It’s that time of the year again! E3 is right around the corner and despite the lack of traditional E3 press conferences for the second year in a row, there is palpable excitement among fans. And who could blame them. The world has adjusted to the new normal and now we know what to expect from an all-digital E3.

A well put together showcase of games from major companies. But with a few days still left, much anticipated titles like FarCry 6, Dying Light 2, and more importantly Horizon: Forbidden West, have already had their own dedicated showcases.

These are games that would have made any presentation that much more appealing. With such big reveals already out, what does it tell us about the actual event? Here are 5 things we can expect that will shape this year’s E3.

No.1: There will be no Sony

Yes, we all know Sony did announce that they won’t be a part of E3. However, what was expected was a standalone showcase sometime during the actual event. A presentation curated with some upcoming third- and first-party studios. But all of that was crushed when Sony presented their State of Play event for Horizon: Forbidden West, a title that would have been a headliner had it been on any E3 stage.

Although rumours suggest that there will be a Sony Showcase towards the end of June, I still highly doubt it. If an E3 calibre showcase were to be presented in just a few weeks, then why show one of the most anticipated games off, beforehand? The Horizon: Forbidden West State of Play is a clear sign that Sony may not have much to show in an event of their own, although rumours suggest that other third-party showcases will do some heavy lifting in the form of revealing some PlayStation exclusives.

All that said, it is saddening to see a company that once ruled E3 stages (remember Sony’s 2016 conference?) now doing things in their own terms. Well, this is the new conservative Sony now, and if all this focus goes in to making more of the hallmark PlayStation exclusive game, then I am okay with it.

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No.2: Release dates galore

We have no clue how the tail end of this year is looking in terms of releases, but I doubt if that would still be the case post E3. We can expect release dates for the likes of Legend of Zelda: Breath of wild 2, Halo Infinite, Beyond good and Evil 2, Psychonauts 2, and maybe even Starfield.

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No.3: New hardware announcements

This one is sure to be a doozy as the world is still trying to get their hand on the last two console releases from Sony and Microsoft with very little success. But hey, a console announcement is always exciting and who could say no to that.

No. 4: The usual suspects

If the teases from Microsoft do materialise, we could actually see Hideo Kojima showing up alongside Phil spencer and announcing his new project in collaboration with Microsoft. Complete this with surprise announcements that people least expect, or have been praying to the Gods for, and we got E3 in its best formula.

A potential Dragon’s Dogma 2 reveal, a brand-new Final fantasy game which could be a PS5 exclusive, a new Donkey Kong, a new Splinter Cell and a new Bayonetta to name a few. Here’s me keeping my fingers crossed.

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No.5: Microsoft! Microsoft! Microsoft!

Teaming up with Bethesda to hold a combined showcase, Microsoft seems to know exactly what it wants to do, and this can only be good news for us, the people. We can expect a new Forza, a release date on Halo Infinite as already discussed, an update on the new Fable and Hellblade: Senua’s Saga, and at least one unannounced AAA project from one of Bethesda’s studios,

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So, those are our predictions for this year’s E3. Certainly, better than what we had last year, and something that we can be thankful for, given the current global circumstances. How much of this will actually transpire is yet to be seen, but the good news is we don’t have to wait too long. E3 is happening with a better more focused outlook this year. And I for one couldn’t be happier. Here’s hoping things get back to those flamboyant stages and jaw dropping press conferences next year.

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