Tech2.Games S01E05: Pre-3 2017, everything you can expect at this year's gaming expo

This year’s E3 is almost upon us. While it may (as always) be best to have tempered expectations, it’s particularly easy to get excited, hyped, anxious.

This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is almost upon us. While it may (as always) be best to have tempered expectations, it’s particularly easy to get excited, hyped, anxious and occasionally cynical about the wares on display every year. For some of us, it means a few sleepless nights featuring unhealthy midnight snacks and unhealthier beverages in hand, while for some it’s half-a-week of confirmation bias gradually creeping in. There’s more stuff happening in the world of games, obviously, like this video of Overwatch voice actors doing their characters’ dance emotes and winning the internet.

Where, when and how to watch E3 this year

Personally, it looks like I’ll be watching all the conferences on YouTube Gaming (given that Twitch has been behaving rather badly the past few weeks). You can also watch the streams on your PS4/Xbox via YouTube and Twitch apps, or via “Events” on your PlayStation 4.

You can tune in at these times:

Sunday, June 11, 12:30 AM | EA Play

Monday, June 12, 2:30 AM IST | Microsoft Xbox

Monday, June 12, 9:30 AM IST | Bethesda

Tuesday, June 13, 1:30 AM IST | Ubisoft

Tuesday, June 13, 6:30 AM IST | Sony PlayStation

Tuesday, June 13, 9:30 PM IST | Nintendo Spotlight

What can we expect?

Electronic Arts: Following the disappointment surrounding Mass Effect Andromeda’s release, let’s hope we get to see either Dragon Age IV or a new IP of some sort from Bioware, perhaps a game that’s more single player focused and (gasp!) linear rather than the MMO-inspired fetch quest fest we’ve got the last two times. Confirmed games for the press conference include Star Wars Battlefront II, all its sports franchises including FIFA 18, Need for Speed Payback and Battlefield 1. Expect some mobile stuff to be showcased as well (got to milk that Star Wars franchise, you know).

Xbox: The presentation will revolve around the pricing and announcement of the Xbox Scorpio. We already know that the system is powerful, and games such as Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4 are sure to benefit from the extra juice. But as with the PS4 Pro, you’re going to need an expensive 4K/HDR display to take advantage of the hardware, while content is undoubtedly king. Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Sea of Thieves are on the horizon, but it will take a new Halo or Gears game to boost console sales.

Bethesda: We can expect a new Wolfenstein game to be announced, given the critical success of the re-re-re-boot. Speculation regarding an Evil Within sequel is “rife” as well (the website was recently updated). Personally, I’m looking forward to some major announcement as far as Quake Champions is concerned—scrapping the Bethesda launcher and a release on Steam will do nicely. We can potentially expect to see some VR stuff as well—Fallout and Elder Scrolls, perhaps? With the recent release of the Morrowind expansion for The Elder Scrolls online, a content plan could be on the cards.

Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed Empire is a given, and its Egypt setting and origins story all but confirmed. The annualized series has taken an unusually long break of over a year, and literally anything will be a good change of scenery from the rotten boroughs of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Here’s also hoping that Far Cry 5 has a controversy-free gameplay reveal as well. The constantly delayed South Park: Fractured But Whole’s all-new release date of October 17th could be confirmed with a new trailer, perhaps and we can wait to see if Ubisoft still has confidence in The Crew franchise. It would be unwise to rule out the announcement of a new Splinter Cell; expect a juicy 15-second CG teaser-trailer.

Sony PlayStation: I’m personally looking forward to Insomniac’s new Spider-Man despite not having heard about since last year’s show. I enjoyed Infamous Second Son more than I probably should’ve (and more so than the previous Infamous games). This isn’t’ even counting Sony’s baker’s dozen of guaranteed 90+ Metacritic Triple-A lineup which includes God of War, Days Gone, The Last of Us Part II and Uncharted: Lost Legacy. Destiny 2 and Call of Duty WW2 will be present at the Sony conference as well—the production budgets of all these games put together probably exceeds a few billion dollars. Strongest lineup at the show, no doubt. What’s more, Sony has promised a showcase of PS Vita games for the four individuals who still own the device.

Nintendo: Super Mario Odyssey and actual content for the Nintendo Switch, unless it’s Nintendo’s continuing devious plan of artificially regulating supply resulting in more sales of individual units of software than hardware in circulation. Surely, Nintendo is going to announce one game at least from the billion IPs it owns—Pokemon, Metroid, Xenoblade, a decent Star Fox game? Honestly, I would be genuinely upset if there was a 15-minute gameplay showcase of FIFA 18’s Nintendo Switch features.

Get on board the hype train with these E3 2017 Trailers

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the first Ace Combat game came out (titled “Ace Combat 2”, oddly enough, given that it was a sequel to “Air Combat”, an arcade game). If you’re a fan of Bandai Namco’s fast-paced arcade take on aerial combat featuring real-world aircraft and fictional nations, you should probably check out this Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown E3 2017 trailer.

Life is Strange developer Dontnod Entertainment’s upcoming Q4 2017 game Vampyr got its E3 trailer as well. The game will take us to an early 20th century London; disease-ridden and filled with secret societies and dark alleys to explore. If Life is Strange is anything to go by, we can expect it to be very story-heavy, mysterious, and lots of difficult choices to make.

Epic Games’ latest stylized action/building/survival game Fortnite genuinely looks cool—a soft of weird combination of Minecraft, Plants vs Zombies with a visual style closer to Overwatch than those other games. As the name suggests, build forts and defend them from monsters. The goes into paid Early Access (yes, we live in an age where we must literally pay for demos) on July 25th and you can pick it up on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac(!).

Shadow of Mordor was exactly the sort of thing Lord of the Rings fans wanted in a game, and Shadow of War looks like it’s going to dial everything up to eleven. With an enhanced Nemesis system, Dragon-riding and more 100-hit combos than other games would permit, Talion and Celembrimbor return with all-new friends and enemies. The recently released story trailer is on the darker side—check it out below.

Oh, and Red Dead Redemption is coming. At some point. Here’s a reminder.

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