Games, Games, And More Games
Another E3 has come and gone. For three days (although the additional press conferences made it a full six days), the gaming industry descended on Los Angeles, where some of the most popular developers and publishers revealed new games, additional content for current titles, and even a new console. As always, E3 provided some memorable moments in addition to the newly revealed games, and if you couldn’t make it to the show this year, don’t worry: There’s always next year. But for now, here are some highlights from one of the industry’s largest tradeshows.
In the past, the show was accessible only to the press and members of the industry, but this year, for the first time, E3 was open to the general public. For $250 (or $150 for those who bought the limited number of early-bird tickets), anyone could attend the show. The additional influx of people meant that an already-crowded event had even more attendees. Lines to check out some of the latest games were full in a matter of minutes, with people waiting hours just to see a single title.
Earlier And Earlier
A few years ago, most of the major press conferences for the show were packed into one day. The Monday before the start of E3 was then called “Day 0,” as Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and Sony all showed their latest projects in their respective pressers. EA then decided that it no longer needed to be part of the show and created its own event in Los Angeles, called EA Play, that took place around the same time as E3. This year, the event was at the Hollywood Palladium, and the company’s press conference kicked off the E3 festivities a few days early, on June 10.
Welcome To Bethesdaland
Like EA, Bethesda also hosted its own off-site presentation, but it went the extra mile by making it a unique experience. The theme to this year’s show was “Bethesdaland,” and the company transformed the Los Angeles Center Studios space into a small theme park that included a ferris wheel, small packs of popcorn, and of course some Nuka-Cola Quantum. In addition to the theme park attractions, fans also lined up to play some of Bethesda’s titles and for a chance to snag one of the many pins related to each Bethesda game.
The Xbox One X
Before the start of the press conferences, the talk of E3 was the reveal of the price and release date for Microsoft’s Xbox One X. The console was initially revealed at last year’s Xbox E3 presser, and over the course of the year we found out its specs, features, and some of the titles that will support it at launch. When it comes out on November 7, you’ll have to pay $500 to get it.
Some Love For The PC Gamer
Despite Microsoft’s massive focus on the Xbox One X, it reserved a corner of its booth to show off Windows 10 and PC gaming. In addition to the OS, there were also some PCs, such as the one shown here, that sported heavily-customized cases. Microsoft also introduced PC-focused titles at the second annual PC Gaming Show, including Age of Empires: Definitive Edition.
With the public now roaming the show floor, companies had to find more ways to convince people to check out their booths. This massive dragon, which was made to advertise Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World, loomed like a behemoth in the South Hall. Many people (including us) couldn’t resist stopping in their tracks to snap a quick photo or two. Other booths also featured live shows or gameplay.
Take A Break And Play
Even though the main focus of E3 is on digital titles, there’s some time to play some analog games, as well. For example, at Square Enix’s booth, people queued up to play the Final Fantasy trading card game. The company had a few tables next to its booth were players could try a few decks and get a taste of the card game’s unique mechanics.
The booth also featured some of its upcoming titles that fans could try out, such as the Stormblood expansion for Final Fantasy XIV and the remastered and expanded version of Final Fantasy XII, which is titled Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.
Because E3 is in Los Angeles, the probability of seeing a celebrity on the show floor is higher than at other events, and more often than not, these celebrities have a camera crew that follows them as they create new content to promote their brand. We first saw WWE superstar Xavier Woods (left), aka Austin Creed, at GDC earlier this year when we went head to head against him in a VR racing game. At E3, he was back to show off more games to his YouTube audience, and he brought another colleague to help out: WWE superstar Samoa Joe (center).
VR Is Here To Stay
Despite the smaller-than-expected focus on virtual reality at E3, there were still a few VR projects for fans to ogle. This included Bandai Namco’s Ace Combat 7: Unknown Skies. For now, the game will be a VR-exclusive title, specifically for PSVR. However, we surmise that it might come to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in the future, because this latest entry in the franchise will debut not just on the PlayStation 4, but on the Xbox One and PC as well. Other VR titles at E3 included Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo Sport and Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena.
The Beginning Of The Brotherhood
Last year, Ubisoft didn’t release an Assassin’s Creed title because it wanted to take extra time to look at feedback and determine what it can do to improve future installments. The first step in that new direction is Assassin's Creed: Origins. This time around, you'll head to Ancient Egypt where you'll witness the birth of the Assassin Brotherhood through the eyes of a new character named Bayek.