Panels are something new coming to E3 2017 this year, through an initiative between Geoff Keighley and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).
Most who attend GDC, PAX and other game conventions are familiar with panels, but this is a first for E3. Many developers and publishers put on stage demonstrations or stream a look at games featuring lots of chatter; however, panels in the traditional sense aren't a staple of E3.
Dubbed E3 Coliseum, attendees can expect two days of conversations, panels, talks, and "other surprises," according to Geoff Keighley.
"For the past six months, we’ve quietly been working with all the major game teams to curate special presentations, said Keighley. "Thousands of fans will get to attend in person.
"Alongside presentations from game developers, we will also welcome some very special guests from the broader entertainment world. They’ll join us to speak about the cultural significance of gaming and how this incredible medium has influenced their work. Lots of surprises in store here.
"We will be sharing more details in the coming weeks about the speaker lineup for E3 Coliseum."
Over on the E3 website, publishers scheduled to host panels include: Activision, Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft, Gearbox Publishing, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Square-Enix, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, with more to be announced.
E3 Coliseum will take place at The Novo at LA Live June 13-14. Since E3 is open to the public this year, fans will be able to attend these panels. Those staying home will be able to watch streams of "select" panels on Twitch and Facebook Live.
Sony will host its E3 presentation on the Monday before the show as always, and we're assuming Ubisoft will as well.
Nintendo will once again host a Nintendo Direct in lieu of an E3 presentation, and we expect Treehouse Live streams throughout the week.