This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo has come and gone with companies showing their exciting plans and projects for the future. There were game trailers and demos abound, giving those in attendance and those watching at home plenty to chew on for months. Listed below are just a sampling of some of the major announcements at the event, but a comprehensive catalog of everything can be found at https://2019.e3recap.com/.
XBOX unveils Project Scarlett.
Sony opted out of the festivities this year and Nintendo showed their classic prerecorded Nintendo Direct. This left Microsoft as the only one of the big three hosting a traditional press conference, and they packed it with content. Toward the end of the conference, they confirmed the existence of their next-generation console, codenamed Project Scarlett. It will release during the holiday of 2020 with impressive 8K gaming and support for 120 frames per second. It will also be backward compatible with the last three generations and will release alongside the long-awaited Halo Infinite, which had its own gorgeous trailer.
Square Enix shows off Marvel’s Avengers.
If the MCU hasn’t bored you of your favorite Marvel heroes, you will have the chance to play as them on May 15th, 2020. The trailer mixed a cinematic with gameplay, displaying the classic heroes fighting a new threat and facing a terrible tragedy. The game seems to be following in the vein of Bungie’s Destiny series, in style, DLC support, and cosmetic microtransactions. The gameplay looked exciting, but the story snippets shown hint at an engaging narrative to follow as well.
Nintendo shows Pokémon Sword and Shield and a Breath of the Wild sequel.
Nintendo’s presence at E3 this year was both familiar and unusual. They had their traditional Nintendo Direct to show live, but they also had a separate timeslot before their Direct went live to show more information on Pokémon Sword and Shield. They showed new critters and other characters to expect in the region, cooperative raid battles, and the closest the series has ever come to an open world. They also showed this entry’s new gimmick: Dynamaxing. It is essentially turning a Pokémon into a giant version of itself once during a battle, making your favorite pocket monster a goofy, lumbering behemoth. During their Direct, they not only announced a sequel to the acclaimed Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but showed an accompanying cinematic to give viewers hints of the story’s focus.
EA tries again with Star Wars.
Much to the dismay of fans, EA has dropped the ball on multiple occasions with their attempts at Star Wars video games. When the promised games do get released, they shove loot boxes in your face, á la Battlefront II. Respawn Entertainment is giving it a shot this time around, developing a single-player only experience, titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game focuses on Jedi Cal Kestis, voiced by Cameron Monaghan of Shameless and Gotham fame. Accompanying him is Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gererra, from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The future is in streaming.
With the cord-cutting trend foreshadowing the slow death of cable television, many companies are looking to kickstart the jump to video game streaming as a viable alternative. A month before E3, Google announced Stadia, set to launch this year. Microsoft unveiled its own streaming service, xCloud, which is set for an October 2019 release. Ubisoft also announced their own PC-based subscription service for their games, UPlay Plus, launching in 2020 on the aforementioned Stadia. The bar these companies have set for themselves is quite lofty and the possible latency, data cap and varying broadband connection issues can decide the success of these services.