Road to E3 2019: What We Expect to See

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E3 2019 is just around the corner, and as our team prepares to storm the show floor, we’re discussing our expectations for this year’s show. Come inside to learn more about what we expect to see and share your own!

We’ve been covering E3 2019 for a lot of years now and have a pretty decent handle on what to expect from the various press conferences. That’s what our staff has gathered to talk about today. Not our wild hopes/surprises (we’ll talk about those soon!), but things that have a more realistic chance of happening than others…Let’s dive in!

Jordan

With Sony skipping out on E3 this year, and other devs holding their own spaces/conferences away from the event, it’s probably best to temper expectations for big surprises. Then again, it gives Microsoft and the other developers in attendance an opportunity to shine and hog the spotlight.

New Xbox Details – By all accounts, Microsoft is going to take advantage of Sony’s absence by revealing some of their next-generation plans. Some rumors point to it being a full reveal of the newest console(s) while others say it may be more of a general tease/announcement like “Project Scorpion” was before.

What’s Xbox Doing With Those Studios? – Over the last few years, Microsoft has been buying up several impressive game developer studios including Undead Labs, Ninja Theory, and Obsidian Entertainment. This year seems like the perfect time to show gamers what they’ve been working on.

Square Enix’s Avengers Project – With Kingdom Hearts III FINALLY released it’s time for Square to turn their attention elsewhere. After a lackluster presentation last year, they have plenty in the works to blow the roof off the convention center. Most likely, they’ll give us a, much needed, update on their Avengers project. The game was announced back in 2017, and with the release of Endgame just the other month, it seems like the perfect time to pull the curtain back.

More Nintendo Goodness – With Pokémon Sword & Shield launching later this year, Animal Crossing, and their normal surprises, Nintendo almost always brings the goods when it comes to E3. While it’ll be strange not seeing Reggie this year, there’s no doubt they’ll have some fun games to show off (though no hardware according to them).

Matt

XBOX Will Lay the Groundwork for the Next XBOX – I don’t believe it’s necessary for Microsoft to unveil the next XBOX. After all, what is being the first to reveal your next-gen console if you have no games for anyone to care about. That’s why I believe Phil Spencer & co. will maintain focus on the future by unveiling exclusives that will be part of the next XBOX’s launch. I expect to see more of Halo: Infinite, a new title from one of their new studios, several indie exclusives, and a lot of Cyberpunk 2077.

BONUS: Cyberpunk 2077 will get a Fall/Winter 2019 release date.

Square Enix Goes From Worst to First – Last year, Square Enix hosted their first press conference in ages, but it was an absolute dud.  They focused on tremendous titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Kingdom Hearts III but that was about it.  Where were the pizazz? The sizzle? The reveals? I think that all changes in 2019.  We’re definitely going to see more of Final Fantasy VII Remake and we’re almost assured to see an unveiling of The Avengers game Crystal Dynamics has spent a lot of time on.  They show these two games, Square Enix will end up being the toast of E3 2019.

Nintendo Plays it Safe – I would be surprised if Nintendo has an Earth-shattering reveal, like they have the last couple of years. Instead, I expect Nintendo to show us more of the Galar region in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Outside of that, it’ll be a lot of Animal Crossing, which is a great title but isn’t one we as a community really cheer over. That said, I do think the big reveals will be the fighters coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. My safe bet is WaLuigi, but my dark horse bets are Dante from Devil May Cry and the Cuphead bros. Do NOT expect to see an update on the Metroid game.

Ubisoft & Bethesda Will Both Reveal a New Space Game – It’s pretty easy to figure out that Ubisoft will show off Beyond Good & Evil 2, Assassin’s Creed Vikings, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, and Just Dance 3984, but there is another game they teased last year, Pioneer. There isn’t much known about Pioneer, except that it’s set in space. I expect Ubisoft to show it off more, hours after Bethesda presents a reveal trailer for Starfield, their next space game. In fact, I think Starfield will be Bethesda’s main event and they’ll forego showing more of Elder Scrolls VI. Bethesda will feature a grind of updates to their Online titles until Starfield, with a small sample of DOOM Eternal until QuakeCon. After both space titles are revealed, there will be plenty of discussions over which title looks better.

BONUS: Beyond Good & Evil 2 will get a 2020 release date.

Outlaws Will Be Revealed – Rumor is, Warner Bros. is about to unveil a Destiny-themed DC Comics game called Outlaws, where you play as a band of villains that explore iconic cities, within the DC Comics universe. There is no word on which studio has been working on this, but I have a gut-feeling it’s to Rocksteady. I also expect it to be somewhere in the middle of the XBOX E3 Briefing. I’ll need to see a ton of footage and information for my mind to process it, but it’s real and it’s going to be at E3 2019.

S0LEB

A lot of run-of-the-mill games – During E3, we are always expecting something huge. Something that will change the games industry forever. Well, this year’s E3 will be very different and is likely to showcase a good chunk of ok games. When I say ok games, I simply mean games like Madden, FIFA, Call of Duty, and more. Pretty much games we all know they will be there and we are somewhat excited for, but aren’t head over heels just yet.

