Keynote time: Sunday, June 9 at 1:00 PM PST, 4:00 PM EST
With only three weeks before E3 kick-off, we’re putting our predictions out into the universe! Microsoft won E3 2018 with the best conference in years, and I’ve been eagerly waiting to see if they can top it during this year’s briefing!
A quick recap of what E3 2018 included: they showcased 50 games, 18 exclusives, and 15 world premieres including Halo Infinite, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Crackdown 3, Metro Exodus, Devil May Cry V, Gears of War 5 and Forza Horizon 4 to name a few of the video games revealed.
Then, on stage Xbox’s Phil Spencer announced new studio The Initiative and several indie studio acquisitions like Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Playground Games, and Compulsion Games.
Xbox had a pretty good year following E3, and I wholeheartedly think this year is going to be better.
Xbox Game Pass Comes to PC, Nintendo Switch
This is one rumour that won’t stop swirling the industry. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is a clear winner and offers great value for its massive library. Currently, Game Pass offers over 250 games and the list keeps growing each month!
Microsoft’s Project xCloud is the future of the Xbox. Phil Spencer is a key component of transforming Xbox as it is now, into something bigger. We’re no longer looking at a console maker, but an entire platform that could very well be on your TV, your phone, your laptop.
I don’t expect to see this one come to fruition – yet! I’d love to be proven wrong on this and have Xbox announce apps readily available the day of their conference.
Last year was the announcement of Halo Infinite. This year we’ll get our first look at the highly anticipated, and confirmed, a spiritual reboot of the franchise. Bonnie Ross spoke to IGN about development on Infinite. Ross went on to say the studio is using what they’ve learned with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, as well as Halo 5 and using those lessons in development.
I don’t think we’ll get a release date, but I predict a lengthy demo to be on hand.
Halo on TV
Showtime is the home of Halo on TV and the recently cast Pablo Schreiber is Master Chief. Production is underway with filming set for fall in Budapest but a tease of Schriber in the iconic armour would be the perfect tease to rile the crowd up in Los Angeles.
Gears of War series
Gear of War 5 is coming this year. I expect a big presence this year at E3, and implications during the final moments of Gears of War 4 took the series into new territory. Also, Gears Tactics is a turn-based strategic game exclusively on PC.
Likely, we’ll get a release date (currently rumoured to launch in September) and an in-depth look at both Gears titles.
Early in 2018, Eurogamer reported that a new game in Fable franchise was In development at Playground Games, the developers behind the excellent Forza Horizon series are said to be working on Fable 4.
What’s interesting about this rumour is that Playground opened a second studio in Leamington Spa, a hub for game development in the UK. Earlier this year, we learned that this studio was working on an unannounced open-world action RPG – which sounds exactly like a game set in the Fable world.
A favourite of mine growing up, Battletoads returns on Xbox! Last year, all Xbox confirmed was that a new game in the series was in the works with Rare Studios and Dlala Studios. Seeing the familiar moniker last year brought a huge smile to my face and this year I expect to see gameplay and likely a release date
Xbox Next Gen Reveal
Over the last couple of months, Sony’s been revealing tidbits about the next-generation console they are working on including load times, the emphasis on backwards compatibility and the inclusion of 3D audio as an example.
Last year on stage, Xbox confirmed the development of their own next-generation consoles. Now, we’re learning next console, codenamed Anaconda is likely to make an appearance this year at E3. In addition, Xbox is said to be working on another console codenamed Lockhart – which is said to be in line to the Xbox One X and serves as an entry point for next-gen. The reveal serves as the perfect counterpoint to Sony’s already teased information.