E3. The greatest time of the year. A time of hopes and dreams, of excitement and wonder, and of course, a time of awesome video games. Every year in the days leading up to E3, fans love to compile their lists of anticipated reveals and hot takes, and we here at The Outerhaven are no different. Here is everything I’m hoping to see at E3 2019.
EA Play has always been the black sheep of the E3 press conferences. Each year, EA holds its clearly most anticipated titles behind a sea of sports titles with a few surprising indie reveals sprinkled in for good measure. It felt like a show full of games not meant for the E3 audience. This year, EA is doing away with the press conference entirely, instead opting for smaller sessions focused on individual games. Because the schedule has already been revealed, it’s unlikely EA has any surprises in store for this year. All I want out of EA Play is a good showing of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Just give me an extended look at some gameplay and I’ll be happy.
2019 is Microsoft’s year. With their direct rival, Sony, being out of the picture this time around, the spotlight is entirely on them, especially with next-generation hardware looming over the horizon. Most of my hopes and predictions ideally take place during this press conference, and buckle up, because I have quite a few.
The conference will cold open with an extended look at Gears 5 gameplay, after which Phil Spencer will come out onto the stage (wearing a Rare t-shirt, but more on that later). He’ll give a classic Spencer speech about how Xbox is the best place to play, most powerful console in the world, Xbox Game Pass, all that jazz. The first thing shown after the speech, kicking off the first phase of the show, is Great Rune, the From Software developed game that George R.R. Martin reportedly consulted on. Some more third-party stuff will be shown, including a teaser for Kingdom Hearts III DLC, but the full reveal will take place at Square Enix’s presentation. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will also make an appearance, revealing a few new monsters in a short trailer.
The middle of the show is where things get exciting. Phil Spencer returns to the stage to detail Xbox Game Pass on PC. Game Pass on PC will be available immediately after the conference ends, and Game Pass as a whole will receive an influx of new titles, including Metro Exodus, which will show a trailer for its upcoming DLC, and a Call of Duty game of some sort, probably Modern Warfare Remastered. This PC focused segment will end with an extended look at Halo Infinite gameplay running on a PC, followed by a release window of Fall 2020. The first part of the Master Chief Collection, Halo Reach, will get a release date sometime in September, too. After the PC segment, the xCloud streaming service will be detailed, with public trials going live sometime this fall.
The final bit of the show has all the heavy-hitters, and here is where we’ll see the fruits of Microsoft’s recent studio acquisitions. Ninja Theory will show their rumored 4v4 title Bleeding Edge, Playground Games will unveil the return of Fable, which won’t be called Fable 4, but either Fable: Generic Reboot Title or simply Fable, and we’ll get a brief teaser of whatever The Initiative has been cooking, which will be a third-person action adventure game similar to Uncharted or the recent God of War. Cyberpunk 2077 will be shown off and given a release window of Spring 2020. Ori and the Will of the Wisps will get a new trailer and be released immediately after the show. Before Phil Spencer closes the show, he says there’s one more thing to show. The screen cuts to black, and then the Rare logo appears. What follows is a trailer for a brand new Banjo Kazooie game releasing this fall, and this is not the last time we’ll see the bear and bird this week.
Bethesda has a lot of questions to answer, and they’ll answer none of them. Todd Howard will be just as smug as last year, but it won’t come across as cute this time around. The show will open with Doom Eternal, which will be the bread and butter of the entire presentation. The game will have some Google Stadia exclusive functionality, but this will impress nobody. Both Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot get a shout out because they’re out next month. Then, to everyone’s surprise, Shinji Mikami will take the stage and announce a new Evil Within game, which won’t be The Evil Within 3, but rather a spin-off that will be out this fall.
And then, there’s the Fallout 76 segment, which will be incredibly awkward for everyone involved. Todd Howard will detail the game’s upcoming content updates through the fall, and then he’ll reveal the game’s first major expansion, which will drop this holiday and excite nobody. The Elder Scrolls Blades and The Elder Scrolls Legends will be shown as well, as will The Elder Scrolls Online, and people will be checking the clock to see how much time is left in the presentation.
The conference will close with a gameplay trailer for Rage 2‘s first expansion, which will receive a release date of early August.
My Friend Pedro already got a release date (it’s out this month), so I’m good. Of course, there will be wacky antics like every year with Devolver, and I’m definitely looking forward to that. Just make sure you’re caught up on the lore (I’m not kidding) before you watch this one.
