When Sony announced that they were skipping E3 2019 back in November of last year, some started to question the importance of the popular gaming trade show. Now, E3 is about to kick off and while Sony is a no-show, there are still some major developers and publishers attending the event. Microsoft is the heaviest hitter, with rumours pointing towards next-generation hardware, but a number of other major companies will still be at the show in full force. Here is what we expect from each conference, and when you can tune in at home.
Microsoft - June 9 at 1pm PDT / 9pm BST / 10pm CET
In the absence of Sony, Microsoft is the only major console manufacturer to be hosting a traditional E3 showcase. Coming your way on June 9, we're expecting talk of the much rumoured next-generation systems, along with Xbox Game Pass updates and sneak peeks from first-party studios. We know Gears of War 5 will be there in some fashion, along with Halo: Infinite, but it's the newly acquired studios that pique our interest more; Ninja Theory, Obsidian Entertainment and Playground Games could all show off what they have planned for the future, including the likes of much-speculated on Fable reboot. A From Software collaboration could also be on the cards, with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin rumoured to have been consulted on the project. With the PS4 taking a clear lead this generation, E3 2019 could be huge for Xbox, showing us how they plan to build for the next generation of gaming.
Bethesda - June 9 at 5:30pm PDT / 1:30am BST / 2:30am CET
Bethesda leaves a bit of a question mark on what to expect for their showcase. We're assuming a blowout of information on Wolfenstein: Youngblood, as the spin-off title is due out in July, as well as a proper look at Doom: Eternal, but aside from that we're not sure. The Elder Scrolls VI seems far off into the Tamriel Mountains, and who knows if Bethesda Game Studio's Starfield is much closer. Tango Gameworks has also been quiet since 2017's The Evil Within 2, so a reveal from them seems plausible. Hopefully, this one is worth staying up for.
PC Gaming Show - June 10 at 10am PDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CET
One show getting another run out this year is the PC Gaming Show via PC Gamer. Although it hasn't been announced which developers will be turning up and featuring in the show, we can expect a nice variety of smaller and bigger titles, along with some possible PC ports and interesting developments in the hardware space. Last year saw PC versions of Yakuza and Valkyria Chronicles announced, so possibly another major Sega presence could be on the cards. There will also be a VR showcase (June 10, at 9am PST / 5pm BST / 6pm CET) and Devolver Digital has announced their own conference (June 9, at 7pm PST / 3am BST / 4am CET) for those looking for even more PC-centric announcements (alongside a whole load of games industry satire, no doubt).
Ubisoft - June 10 at 1pm PDT / 9pm BST / 10pm CET
As Ubisoft has recently stated that they have three unannounced AAA games to release by the end of March 2020, we're expecting a jam-packed show at E3 2019. The next Watch Dogs may be a safe bet, with speculation pointing to a London setting for a 2019 release, along with all the rumours (and often self-inflicted discussion) around the next Splinter Cell game finally coming to a head. Beyond Good & Evil 2 and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint are some of Ubisoft's other announced projects, so Ubisoft's line-up is looking stacked. Not to mention a possible new Mario + Rabbids partnership with Nintendo...
Square Enix - June 10 at 6pm PDT / 2am BST / 3am CET
Last year marked Square Enix's first E3 press conference since 2015, which garnered mixed results. The short presentation showed little noteworthy outside of a Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer and the Just Cause 4 announcement, with both of those studios likely too busy to show anything off this year. Dragon Quest Builders 2 launches in July, so we'd be surprised to not see more of that. Crystal Dynamics has been quiet since 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider, so information on their Avengers project could be forthcoming. If not, we'll have to rely on some big surprises from Square Enix, or maybe a load of information on that Final Fantasy VII remake. Well, one can dream...
Nintendo - June 11 at 9am PDT / 5pm BST / 6pm CET
With the Switch off to a blistering start since launch, the past six months have seen its catalogue of games grow. With the first Pokemon titles and a new Smash Bros. dropping for the system late last year, the console is hitting its stride, and the Nintendo Direct at E3 will focus on what's to come this year, alongside a separate esports event. With titles like Luigi's Mansion 3, Pokemon Sword & Shield, and the ever-popular Animal Crossing inbound, we're looking forward to what Nintendo is cooking up this year. More information could also be coming on the gorgeous looking The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake that was announced earlier this year, and we'd be surprised if at least one new character addition to Smash Bros. doesn't get revealed... because why not?!
EA Play - June 8-9
Although no rigid times have been released for us at home for Electronic Arts play this year, the publisher has confirmed that multiple livestreams will take place during the event on June 8. EA Play takes place just outside the main convention centre and allows fans to have a try of upcoming EA games. Back in February, the publisher announced that new entries in both the Need for Speed and Plants Vs. Zombies series were incoming this year, so expect both of those to feature heavily in streams and at the event itself. Of course, FIFA will have a huge presence as it does every year, but elsewhere all eyes will be on Respawn's upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to take the mantle for EA's huge fall 2019 release.
Update: EA will be livestreaming on Saturday, giving thirty minutes each to six different titles. Things will start off at 9.15am local time (17.15pm BST) before they dive into Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order at 9.30am / 17.30 BST. Here's the official running order and a few other details (all times PDT):
9:15 am: Countdown to EA PLAY
9:30am: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Hosted by online personality Greg Miller
10:00am: Apex Legends
Hosted by commentator Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez
10:30am: Battlefield V
Hosted by online personality Julia Hardy and EA's Adam Freeman
11:00am: EA SPORTS FIFA
Hosted by Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez
11:30am: EA SPORTS Madden NFL
Hosted by NFL Network's Adam Rank
12:00pm: The Sims 4
Hosted by Greg Miller
As we previously mentioned, Sony is not at E3 in a traditional sense this year. 2019 marks the first year in PlayStation history that there will be no press conference, but we have a hunch we will still hear from the platform holder. Over the past few months, PlayStation has experimented with its own livestream format, which follows the style of a Nintendo Direct presentation very closely. This scripted stream format, titled State of Play, could be an ideal way to still be in the conversation at E3, whilst providing ample opportunity to talk about the titles that are still to come for the PS4. Of course, we'd be happy with just a The Last of Us: Part 2 deep dive, but it's probably more likely that a possible livestream would just be one long Death Stranding trailer if recent teases by Kojima are anything to go by.
And the rest...
Whilst we have plenty of confirmed conferences, appearances and reveals, alongside a whole bunch of rumours, there is also a batch of titles that will surely crop up during the week. Polish studio Techland has announced that it will be showing off more of Dying Light 2 and Remedy Entertainment's Control is only a few months from launch and will likely get a run-out. We would normally see a huge blowout of information regarding a new Call of Duty game, but Sony's presence, or lack thereof, puts that into jeopardy. CD Projekt Red has called this year's expo their most important E3 in history, and Cyberpunk 2077 is likely to be one of the most talked about games this year, especially if a release date is forthcoming. All this means that although this generation of consoles is winding down, E3 2019 is still looking like a huge event in terms of the gaming calendar. Oh, and one last thing, we think it's about time 2K announced their new BioShock project if we're honest...
The Gamereactor team will have a huge presence at the show this year, covering all your favourite conferences, announcements and upcoming titles, so be sure to check the site during E3 week. We'll have discussion streams, interviews and hands-on previews of all the major games from the show floor, covering everything from the year's biggest entertainment show.