[Update: It's safe to say Epic Games' Fortnite Battle Royale is having a bit of a moment right now and it seems to be hoping that it's going to go through until E3 2018. Epic has announced an eSports event called Fortnite Party Royale will be taking place alongside E3 in June with pro players and celebrities in attendance. There's no word yet on who exactly will be there but there will be 100 competitors in total.]
If you have even a passing interest in videogames, you’ll probably have heard about the biggest show in the gaming calendar. Every June, the best and brightest talents in the industry descend on a heat-baked Los Angeles to showcase their digital wares to the world.
It’s where the big platform makers (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) come to show off their latest bit of hardware, or a new game that’s going to get chins wagging and keyboards clacking. It’s where we get amazing surprise reveals (could this be the year we finally get Half-Life 3?) and more in-depth looks at previously teased titles.
So when is it?
The next incarnation of E3 will take place from 12 June to 14 June 2018. As with most previous years, the show will take place at the huge Los Angeles Convention Center and will include all the usual conferences, keynotes and hands-on booths on the show floor.
What we want to see... Sony
With PS4 Pro having already been introduced fewer than two years prior to E3 2018 - effectively extending the lifecycle of the generation by a good few years at least - we shouldn’t be hearing anything too major on the hardware front. We’d bet our houses that PS5 is already in early development, but we won’t be seeing it any time soon.
Instead, we’re hoping to see a greater focus on the next generation of PlayStation VR. With Oculus, HTC and Samsung all working on updates to their respective machines, Sony will likely showcase the next wave of enhanced VR titles coming to PlayStation. With the company now fully stepping back from the handheld market, it's got the attention to spare, and a recently announced minor update to the hardware suggests its still putting resources into the area.
On the software side of things, expect The Last Of Us 2 to form the central core of Sony’s offerings. Sony will likely be pushing hard to get Naughty Dog to showcase actual gameplay (we’re hoping for something more akin to the semi open-world setup of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy). Days Gone, the open-world zombie affair from Sumo Digital, will likely ride in, as will Insomniac’s Spider-Man title and Sucker Punch's Ghost of Tsushima.
What we want to see... Microsoft
Microsoft has now confirmed that its plans for E3 2018 but this time they're a little different. Taking a leaf out of EA's book, Microsoft is moving things away from the Los Angeles Convention Center show floor in order to host a more fan-focused event in the Microsoft Theater. Though it'll still be on the traditional show floor, this space will be dedicated to the streaming service, Mixer. This admittedly goes some way to explaining those show floor plans that were doing the rounds which suggested Microsoft would be a much smaller presence.
Even Microsoft's press-briefing is moving location. Breaking out of the Galan Center, it too will be held in the Microsoft Theatre on June 10 at 1pm PT/ 9pm BST.
This change appears to be in response to the increased attendance numbers and scale of the show which has resulted from opening the doors to the public.
“Not only does the Microsoft Theater allow us to centralize our Xbox presence at E3,” Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer said, “but its size enables us to include even more fans and partners in the Xbox E3 2018 Briefing than ever before.”
Though we now know when the show is happening and where it's taking place, we still don't have any idea what exactly will be announced. After the big reveal of Xbox One X in 2017, we’re expecting a more software focused affair.
Halo 6 [insert forgettable subtitle here] will serve as the final chapter for 343 Industries’ post-Bungie trilogy, and while we don’t think the developer will be moving on from Master Chief anytime soon, we imagine the next Covenant-bashing title will be marketed as a big turning point in the series. Gears Of War 5 might get a showing (we think it’s a light early, but you never know) and rumors abound that Fable may be getting a reboot, leaving hopes of a Fable 4 appearance.
But what about VR? Xbox has invested heavily in HoloLens, and while the only game-related content we’ve seen showcase so far remains an interactive Minecraft world, we’re hoping we get to see it relaunched with a proper gaming slant.
What we want to see... Nintendo
With a new Zelda and a new Super Mario already out in the wild, we’re expecting Ninty to start rolling out its other tried and tested franchises. It’s high-time for a new Smash Bros, built from the ground up for Switch, and one that embraces the eSports scene that’s formed about Brawl and Melee over the years.
Kirby and Yoshi are also set to get new adventures in 2018, so we’re fully expecting Nintendo to showcases gameplay from both. Yoshi’s Wooly World was a side-scrolling hit on 3DS, so what we’ve seen so far suggests a platformer in a similar vein will follow suit. We’re also hoping (however unlikely it might be) that Animal Crossing might finally be coming to Switch with a new entry. Please, please, please, Nintendo…
Metroid Prime 4 will almost certainly appear, whether it be at Nintendo’s E3 show or in a special Nintendo Direct beforehand. The recent revival on 3DS has been well received by fans, so we’ve high hopes for Samus Aran’s next full fat adventure. Finally, there’s the one everyone’s been asking for: a Switch-based Pokémon. Rumoured to be called Pokémon Stars, the new entry could be a new pure Poke title or a rehash of Sun/Moon - either way, give us proper Pokémon on our TVs, Ninty!
