E3 2016 predictions: what to expect from the big show

E3 2016 starts next week, which means it’s time to rifle through the closets and under the bed in search of unwrapped presents before the big videogame marketing bonanza. We have quite a bit to go on this year, with plenty of leaks and rumors to inform our speculation—but our predictions are still, of course, just speculation. We’ll have a more complete round-up of E3 rumors later in the week, most of which seem pretty plausible, but today we’re letting our imaginations run free. 

 EA

Press conference: Sunday, June 12 - 1PM PST / 4PM EST / 9PM BST
Watch it:
EA Play

What to expect

EA will of course show more Battlefield 1, with some actual gameplay this time and announcements about its launch plans—beta testing, season pass stuff. We also expect to see lots of proper Mass Effect Andromeda gameplay, and we’ll definitely get a look at Titanfall 2.

Our predictions

Star Wars? Star Wars! Star Wars. We doubt there’ll be any slowdown on this front, despite Battlefront’s lukewarm reception. We expect to see Jade Raymond on stage with her studio’s Star Wars game, and it’s possible we’ll get a tease for Respawn Entertainment’s Star Wars venture—though that game was only just announced, so it’s less likely to make an appearance given that they’re showing Titanfall 2. 

The big Mass Effect announcement may not have to do with Andromeda. The prospect of seeing some extended Andromeda gameplay is nice, but we suspect a remaster of the original trilogy could also be on the way. It’s a bit of a long shot, but we really want an excuse to replay those games.

That new Criterion game from E3 2014 will show up again. It skipped E3 2015, but it was probably just hibernating.

Bethesda

Press conference: Sunday, June 12 - 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST / 3AM BST
Watch it: Bethesda on Twitch

What to expect

Lots of rumors about Bethesda’s lineup have been circulating: Prey 2 and a remastered Skyrim are the big ones, along with The Evil Within 2 and a new Wolfenstein. We’re sure to see more Dishonored 2, as well.

Our predictions

No new Elder Scrolls game will be announced. If the Skyrim remaster is real, it’s likely a stopgap for the consoles—something shiny to hold over Xbox One and PS4 owners (and us, though we’re doubtful it’ll look better than the mods we already have) until Elder Scrolls VI is released sometime in 2017 or 2018. If the rumors of new, more powerful PS4s and Xbox Ones are correct—and they probably are—Bethesda may be waiting for them to take hold.

Prey 2 will look nothing like the old Prey 2 trailer. We’re pretty sure that project is dead and gone, and Bethesda has an all new game for the Prey name. We heard back in 2013 that Arkane was working on Prey, and more recently that the former Prey 2 was cancelled and is “no longer in development.” Dishonored in space sounds good though.

Quake will be announced. Quakecon is happening in August, and while the convention’s name is tangential to actual Quake news, we think it could be more apt than usual this year. Assuming id Software has been working on Quake for a while (and why wouldn’t it have been?), announcing a reboot off the back of Doom’s critical success, right before Quakecon, and during the month of Quake’s 20th anniversary makes perfect sense.

Ubisoft

Press conference: Monday, June 13 - 1PM PST / 4PM EST / 9PM BST
Watch it:
Ubisoft's site

What to expect 

Watch Dogs 2 is being revealed tomorrow, so while we’ll surely see more of it at E3, it won’t be any surprise. Some leaked marketing material tells us it’ll be set in San Francisco and out in November. We can also expect more For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildlands along with South Park: The Fractured But Whole, the three games revealed at last year’s show. We may or may not see next year’s Assassin’s Creed—after skipping this year, it’s possible Ubisoft wants us to get it out of our heads so that next year’s announcement feels fresh. We’re certain to hear more about the Assassin’s Creed movie, though.

Our predictions

We’ll get a look at The Division’s first expansion, Underground, which will add new subterranean areas, missions, and bad guys to Ubi’s multiplayer RPG. The release date was leaked so we know Underground is due at the end of June on Xbox One, though PC gamers will have to wait another 30 days to make their descent.

We’ll see a new game reveal. Or two, or three. This one’s obvious: Ubisoft always has something new going on, and has a habit of revealing games well before they release—the first Watch Dogs teaser appeared in 2012, two years before it came out. Since Ubisoft likes to mix and match the talents of its studios, we guess we’ll either see an open world game involving guns, an open world game involving swords, an open world game involving ships, or some combination of all three. Or maybe Prince of Persia. We’ll also see something one of their smaller teams is cooking, along the lines of Child of Light.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 will finally happen. We’re just going to put this in every E3 predictions story until it happens. We have a good feeling this year.

Microsoft

Press conference: Monday, June 13 - 9:30AM PST / 12:30PM EST / 5:30PM BST
Watch it:
Microsoft's site

What to expect

We’re hoping to see more of Rare’s pirate game, Sea of Thieves, which looked great—if a little vague—at last year’s E3 press conference. We’d also be happy to see more ReCore, which also debuted at E3 last year and was later confirmed for Windows 10. And then we’ll probably see a bunch of stuff about the rumored new Xboxes.

Our predictions

Trailers for Xbox exclusives with tiny Windows 10 logos at the end. Just like last year, most everything announced as an Xbox One exclusive will either be simultaneously announced for Windows 10, or announced for PC a few months later.

