The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo – or E3 – is the single biggest event on the video gaming calendar. The conference is the place to be to gain a sneak peak of the latest gaming hardware and forthcoming games releases, with software developers and tech companies using E3 to introduce their most exciting new announcements to an expectant audience. So what’s the biggest news to come out of this year’s event? Here are the E3 headlines you need to know about…
Sony’s VR love-in
Unsurprisingly, virtual reality has been a huge talking point at E3 2016. Sony are leading the way where VR is concerned, with the PlayStation VR Headset due for release in October this year. Sony’s VR forays promise to be intense, with titles including Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission (a free download for Star Wars Battlefront owners) and the much-anticipated Resident Evil: VII expected to deliver truly immersive gaming experiences that aren’t for the faint hearted. Elsewhere, Star Trek: Bridge Crew is a fun and innovative take on what can be achieved with VR technology. Get your mates together and let your geek flag fly with this one.
Some of the gaming world’s best-loved franchises have been given the next-gen treatment at E3 this year. As we mentioned earlier, Resident Evil has gone full VR – and it looks genuinely terrifying. For old-skool thrills that don’t require a change of underwear, Crash Bandicoot titles 1, 2 and Warped are being remastered for the PS4 – a welcome trip down memory lane for older gamers. In news-that-isn’t-news news, EA Sports’ FIFA is getting a revamp this year, and this one looks a lot less superficial than those of previous instalments – think an entirely new story mode and more AI upgrades than you can shake a stick at. Sony have also resurrected God of War, which looks suitably badass.
The stars align
Gaming is now big business, taking the mantle of Hollywood cinema as the world’s leading entertainment industry. As such, the stars have been out in force during this year’s E3. EA Dice’s WW1 sim Battlefield 1 stole the show, with celebs including Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Terry Crews and Emily Ratajkowski taking part in a 64-player online deathmatch to promote the long-awaited title. Bizarre it may seem, but that’s the kind of pull the top games can exert these days.
New hardware for Microsoft
Microsoft have had some ground to make up in the console arms race, and this year’s E3 was the venue to chalk some more points on the board. As widely expected, Microsoft unveiled a new console on Tuesday: the compact, 4K ready Xbox One S. If that weren’t enough, another new console – currently dubbed ‘Project Scorpio’ – was teased at E3, and promises to deliver 4K gaming and virtual reality when it’s released around Christmas 2017. Microsoft must fear that they’ll have lost further ground to Sony’s VR-ready machines by then.
Games, games, games
The titles we’ve already mentioned are just a sample of the games teased, previewed and unveiled at E3 2016. Among the most exciting titles are Ghost Recon: Wildlands – the scale and variety of which makes it stand out from the crowd of E3 shooters – and Rare’s beautiful, engrossing IP Sea of Thieves. Matt Stone and Trey Parker were in town to promote the new South Park game too, and it’s as wry and funny as you’d expect. Whether it’s remotely fun to play remains to be seen…
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