We also imagine there's a chance Nintendo will announce some new kits for its upcoming Nintendo Labo accessory which is due to be released in April.
What we want to see... EA
We now know that EA Play will be returning to Los Angeles' Hollywood Palladium from June 9 until June 11, just before E3 itself officially kicks off.
EA has confirmed that, as you'd expect, fans will get the chance to see and play the latest EA Sports titles such as Madden 19, FIFA 19, NHL 19 and NBA Live 19 (if the latter performs well enough in the meantime).
It's now also been confirmed that the new Battlefield game will make an appearance though we still don't know anything about what the game will actually involve.
Anthem, the new monster-hunting IP from Canadian developer Bioware, looks to right the wrongs of Mass Effect Andromeda with its mashup of Lost Planet, Dark Void and The Division. Its dynamic environments, volatile weather patterns and co-operative action certainly have our attention, and though its release date has recently been pushed back, it’s going to one of the show’s biggest takeaways with a brand new "inside look."
More details about what else will appear at the show are yet to be confirmed.
We're quietly hopeful that we'll get to see actual gameplay - or at least something tangibly reportable - on Amy Hennig’s ‘Project Ragtag’ Star Wars game. Visceral has been very quiet since the forgettable Battlefield Hardline, so if we hear nothing from the studio by this point, we can safely assume the game might be forever stuck in development hell.
What we want to see... Ubisoft
Outside of more details on a new Assassin’s Creed (personally, we’re hoping that Origins two-years development cycle becomes the new norm), we’re fully expecting Ubisoft to roll out the only other remaining Tom Clancy franchise worth its salt: Splinter Cell. With Michael Ironside rumoured to be returning to voice Sam Fisher, we’re excited to see a post-MGSV Splinter Cell and how it improve on the grossly underrated Blacklist.
Then there’s the big one: Beyond Good & Evil 2. This was the surprise reveal of E3 2017, and while the game is certainly in the early stages of its development, 2018 will mark the original game’s 20th anniversary, so we’re hoping for a little more insight into its world and the nature of the game to come. Oh, and could we see Rainbow Six Siege 2? With one of the biggest communities outside of COD and Battlefield, a follow up on Siege could well breach its way onto the stage in LA.
What we want to see... Bethesda
Bethesda has now confirmed its presence at E3 2018 by revealing its press conference will take place on Sunday, June 10 at 6.30 pm PT. A short trailer announcing the presentation showed figures representing Bethesda's big franchises: Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout. But it didn't say exactly what kind of reveals we can expect.
At this years show we think there are a few things that we can probably expect to see, including another expansion for the Elder Scrolls Online and some new additons to Quake Champions.
On the lest certain side, we're fully expecting to see a new AAA announcement from Bethesda this year. With a new Wolfenstein, a reboot of Doom, a new Dishonored and a return to Fallout released recently many are hoping for a some kind of Elder Scrolls return. However, as has been said before, Bethesda has plans for two more games before the Elder Scrolls 6, so we could see a brand new IP from Bethesda this year or perhaps even a sequel to Doom.
We imagine there will also be some DLC announced, perhaps for Wolfenstein 2, and we could also hear some more about that mobile game the company has been working on.
We're also expecting some more Switch port announcements - Dishonored on Switch would be a welcome announcement.
Bethesda has said it'll release more information on how fans can get their hands on tickets to Sunday's showcase soon and we'll update here as soon as that information becomes available.
What we want to see... Square-Enix
Square-Enix didn’t have a huge presence at E3 2017, but 2018 will be a huge year for the Japanese publisher so we’re expecting it to have its own keynote at the show. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake (or at least the first episode) should be one of its biggest selling points, as this’ll mark three years since its official announcement in 2015.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is also due to drop in 2018, and with Square-Enix having re-released every other entry with increasingly nonsensical subtitles, it’s time for something new. With Toy Story and Big Hero 6-themed worlds already confirmed, fans are already chomping at the bit for time with Sora, Donald and Goofy.
Then there’s that Tomb Raider sequel, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. With Eidos Montreal (of rebooted Deus Ex fame) in the development hot seat and Uncharted having coming along with two outstanding entries since Rise Of The Tomb Raider, we’re fully expecting Lady Croft to take back her treasure hunting crown from Nate, Chloe and Nadine.