It’s June already and E3 is upon us. The annual ‘Early Christmas for Gamers’ is just a few days away, and there are quite a few things to be excited about. However, one of the most prominent players of E3, Sony, is taking a break from this after 24 consecutive years. While the reasons behind this could be anything, there is no doubt that this has left a huge void for E3 enthusiasts. And for good reason. Sony has been at their best over the past few years (E3 2018) at E3. They have had some of the best showcases and their 2016 event was one for the history books. So, the absence of something so good is sure to dampen expectations for this year. However, the lead up to this years E3, while not too special, has still managed to get me hyped and has given me a glimmer of hope that this year would still be just as awesome despite Sony’s absence. Here are a few reasons why.
Microsoft will be at its best
If there is one company that benefits most from Sony’s absence, it is Microsoft. To say Microsoft has struggled this generation will not be an exaggeration. So, Microsoft will want to make the most of this opportunity and go all guns blazing with its reveals. The company has been investing heavily in games and while it may be a little too early to show anything from the newly formed and acquired studios, Microsoft may still have some show stealers. You can definitely expect Halo infinite to show up. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may get back on Microsoft’s show, now that Sony is absent, and who knows what other fan favourites Phil Spencer is bringing back. Oh, and they are very likely to reveal their new consoles as well, so this year would probably be Microsoft’s best pitch yet to have you to side with team Xbox.
Performing ad-hoc / Exploratory testing at the beginning of the engagement helps the team better understand the game, game design, and game physics
Ubisoft can still pack a punch
Ubisoft evokes different emotions among different types of people. But when it comes to E3, Ubisoft has been quite consistent lately. From having the eccentric Aisha Tyler host the show to getting quirky with their presentation with Yves Guillemot and Shigeru Miyamoto standing back to back on stage with prop guns, Ubisoft’s showcase has been as much about having a good time as it has been about its games. And I expect this year to be no different. On the games front, I would love to see Splinter Cell make a return. And Ubisoft is good at surprising people. Here’s hoping.
Square Enix has taken Sony’s slot
Square Enix’s Nintendo Direct like presentation last year was, putting it mildly, a train wreck. So, it is both surprising and terrifying to see them take Sony’s time slot. In a time where Sony have now leaned towards their own Nintendo Direct like presentations with ‘State of Play’, it makes you wonder if this is a switcharoo between Sony and Square? If so, will Square be able to put on a show that would rival Sony’s E3? They seem confident about it and have spilt the beans on the reveal of the Avengers game beforehand. And while an Avengers game developed by Crystal Dynamics sounds sweet, can they hold it up with just that. Here’s hoping that it is just the icing on a much more delicious cake which would make up the rest of the show. And Square Enix can actually do that given not much has been announced by the company lately.
New AAA games will be revealed
What is E3 without its surprise reveals? If there is one thing that all companies aim for, it is to catch gamers off guard and drop a surprise AAA game reveal. And this can be expected from all of the major players this year, be it Microsoft or Ubisoft or even Square Enix for that matter. This is especially exciting this year as this will probably be that last year where games will be revealed on the big stage for the 8th generation of consoles. And if history is any evidence, the best games come out towards the end of a console generation. So whatever games they are, and whichever genre they represent, we will most likely be looking at the cream of the crop when they are revealed.
Sony may still steal some thunder
All things said and done; E3 without Sony might still feel a bit empty. And while Sony may have expressed that E3 is ‘redundant’, deep down I feel that they know how big a deal it still is. So, it would not surprise me if Sony sneaks in a surprise ‘State of Play’ with some of its big guns. But then again, they just revealed Death Stranding’s release date. This can be looked at in two ways. They either have enough to show from other games (The Last of Us 2) and maybe some surprise reveals, or they are going cold turkey and sitting E3 out for good. I really do hope it is the former. Because anything that came out of the company this generation has been a treat.
So, there it is. My hopes and dreams for this years E3. Not everything may pan out as expected, but Microsoft’s current position and Square Enix’s bold move sure do hint at something great to come. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for now.
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