E3 2016 is fast approaching. The biggest event in the gaming calendar, E3 is used by various platform holders and publishers to announce new games, show off new features, and provide fans with some kind of roadmap for the year (or more) ahead.
When is it?
E3 2016 will take place from Tuesday, June 14th to Thursday, June 16th 2016 in the Los Angeles Convention Center. However, the press conferences always take place before the show itself and that has changed this year. EA and Bethesda are both holding media briefings on Sunday, June 12th.
Microsoft and Ubisoft are both confirmed for the Monday of that week, while Sony and Nintendo have yet to confirm their press conference plans. Nintendo has not held an E3 press conference for the last two years.
Press Conference Times and What to Expect
E3 has traditionally been an industry event and while that’s changing to some degree, the press conferences are always the main draw for most gamers.
- EA – June 12, 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm BST/10pm CET
- Bethesda – June 12, 7pm PST/10pm EST/3am BST/4am CET
- Microsoft – June 13, 9:30am PST/12:30pm EST/5.30pm BST/6.30pm CET
- Ubisoft – June 13, 1pm PST/4pm EST/9pm BST/10pm CET
- Sony – June 13, 6pm PST/ 9pm EST/ 2am BST (June 14)/ 3am (June 14) CET
- Nintendo (Treehouse Live) – June 14, 9am PST/12pm EST/5pm BST/ 6pm CET
Sony and Microsoft may both be planning hardware with revisions, with the PlayStation 4 getting a more powerful “NEO” version capable of supporting 4K gaming. Sony is also launching PlayStation VR later this year and you can expect virtual reality to be a major focus this year. There have been rumours of a Norse themed God of War title from Sony Santa Monica and we’ll likely see more of Guerrilla Games’ Horizon, Quantic Dream’s Detroit, and Japan Studios’ The Last Guardian. There’ll likely be something from Bungie in relation to Destiny and Infinity Ward will be on stage for Call of Duty.
Microsoft is testing new Xbox One hardware configurations and may also announce a more powerful version of their console. Expect to see plenty of The Coalition’s Gears of War 4, The Creative Assembly’s Halo Wars 2, and Rare’s Sea of Thieves. Halo 6 isn’t coming out this year but 343 Industries will likely have some sort of teaser trailer prepped. BioWare has shown its games during the Xbox conference before and may have something to offer fans waiting for a glimpse of Mass Effect Andromeda (the EA-owned studio will surely also feature during EA’s own press conference).
Nintendo is expected to formally announce its NX console and while the company has hosted Nintendo Direct streams in recent years, it may opt for a press conference given the news it wants to share. Pokémon Sun and Moon are set for release on 3DS later this year while the NX will likely receive many of Nintendo’s core franchises at some point.
Bethesda held its first press conference last year to announce Fallout 4 and it seems unlikely the company has another major title prepped already. That being said, we can expect to hear more about the company’s DLC plans for Fallout 4, The Elder Scrolls Online, and id Software’s Doom which launches in May. There’s been relatively little news from Arkane Studios about Dishonored 2, which will hopefully be fixed at the show, and Machine Games may have another Wolfenstein in the works.
What will Ubisoft do without a new Assassin’s Creed this year? Watch Dogs 2 is expected to fill the gap and there’s sure to be rabids at some point. The company’s medieval fighting game For Honor is sure to feature as well. The company has a good track record of saving surprises for the show so hopefully they’ll another out of their sleeves.
EA will have its usual time dedicated to annual sports franchises, though we can probably safely assume they won’t ask Pele back after last year. BioWare will surely have something Mass Effect Andromeda planned and possibly its unannounced new IP. DICE is likely to leave the unarmed combat of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for the overly-armed bombastic nature of the next Battlefield. ColdWood Interactive’s Unravel stole the show last year and EA may have another indie surprise to show us.