E3 2021: Everything you need to know

E3 returns this year after its hiatus in 2020 and is now only two weeks away. Unlike previous years with its long crowds and hands-on demos, E3 will instead be a virtual online event which is shaping up to be the biggest online gaming conference ever.

E3 starts on Saturday, June 12th and ends June 15th.  

Here’s some of what you can expect: 

Xbox’s conference is bigger than ever with their partnership with Bethesda (Jan Wiedemann via Flickr)

Xbox and Bethesda Showcase

Aside from the traditional Xbox Showcase, this year houses Bethesda as a partner company of Microsoft after their acquisition earlier this year. Bethesda had already been working on a number of projects before their buy-out including Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6 and an Indiana Jones game we still have seen no footage of. It is unknown whether we will see any gameplay or trailers for these projects, but hope remains high that Starfield will feature somehow, especially in the wake of recent leaks.  

Aside from Bethesda, probably the most anticipated Xbox game is Halo Infinite which should see a release date and a new demo showcasing its improved visual fidelity. Forza Motorsport is also a safe bet but it seems unlikely that the announced Fable game will be shown to any great degree.  

Sony’s presence at E3 is still unknown (Marco Verch via Flickr)

Sony

Sony’s presence at E3 2021 is still unknown as the publisher was nowhere to be found on the list of confirmed partners the ESA shared. Sony has pulled out of E3 in the past, once in 2019 and pulled out of E3 2020 before it was officially cancelled due to the pandemic. It would not be too far of a stretch to imagine them doing the same again this year. 

However, we can still expect to see Sony’s products in the next few weeks. They recently hosted their State of Play event which they’ve done since 2019 in which we saw some gameplay for upcoming releases including the coveted Horizon: Forbidden West. With the big Xbox presence at E3, Sony will likely want to bring attention back to their game offers before too long.  

A highly anticipated title, God of War 2: Ragnarok was recently delayed to 2022, so a gameplay reveal seems unlikely, but we may get the official title and logo.  

Aside from these, we may see more information about Ghostwire: Tokyo and Deathloop, both games being developed by Bethesda and will remain as timed PS5 and PC exclusives, despite Microsoft’s acquisition of the company. 

Nintendo will likely announce their updated Switch console (steamXO via Flickr)

Nintendo

Of all the publishers, Nintendo arguably has the largest lineup of titles this year including Splatoon 3, Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4 and of course Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl.  

This year’s E3 conference will likely be the time Nintendo announces the Switch Pro which we have known about for some time through various rumours. 

Like Sony, Nintendo should be holding a Nintendo Direct Livestream as it has for a while now.  

Ubisoft has some large games releasing this year so more gameplay and trailers are a safe bet (Dumbella Vanderquack via Flickr)

Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s conference is scheduled for Saturday, June 12th. Recent gameplay footage from Far Cry 6 was just revealed and it seems probable that even more will be showcased at E3. We can also expect to see gameplay of Rainbow Six: Quarantine which may carry a new title after the last year.

The announced Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake was just recently delayed so it likely won’t be shipped anytime soon. However, it may be possible we could see a new trailer for the next Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla DLC, The Siege of Paris. 

Sqaure Enix is likely to continue with their rollout of Final Fantasy products (steamXO via Flickr)

Sqaure Enix: 

Final Fantasy only continues to grow with time and Sqaure Enix are only too happy to provide. It has been some time since the last update on Final Fantasy XVI and development is already well underway. With plenty of details about its characters and world being known, it does not seem unreasonable to expect to see this game at E3. However, confirmed as a PS5 exclusive title, this may be held back for Sony’s event. 

Final Fantasy Origin has not been officially announced but is rumoured to be an action RPG spin off by Team Ninja, the developers of Nioh. E3 2021 is a perfect time to announce this second Final Fantasy game. 

Other games like Life is Strange: True Colors and Forspoken are most likely to be given some time to shine.  

 

E3 2021 is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever before and with its virtual environment, looks to be more acessible than previous years. Let’s just hope that developers showcase some incredible games this year as the new console generation provides plenty of opportunity for fresh ideas. 

 

Feature Image: Sergey Galyonkin 

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