The most exciting week in gaming is right around the corner, and like curious kiddies at Christmas, we’ve been passing the time by speculating on what might happen during this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo!
Our chances of another rockin' flute performance are now slim to none, goddammit!
James | Project Scarlett is all-digital ‘Xbox Premiere’
We all expect Microsoft to talk about their new console, codenamed Scarlett, but let's make a discerning stab in the dark about the final name and their hardware strategy.
Firstly, we'll see a subscription-style model of ownership which the company has played with in the past, even if it's just for education or enterprise audiences.
There'll be a more overt link with PC, making it even easier for friends to communicate and play together regardless of hardware, with cross-play enabled by default across first-party titles.
While we all expect backwards compatibility to continue to be significant on the next Xbox, Microsoft will double down on Game Pass to double the number of backwards compatible games on the service in the next year. They’ll also allow players to access new first-party releases not just on release day, but early.
It's possible there'll be more than one hardware format, thought the all-digital version will be the standard model, and the only model they’ll be talking about at the show. It’ll be called Xbox Premiere - representing what Microsoft believes to be the future of gaming.
James expects Xbox to world premiere the Xbox Premiere to the world during E3's premiere Xbox press conference.
Chris | Yoshida and Nadella announce civil partnership
Fable 4 is practically a given at this point and rumours abound that the sole reason for its existence is to stop me endlessly banging on about Fable 4.
Another certainty is Ubisoft's batshit crazy opener, where furries dance to a song that nobody deserves to hear twice. It’d be the perfect time to go and make a coffee, if only it wasn't somehow so damn captivating.
As always, I'm anticipating big things from Bethesda, such as extended footage of DOOM Eternal which, hopefully, makes DOOM (2016) look like DOOM 3. Maybe even something on The Elder Scrolls VI - just a short teaser and the title screen would do.
The biggest news by far, however, is that following on from the news of Sony and Microsoft's strategic partnership, I'm expecting their respective CEOs, Kenichiro Yoshida and Satya Nadella, to announce a civil partnership. The gaming industry's hottest power couple will then go on to adopt Nintendo's Shuntaro Furukawa, merging all three companies in the process. Son-tendo-soft will reveal the SwitchBox Pro, much to the chagrin of Mark "PlayStation 6" Cerny.
Chris thinks things are set to hot up between this happy pair.
Liam | Sony surprise with State of Play stream
I think this year’s E3 will be more about consoles than games.
Microsoft will unveil two new Xbox consoles, along with a handful of next-gen titles, all of which will also be playable on Xbox One X, as Microsoft’s current powerhouse drops down the pecking order to become the new base console of the Xbox family. Oh, and Halo: Infinite gets a surprise winter release date.
Nintendo will confirm the existence of new Switch consoles, a premium version and a budget handheld-only version that comes bundled with your choice of Let’s Go, Pikachu! or Let’s Go, Evee! I’m also expecting a new Mario Kart reveal and ports of Twilight Princess HD and The Wind Waker HD.
Sony won’t regret not showing up by releasing a surprise State of Play stream in reaction to their rivals’ console news, giving us our first glimpse of the PlayStation 5 and some of its exclusives.
Other than all the above, which is definitely going to happen, I’m also looking forward to a first look at some Jedi: Fallen Order gameplay and confirmation that the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot will include all the original multiplayer maps plus a bunch of new ones.
That’s not too much to hope for, is it?
It might be wishful thinking, but a surprise State of Play stream would certainly help placate Sam.
Rob | DOOM Eternal hurts your bum
I fully expect Bethesda to blow our collective anus to smithereens with new DOOM Eternal footage; I was a huge fan of the 2016 DOOM reboot (the only FPS I’ve finished this generation) so await the new campaign - and multiplayer - with sawn-off, double-barrelled enthusiasm!
On the Xbox front, I’m really hoping for some fresh new games to go with the rumoured new console, but half fear we’ll just be blasted with more Gears and other equally overdone first-party franchises.
Nintendo is the one that really intrigues me, though, as usual. Will their Direct presentation contain plenty of previously unannounced games? Or will it go heavy on Pokémon, Fire Emblem and the Link’s Awakening remake? I’m hopeful we’ll get at least one new first-party title, but will it be the game to finally make me swap out the old Wii U for a Switch?
All-in-all, I’m honestly not expecting a classic this year. I’m sure Ubisoft will give us Assassin’s Creed: Derby and Far Cry 406, and I’m certain EA will disappoint once again by failing to announce a new boxing game. With that in mind, it appears my hopes rest almost entirely on DOOM and Nintendo: please don’t let me down, guys.
Hold on to your butts, folks!
Keep an eye on Pass the Controller for plenty of E3 2019 coverage, including livestreams of all the press conferences.
What do you think will happen at this year's E3? Let us know in the comments below.