XBOX will steal the show – Xbox is slated to show off their biggest E3 event ever with more games, consoles, and announcements than ever before. I have a very good feeling that we will see the new consoles, at least 4 to 5 unannounced Exclusives, and a price drop for the Xbox One S. They will also talk about their new partnership with Playstation and previously announced partnership with Nintendo. Phil Spencer will talk about how they will strengthen the games industry,  any way necessary.

AAA Titles Everywhere – With Sony skipping the show, there will be a lot of space open for other teams to showcase their games. I think CD Projekt Red, Bethesda, Square Enix, Nintendo, Xbox, Activision, Ubisoft and more will dominate the show floor will all the game they have slated for this year. I also think we will see a huge IndieCade Booth that will give smaller developers the chance to have a larger voice.

Katy

We’ll see the announcement and gameplay reveals for our annual titles like EA Sports, but my biggest question mark on expectations comes from whether Sony maintains timed exclusivity on Call of Duty, which was acquired over the series in 2015. How will a lack of a Sony press conference shake up the rest of the show?

I wouldn’t be surprised to get a glimpse of what Ubisoft is putting together for the 2020 Assassin’s Creed release, but I am curious what else they’ll have for us without a new AC to push for this holiday season. More on Skull & Bones perhaps? Watch Dogs 3? During Ubi’s financial call in February, the company announced they are planning on releasing three or four AAA games. With no Sony and a diminished presence for EA Sports at E3 this year, I’m very curious how we will see the show play out.

With Microsoft as the last major console developer holding a live press conference there is a lot of opportunity for the company to take advantage void left in Sony’s place, especially with the rumors of the next generation of Xbox hardware.

From Nintendo I expect Pokemon Sword and Shield and Animal Crossing to be two of the big titles discussed and I fully expect Metroid to be a title that people will continue to clamor for more information about.  I’m sure we’ll see more characters added to Smash Ultimate, but I’m curious as to who. Any guesses?

Games I’m excited (and expect) to see more about: Animal Crossing, Beyond Good & Evil 2, and Cyberpunk 2077.

Dustin

The fact a lot of companies are skipping the event is a double edged sword. Obviously it takes away a lot of excitement since Sony won’t be picture perfect next to Microsoft in the halls, EA’s big booths no longer exist, and others are trickling out the door. But it also means E3 itself needs to start approaching other companies to fill the holes and remain relevant. So I expect some surprise announcements somewhere, or at least someone we don’t expect to show up.

This IS Microsoft’s Event: Honestly this is the cheapest and easiest way for Microsoft to host their own event like everyone else. They get free attendees, all the eyes, and just need to spend money on the space. They have their hall, they have their own building for the fan experience, and they have a lot to show off. If Microsoft doesn’t come out big I’d be surprised. This should be equivalent to Sony’s PSX for them. I also expect a majority of the other developers attending to squeeze in “timed Xbox exclusive” into everything they show off.

And Those Studios: You can also add me to the curious list of what Microsoft is doing with all those studios. They spent a lot of time announcing all the studios they bought last year, and then we heard nothing else. It’s time to announce a huge line up of games now. I also expect them to announce they bought a few more studios, probably smaller ones and a slightly bigger one. Being real they have a new console coming and they simply can’t afford to flub this one, so they will come out all guns blazing.

Sony Will Appear: Honestly Sony backed out, but I think it’s too much to not take part in at all. I think we will see some third party content backed by Sony, and some exclusive content for some major games. This will most likely come from the Square event, but others will fall in line too. I mean Call of Duty should be there and that alone will have Sony all over it. I also expect them to do something similar to Nintendo and hold another “State of Play” stream during E3 to jump into these announcements. I think we will finally get another PSX announced at E3 too. Sony most likely backed out because they have nothing new to show and would rather spend the money on a PSX event to reveal the next PlayStation, and if Xbox shows theirs at E3 then Sony won’t be far behind.

Amber

More about The Elder Scrolls VI – We got a small teaser trailer last year, so I fully expect to get a full trailer this year. I doubt we will see much, if anything at all, in the way of actual gameplay, but hopefully we will at least get a confirmation on where the game is set. If it isn’t Valenwood, I’ll riot. Wood Elf for life.

More information on Pokémon Sword and Shield – I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the majority of Nintendo’s presentation this year. And while I expect more on Pokémon, I hope that we see something in the way of new features in the game. Nintendo wanted to do something new with Sword and Shield, but in the trailer we got, there certainly wasn’t much that seemed abnormal for the usual Pokémon formula.

Sony is taking this E3 off, but I still expect to hear something from them. They dropped an amazing trailer for The Last of Us 2, yet we never got a release date and we haven’t heard about it since. I have a feeling that they are gearing up for the release of their next console, and I’m willing to bet that what they have to show will be small as a result. But I still think we will hear some new things from Sony around E3 time.


Even with some of the “big guns” laying low this year, there’s still a bunch of exciting things to expect out of this year’s E3. Next week, our Road to E3 coverage will take us past the field of dreams to discuss what we HOPE to see out of the event. In the meantime, share your expectations for the big show!