 first party games. Of those, Gears 5 is a certainty, there’s the persistent rumours of a Fable game in development at Forza Horizon developer Playground Games, and fresh rumours point to Halo: Infinite being demoed on PC. It’s also coming up on a year since they acquired Ninja Theory, Undead Labs and Compulsion Games. Perhaps there’s already something to show from this trio?
Just finishing our final E3 rehearsal here with the team in Redmond. Feel really good about the briefing. Lots to show. We have 14 Xbox Game Studios games in the show this year, more first party games than we've ever had in the show. Fun times. #XboxE3
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 30, 2019
Alongside first parties, third parties will want too share Microsoft’s stage, and it would not be surprising in the slightest for games like Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Dying Light 2, and potentially even things like the long rumoured and leaked Harry Potter RPG to apparate.
But Microsoft is about much more than just Xbox consoles these days. The recent announcement that Xbox Game Pass will be coming to PC will be fleshed out at E3, that’s a certainty, and with the announcement of Google Stadia, Microsoft can immediately hit back by naming and detailing the roll out of Project xCloud. If they can build upon Xbox Game Pass‘ breadth of games and price it reasonably, Google will almost immediately be put on the back foot.
But even though Sony won’t be in attendance, their shadow looms large over the show. Their early teases about the technical capabilities of the next-generation PlayStation 5 sound impressive, and Microsoft did pay lip service to the next generation of console hardware at 2018’s press briefing with Project Scarlett. Ever since then, it’s been mooted that the company will take a two-pronged strategy for the next generation, and we could hear some details of those consoles at this point.
Sunday 9th June – 5:30 PM PST / 8:30 PM EST / 1:30 AM BST (Mon)
Quite a few of Bethesda’s cards are already on the table, with both Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Doom Eternal announced last year and out in 2019 – Youngblood is out on 26th July and Eternal is a Stadia launch title in November.
Perhaps the biggest thing that’s likely to be missing from Bethesda’s show is humility in the wake of the abysmal launch of Fallout 76. Just days ago Bethesda Director Todd Howard admitted to IGN that they knew the game was not going to be that well received at launch, but never came close to an apology. Still, Fallout 76 players might at least hope to see a renewed roadmap for the game
There’ll also likely be updates for The Elder Scrolls Online, Elder Scrolls: Blades and Quake Champions, but beyond that just one word is on people’s lips: Starfield. Will we see more of this game revealed at E3?
Sunday 9th June – 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST / 3 AM BST (Mon)
You can bank on one thing from Devolver Digital: insanity. Their 2017 “conference” was one of the more surreal things this side of three days of sleep deprivation and extensive drug abuse. 2018 was a little less strange, but still just as delightful.
Lots of games could appear, with My Friend Pedro’s release date announced in advance of the show, and games like The Talos Principle 2 and Serious Sam 4 in development. Expect weirdness between trailers.
PC Gaming Show
Monday 10th June – 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST / 6 PM BST
The PC Gaming Show has rarely grabbed the headlines in its first few years, but 2019 seems like it will be a good year for the show. The freshly announced Baldur’s Gate 3 from Larian Studios (of the critically acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin games) will be there, as will Rebellion to debut Evil Genius 2 and their “New Major Unannounced Title” that was leaked as Zombie Army 4, something within the Warhammer: Vermintide 2 universe will also debut and so much more.
In total 17 developers and publishers will be joining a PC-oriented showcase, which is an awful lot of space for some real surprises, even if the big guns will likely prefer Microsoft’s stage.
Monday 10th June – 1 PM PST / 4 PM EST / 9PM BST
E3 wouldn’t be E3 without a bunch of Ubisoft games leaking ahead of time. They got out the door early with Ghost Recon Breakpoint’s announcement (which did actually leak), coming out this October, but couldn’t stop Watch Dogs Legion from leaking. E3 will be the first that we see of the game, which will be set in a post-Brexit take on London, and with a fascinating mechanic where you can switch between other regular inhabitants of the city.
The other leaked game is Roller Champions, for a dramatic shift in tone, which apparently spins together Roller Derby and Rocket League, and loose lips have also sunk the surprise ships for Ubisoft Pass, a potential subscription service for their games akin to EA Access.
The things we can strike off the list are Beyond Good and Evil 2 and, having been delayed into 2020, online pirate combat game Skull & Bones, but you shouldn’t put it past Ubi to keep hold of at least one last secret. Perhaps it’ll be the next Assassin’s Creed and its rumoured viking setting?
Oh, there will obviously be a musical intro or interlude for Just Dance 20. Obviously.
Monday 10th June – 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST / 2 AM BST (Tues)
Final Fantasy VII Remake is bound to reappear at E3 2019, after Square and Sony shared a fresh look at the game’s stunning new visuals last month. For E3 we want to see more, from gameplay demonstrations to a release date announcements. Surely it can’t take that much longer?
Another major project is Square’s Avengers game. Coming from a partnership with Marvel at the start of 2017, and with Square putting substantial resources into developing a number of games from the license, we’ll see the fruits of Crystal Dynamics’ labour at E3 in a worldwide reveal.
Beyond that, Square have been teasing something called Outriders, which could have been another Avengers game, but isn’t – fans of the Marvel comics might remember the Outriders as part of Thanos’ army. Instead the Twitter account has laid out a fairly standard sci-fi plot where Earth is dying and we’ve sent people off to another planet using cryosleep.
>>Initialize Cryostasis wake-up procedure
See it first: >>> 06.10.19 <<<#SquareEnixE3 #E32019 pic.twitter.com/VVIo3CEazj
— Outriders (@Outriders) June 3, 2019
Tuesday 11th June – 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST / 5 PM BST
Nintendo have got another big E3 Direct ahead of them. A lot is already known about their 2019 line up, and there’s sure to be name drops of Super Mario Maker 2, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Daemon X Machina and PlatinumGames’ Astral Chain, all of which are out in the next few months.
Looking to the end of the year, Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing are both on the way, with Nintendo almost certain to show more of them both at E3. Could we also get a glimpse of Bayonetta 3 and Metroid Prime 4? The first is a possibility, but PlatinumGames have a huge number of games on their plate, and though Metroid Prime 4’s development has been rebooted this year, we could see another teaser.
Then again, they might prefer to focus on third parties. There’s some very credible and growing rumours that The Witcher 3 will be coming to Switch, they might also like to showcase the work of Bethesda with Doom Eternal, and so on.
Whatever Nintendo have planned, it’s sure to be an absolutely packed stream that reels from one trailer and announcement to another.
And that’s all before the actual show begins! Just to remind you, make sure to keep tabs on our E3 hub for all the latest news, features and previews as they appear over the next week and beyond.