The clock is ticking down. It’s less than 45 days until E3 2014 in Los Angeles!
E3 (The Electronic Entertainment Expo) is a near 20-year old trade fair for the latest and greatest in video gaming and its associated tech. Here, gaming media members worldwide congregate in the world’s largest gaming playground to find out what challenge and excitement can be expected in the year ahead. While press conferences are usually available for public view, much of what happens in the convention center is not and it’s up to gaming journalists to relay the excitement to you with the help of these developers and publishers.
This year’s event officially takes place between June 10th and June 12th from the Los Angeles Convention Centre. However, as had happened in years past, exhibitors are welcome to hold press conferences the day before. So far, the following press conferences are confirmed:
(All events occur in Pacific Time)
Electronic Arts takes the stage at 1 PM on June 9th to kickstart a huge week for them. Sports gamers can expect to see much more out of the Ignite Engine. This year, all of the major sports titles are expected to be powered by it. EA Sports UFC may get a lot of the immediate limelight since it releases just days after, though EA may choose to showcase newer titles instead. UFC 174 takes place in Vancouver (where the game was developed) that weekend, so EA may just save the launch parties to coincide with the event instead.
Ubisoft takes the stage at 3 PM on June 9th. It’s already been a huge year for them with smash hits like Child of Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth and Trials Fusion. With Watch Dogs expecting to have released by E3, expect their press conference to include updates about upcoming titles like The Crew, Far Cry 4, any outstanding Tom Clancy games and Assassin’s Creed: Unity. We’ll then see what they have up their sleeve for the year ahead.
It’s been rumoured that Sony and Microsoft may have their own pressers too, though time and date have not been yet announced. After taking a different approach to their E3 strategy last year, Nintendo is on the confirmed exhibitors list, though what capacity of involvement they will have is up in the air. They did confirm on Tuesday, however, that they would not be conducting a major press conference. This isn’t surprising considering many of their pivotal titles (like the new Mario Kart) will be out by then.
The show floor itself is open between 12 PM and 6 PM all three of those days.
Admittedly, it’s going to be really hard to top last year’s E3, which churned out amazing game after amazing game and heated up the next gen console wars. Some of my favourites coming out of last year’s E3 were:
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ()
South Park: The Stick of Truth (Review)
Fantasia: Music Evolved (which should be a big part of Disney’s presentation this year too)
Much like other similar trade shows, I really like to go in as cold as possible and wait to be impressed. It’s hard in this line of work for that to happen sometimes, but somebody always comes back and blows my mind. There are quite a few publishers working on things this year that may do just that (I’ll touch on that further below.)
This year, with all 3 of the next gen consoles comfortably in our gaming space, it’s a race in my opinion to see simply who is doing it better. I’ve said previously that I believe Nintendo has actually appeared the strongest in their first party support in the last 12 months, and now it’s going to be interesting to see how Sony and Microsoft catch up to them now that their hardware has been released.
While you can expect all major developers to have some presence, there will be some pretty interesting stories to keep an eye on this year. Here’s a couple things I’m looking forward to:
Disney Interactive has done some massive retooling of its gaming ops the last 12 months, and have decided to focused more on licensed gaming. After the success of Disney Infinity, expect more from that line, along with a few new adventure games.
Bandai Namco have been silent on the next gen front as they wait to publish Lords of the Fallen, which has been touted to be a unique experience never before seen. It basically borrows basic elements from Dark Souls and expands them even further, something that I’m sure will make my fellow blogger (and resident franchise fan) Kurt Diston more than happy. One also wonders if we’ll see next gen Tekken or Dragon Ball games too.
Look for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to reveal some of their leftover exclusives that have been batted about. Nintendo should provide more into the upcoming Smash Bros and Zelda games. Microsoft should get into the next Halo and possibly Gears of War games, and Sony should provide some key updates on Project Morpheus, Driveclub, The Order: 1886 and Uncharted. Lastly, expect much more to do in the way of Steam Machines. PC Gaming is seeing a bit of a resurgence in popularity and growing distribution channels, so I’d expect to see a lot of news about it, and any peripherals.
One of the more interesting head to heads this year won’t be between consoles either. Expect a lot of buzz from both Sony and Oculus VR touting their respective virtual reality projects, especially with Facebook now in the mix with the latter.
What other twists and turns can you expect to see during this year’s E3? We won’t have to wait too much longer.
What are you looking forward to out of E3 this year?