VG247 will bring you total coverage of E3 and its press conferences beginning next Monday with Microsoft and Xbox One. Head inside for stage-show timings and hints at content.
Every year I start this piece by saying we've arrived at this time of year again, so I won't do that. E3 2013. The Whopper; the Big Mac; the Zinger Tower of all video games expos. If E3 2013 were a Starbucks beverage, it would be venti peppermint white hot chocolate with whole milk and whipped cream. Back to LA. Thank you. Uh-huh. You're welcome.
This year's E3 is, of course, different. I'm going, for one, a subject around which I harbour mixed emotions as it's the other side of the f**king planet and the main news elements have been internetalised for years. My perpetually angry self and its dazzling display of shortsightedness has been forced to shut up on this occasion, as press conference streams are hardly the point. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One necessitated the trip. However much you hate E3 (and I very much do), it's the best place to understand Microsoft and Sony's place in games and their intentions therein. E3 allows one to see the console machine firsthand, to embed oneself base-deep in the clenching, blue-green corporate message. It's more revealing than any other games event. A box on a monitor can't replicate looking into the off-the-record eye.
Sony and Microsoft are to attack E3's press conference culture with such ferocity this year that Nintendo has taken the unprecedented step of removing itself from the main stage. No matter how often gaming's internet and development communities claim we're seeing the declination of console fortunes, Xbox and PlayStation are still the totality of the video gaming experience for tens of millions of people. The reasoning behind the next generation of TV boxes may no longer be gaming's single future, but it is certainly a huge part of it. What we will see in Los Angeles next week will impact all of us for decades.
Here's a breakdown of the press conference timings and an idea of what to expect. Some stuff we can't talk about, and some people are being suspiciously quiet, but you'd be crazy to miss these. So don't. We'll have embedded video and live coverage of everything.
Microsoft (Monday, June 10, 9.30am PST - hit this for local times)
Microsoft has a lot to do. Xbox One's reveal came under extended fire for veering towards television features instead of games, and subsequent revelations about snooping Kinects and secondhand licenses have had the internet all of a tizz. Xbox execs have repeatedly assured that 2013's media briefing will be wall-to-wall software, and there's every reason to believe them. Microsoft may fall short of announcing firm prices and dates for Xbox One, but this has to be hard-hitting. Don't miss it.
EA (Monday, June 10, 1.00pm PST - hit this for local times)
Expect EA's focus to be on Battlefield 4. Need For Speed, "a full range of EA Sports games,” and a first look at the publisher's Star Wars partnership with Disney are also confirmed. EA's place on next-gen consoles will obviously form part of this presentation, but you may be left wondering what happened to the megaton. Unless you're hard for Mirror's Edge 2, that is.
Ubisoft (Monday, June 10, 3.00pm PST - hit this for local times)
Ubisoft traditionally does well at E3, and this year's unlikely to be any different. Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed 4 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be the main hits, and Rainbow Six: Patriots is a dead cert. There could be some good surprises here: a next-gen Beyond Good & Evil 2 reveal would cap things off nicely.
Sony (Monday, June 10, 6.00pm PST - hit this for local times)
Sony will write the final chapter to Microsoft's prologue before the E3 expo itself has even begun. The necessity of Sony fronting multiple formats in these conferences occasionally leads to unbalance, but PS4 will undoubtedly be the focus. The PlayStation project has been making all the right noises to core gamers since PS4's New York reveal in February, and you can expect the fan-friendly anti-DRM and pro-indie messages to continue at E3. There will be big guns. Uncharted 4? Probably. Again, solid release dates and prices may come later in the summer, but this has to be worth staying up for.
Nintendo (Tuesday, June 11, 7.00am PST - hit this for local times)
Nintendo won't be holding a main press conference this year, but there will be a Nintendo Direct stream on the Tuesday morning. Watch it here.
VG247 will bring you blanket coverage of E3 beginning Monday next week.