Popular Microsoft franchises will show up on the Oculus Rift. Now this one is super speculative, but hear us out. With a ton of Sony VR ready PS4s in millions of home worldwide, Microsoft definitely has to be cooking up its own VR solution for the Xbox One. Based on a report by Kotaku in which multiple sources corroborated that a more powerful version of the Xbox, codenamed Scorpio, would be arriving in 2017, we’d bet the extra horsepower is there to build a base for an out-of-the-box VR solution—specifically the Oculus Rift. 

Microsoft and Oculus teamed up to pack in an Xbox One controller in with every Rift, and it’s probable those conversations went beyond paddles and face buttons. Microsoft wants a piece of the VR pie and Oculus needs a way to grow, fast. Oculus wouldn’t want to alienate the users it has already, and Microsoft is trying to unify the Windows 10 platform, so to sell the idea to skeptics, suppose they put out a VR Halo game, Gears of War, something. If they get a classic title behind the Oculus-Microsoft partnership, make it available on Xbox and PC, it could help them lock down a safe chunk of the VR market.

 The PC Gaming Show 

Press conference: Monday, June 13 - 11:30AM PST / 2:30PM EST / 7:30PM BST
Watch it:
Twitch and YouTube

What to expect

This is our show! We’ve written in detail about what to expect, with a big selection of guests including Square Enix, Microsoft, Bohemia Interactive, Boss Key Studios, and Paradox. 

Our predictions

We haven’t revealed everything that’s happening at the show. Stick around for the whole thing, and keep an eye on our site for trailers and more.
 

Sony

Press conference: Monday, June 13 - 6PM PST / 9pm EST / 2AM BST
Watch it:
YouTube

What to expect

Sony typically shows off a nice selection of indie games that we all know will be multi-platform eventually, so we expect a hype reel that’s relevant to our interests. Given that it was only just delayed to August, we’re not sure if No Man’s Sky will show up—though perhaps the brief postponement created the opportunity for some pre-launch E3 hype. 

Our predictions 

Red Dead Redemption 2 and/or a Red Dead Redemption remaster will be announced. They probably won’t announce that it’ll be on PC (certainly not if it’s at Sony’s conference), but we expect any new Red Dead Redemption to make its way over to PC eventually. Recently, a supposed Red Dead Redemption 2 map leaked, and it just makes sense that Rockstar would revisit Red Dead in between GTAs.

Hideo Kojima will show up, even if just to say hi. Kojima keeps tweeting about his new studio’s mascot, which would be a fine thing to put on the screen if Sony wants to get the audience all riled up. We bet he’ll be there for that reason alone, but it’s unlikely he actually has anything to show other than a cool-looking skeleton guy.

Shadow of Mordor 2 will be teased. There are thin rumors surrounding Shadow of Mordor 2’s development—but it seems like a foregone conclusion—and a teaser trailer isn’t out of the question at one of the console conferences.

Square Enix

What to expect

Aside from appearing at The PC Gaming Show, Square Enix will be livestreaming announcements from the show floor. We’ll see more Hitman, more Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, more Final Fantasy XV, and hopefully more of the Final Fantasy VII remake, too. We don’t think we’ll see anything new from Tokyo RPG Factory—its first game, I am Setsuna, recently released in Japan and is coming out here soon, so it doesn’t make sense to start pushing something else. But we bet something new will be announced, because you’ve gotta have at least one surprise, like Nier 2 last year.

Our predictions

Final Fantasy XV won’t be announced for PC. We doubt that announcement—the one announcement no one likes to make—will come before FFXV’s console release. But the good news is that we do think it will happen, what with Square Enix’s PC track record of late.

Hitman Episode 4’s location will be revealed. How will they follow up Agent 47’s excursions to Paris, Sapienza, and Marrakesh? Somewhere romantic. Somewhere with stunning views. Somewhere like Trenton, New Jersey, for instance.

Activision Blizzard

What to expect

Activision isn’t a very mysterious company: we’ll see some Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Blizzard’s games are a known quantity as well, and they aren’t doing their own press conference, so anything the duo shows or announces will have to be squeezed into the Sony or Microsoft conferences.

Our predictions

Blizzard could maybe show up this year. Blizzard doesn’t usually make a big thing out of E3, but we do know Overwatch’s competitive mode will kick off before the end of this month, there’s the opportunity for one of those “and it’s live… right now!” reveals at a console event. If not, we may at least get a look at something new, a character or map—Overwatch is hot at the moment, and not just as a PC game, so you have to figure Microsoft and Sony have been pushing to get it into their shows.
 

Other predictions

We've heard that CD Projekt RED will have something to show, but not Cyberpunk 2077. We’re going to cross our fingers and hope it’s Cyberpunk 2077 anyway.

Capcom may bring Resident Evil 7 along, and Dead Rising 4 is looking probable.

Valve will watch the livestreams from home. They'll have lemonade and cookies.

The Warriors will win the NBA Finals in five games. The Penguins, we’re afraid, will win the cup in six.

Nintendo will shock the world by announcing its new NX console will be a Linux box. All first-party titles will be ported to both Linux and Windows, and the entirety of the current Nintendo library will be made available on PC right now through a new proprietary distribution platform.

Elon Musk will reveal that not only are we all living inside a videogame, it was developed by a future version of Blizzard back in the base reality. (Which is why he likes Overwatch on PC, of course.)