VR finally has its own time in the spotlight, and the folks over at UploadVR have prepared quite the show this year, with over 30 world premieres confirmed to be happening. I think we’ll see some trailers for upcoming Oculus exclusives Stormland, Lone Echo 2, and Asgard’s Wrath, with all three getting release dates. Rebellion is definitely showing Sniper Elite VR here. It’ll be the perfect way for this game to get some attention before its release. Survios will probably show its upcoming Walking Dead game due later this year, and call me crazy, but I think there’s a chance Sony might debut a brand new PlayStation VR title here considering they’re not going to be at E3 this year. It’d be a nice way to still have some sort of presence at the show, and the PSVR accounts for a large portion of the VR community, so it could totally happen. They’ll probably save it for a future State of Play, but you never know!
PC Gaming Show
The PC Gaming Show has always felt like a side event since its inception back in 2013, but this year’s event is sponsored by the Epic Games Store, so there are definitely more eyes on the show than ever before. That also means a ton of exclusive games, which will upset a lot of people. There’s no telling what we’ll see at the PC Gaming Show, but I still have a few predictions. Rebellion will show off Sniper Elite 5, and Epic Games will show off a few high-profile indies that will find their way onto the Epic Games Store later this year. This show has always been small-scale, but now that Epic is sponsoring it, there’s a possibility we might see some heavy hitters at this year’s PC Gaming Show, but only time will tell.
In classic Ubisoft fashion, we pretty much know everything we’re going to see at this press conference. Watch Dogs Legion will be the focus of the show, and they’ll save it for the end. They’ll probably open with their leaked new IP Roller Champions, and then follow up with some new Ghost Recon Breakpoint information. They reportedly have two new games to show, one being a small-scale RPG and the other being a cooperative Rainbow Six game, and I’m a huge fan of Rainbow Six Siege, so sign me right up. I don’t think Beyond Good and Evil 2 will make an appearance, but I do think that we’re getting a new Rayman game. Ubisoft is hosting a Rayman speedrun leading up to their conference, and the timing seems too perfect for them to not at least mention Rayman. If Ubisoft doesn’t though, someone else will, but we’ll get to that later.
Square Enix’s presentations in the past have been, well, not great. This year, however, they’ve taken Sony’s timeslot, so they’re prime time now. Luckily, it seems like they can bring the heat. We already know for sure that we’ll see Final Fantasy VII and Marvel’s Avengers, but I feel like they have a few more surprises up their sleeve. I think Final Fantasy VII will be released this winter, at least the first episode, and Avengers will follow in late spring. There’s not much else I think we’ll see at this presentation, but I do think Square will end with a bang, with the reveal of Final Fantasy XVI, which will be a return to classic fantasy and feature a pixel art style similar to Octopath Traveler. I also think Final Fantasy XIV will make it’s way to Xbox One and maybe Nintendo Switch to coincide with the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion.
Nintendo is always a fun one to predict because they just announce whatever they feel like announcing. I think this year will bring some bad news, because Animal Crossing will end up being delayed to Spring 2020. After delivering that message to disappointed fans, Nintendo will bring the heat with some fantastic announcements, beginning with SNES games coming to Nintendo Switch Online. Two new styles will be revealed for Super Mario Maker 2, and they’ll be Super Mario Bros. 2, which will be available at launch, and Paper Mario, which will be available as a free content update this fall. Astral Chain will get a demo on the eShop immediately following the Direct, but that’s not all that will be available. Cadence of Hyrule will be shadow dropped right after the Direct, as will Ori and the Blind Forest after a surprise reveal. Phil Spencer will then make an appearance in the Direct, and then we’ll see a new trailer for the previously announced Banjo Kazooie game, which will also be available on Switch. Then, to make up for the delay of Metroid Prime 4, Nintendo will be releasing the Metroid Prime Trilogy on Nintendo Switch later this year.
Of course, it wouldn’t be E3 without a new Smash character, and Nintendo isn’t pulling any punches this year. Banjo will be joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster immediately after the Direct, but that’s not all. We’ll also see a trailer revealing Rayman, but he won’t be available until August. These will be the final announcements to close out the Direct.
As always, these are just my personal predictions. Some of them are educated guesses, but most of them are just me wishing for things. In the end though, that’s what E3 is all about. If you want to check out what some of the other members of The Outerhaven would like to see at E3, you can check out what Keith is looking forward to or what Josh is looking forward to.