The Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show is where the biggest video game publishers show off their company roadmaps and upcoming entertainment software for the current and the following year. It will start on June 10 early in the morning (the same week as our highlight startup event Echelon) and is organised by the Entertainment Software Association.
Why is this show that’s held at the Los Angeles Convention such a big deal? Because not only does it have more than 45,000 people from all around the world checking out the latest in video game software and hardware, it also has everyone around the world tuning in to the livestreams of company presentations on their PCs and mobile devices. The show floor will have games and all things in the digital entertainment sector ripe for playtesting. The general and enthusiasts press will also get first dibs on games in the business development meeting rooms (which is personally the best places to be at if you’re covering the show on-site).
In short, next week will be a cavalcade of video gaming news and internet memes.
If you’re a startup that’s new to this and want in on the action, you can expect memorable presentations from these livestreams that can come out good or come out in the most awkward fashion. As a general rule, you should set your clocks to next Monday midnight (June 10 at 12 AM SGT) to check the presentations out in one fell swoop.
As for our side, we will be covering the show and giving our expert take on it. Rather than live-blogging the streams like every other person will be doing just for cheap traffic, we’d rather take the high road and dish out our conclusions based on our seven-year-or-so know-how on the subject matter.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate scheduling following major Southeast Asia timings and listings to prep you for the next week’s digital entertainment blitz.
Date: June 10 (June 9 for GMT+7 folks)
Time: 12.30 AM GMT+8, 11.30 PM GMT+7, 1.30 AM GMT+9
What to expect: There will be games aplenty and a better presentation than the last E3. Microsoft is still chewing on humble pie following its online backtracking and its exclusion of the Kinect from all retail Xbox Ones in first-tier countries. It’ll be mounting a counter-offense against its rival Sony Computer Entertainment if it really cares about getting the attention of its consumers and fans.
There will be a showcase of Halo 5: Guardians, Fable: Legends, a new season of Xbox One fighting game Killer Instinct, adventure game Quantum Break and colorful shooter Sunset Overdrive (which I’m personally looking forward to).
There’s also that one news where action game gurus Platinum Games is making an Xbox One title called “Project Nagano”. Could E3 2014 be that game’s debut? Other rumoured titles include a Halo games collection (from part 1 to part 4), a Halo 2 Anniversary remake, and a new Forza racing game. We do hope that the next Crackdown gets announced; for the uninitiated, it’s an open-world game where you play a super-powered cop who administers justice through cityscape destruction.
Electronic Arts (EA)
Date: June 10
Time: 3 AM GMT+8, 2 AM GMT+7, 4 PM GMT+9
Site to visit: EA’s E3 page
What to expect: Some modicum of a sensible presentation. I don’t think a lot of streamers asked for a basketball slam poetry session like in last year’s showing. If we’re talking about known games that will be on the show, military first-person shooter fans can look forward to the reveal of Battlefield: Hardline. Imagine if the Battlefield games took place not in a war zone, but in a cityscape ala the CSI series: that’s the game in a nutshell. Still intrigued?
Other new titles that will be showcased in full include Dragon Age: Inquisition (hardcore fantasy RPG mixed with Skyrim open world shenanigans), Star Wars: Battlefront (team-based Star Wars sci-fi shooter), The Sims 4 (digital life simulation), and your yearly FIFA soccer update.
There will be five new games that will make its debut this year; likely candidates include the fourth Mass Effect game and a new Bioware Austin-produced game that’s tailored like action titles Devil May Cry and Bayonetta. Criterion, the studio in charge of the latest Need For Speed titles, may be developing and revealing a game that goes ‘beyond cars’.
Date: June 10
Time: 6 AM GMT+8, 5 PM GMT+7, 7 AM GMT+9
What to expect: The debut of two Assassin’s Creed games: Unity and Comet, so what’s new, really? The former is a next-gen title set during the French Revolution, and the latter is a spiritual successor to the pirate life-focussed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Other known games on the presentation/Ubisoft show floor include racing game The Crew, first-person shooter Far Cry 4 (with its infamous cover art), mass multiplayer RPG shooter The Division, and adventure game Valiant Hearts.
Together with its partnership with graphics card company NVidia, we can wager that PC versions of these games will start looking spiffier; users who have ATI cards may have possibly unluckier experiences. Also, expect Archer star Aisha Tyler to present for Ubisoft once again. So if you loved/hated her, you’re in luck!
Sony Computer Entertainment
Date: June 10
Time: 9 AM GMT+8, 8 AM GMT+7, 10 AM GMT+9
What to expect: Possibly more of the same, which is a good thing, given Sony’s track record. The company that created the PlayStation brand was declared a winner of sorts at last year’s showing due to its timing in delivering its consumer-savvy news regarding its PlayStation 4 console.
But what about the games that will possibly swing its vote as 2014’s holiday must-buy console? Right now, we have The Order 1886, DriveClub, and a brand new project from a new team called Pixelopus. Other possible titles from the indie sector include Everybody Goes To rapture, Helldivers, and Shadow of the Beast.
If the company wishes to impress everyone, it should just stop with the impending heartbreak and show off The Last Guardian, which is a follow-up adventure game from the team that brought PlayStation classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.
Date: June 11 (June 10 for GMT+7 folks)
Time: 12 AM GMT+8, 11 PM GMT+7, 1 AM GMT+9
Site to visit: http://e3.nintendo.com/
What to expect: A Nintendo Direct video stream. While this might seem like a clear indication that Nintendo needs to do something different to stand out due to low Wii U sales, at least there’s no pressure for the company to be on stage.
Readers who are sticking around for the Big N will get their game news jollies with more reveals of a new The Legend of Zelda game, all-star 2D fighting game Super Smash Bros., action game Bayonetta 2, and a new Mario game that will use more of the Wii U gamepad. Other possible titles include the new Sonic The Hedgehog game called Sonic Boom (which was renowned for its interesting character redesigns)
There are rumours floating about that there’s a Mario Maker game in the works, where users can make custom Super Mario Bros.-style levels. In any case, the company needs a huge game-changer if it wishes to gain the respect of its video game fans. We’re betting that the new Mario or Zelda adventure title can do that.
What we also know is that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will not make it to Los Angeles due to health reasons. Nonetheless, the Nintendo Direct show will still go on.
Anything crucial we missed? Stay tuned to this page for future updates until June 10 just before midnight hits. Also, stay tuned to e27 for our E3 takeaways and summary on the same date as well!
Note: This page will be updated periodically with new info/rumours on the trade show and stream schedule