For years now, the video game industry has descended upon Los Angeles for a week in June. E3 is a show filled with an overwhelming number of games and announcements, and 2019 is no exception. Though PlayStation won’t have a presence this year, there are still big names showcasing the future of interactive entertainment, including Xbox, Epic, Bethesda, EA, Nintendo, Ubisoft, and a whole lot more. You can keep up with all of the latest developments right here.
Google’s presence at the video game industry’s largest annual convention can be felt everywhere. The company doesn’t have a physical presence at E3 here in Los Angeles, not in the way large game publishers like Microsoft, EA, and Nintendo do. But its all-new cloud gaming platform Stadia is top of mind for attendees and companies alike, and it’s even finding its way into big news announcements. Yesterday, Ubisoft announced its new UPlay Plus subscription service would come to Stadia and, later on in the day, Square Enix announced its new Avengers game would come to the cloud gaming platform, too.Read Article >
Most prominently, however, Stadia is the tech industry’s counter to Microsoft’s xCloud, which at the moment remains far behind Google’s offering when it comes to launching a consumer product. While xCloud is starting public tests in October, Stadia is slated to launch just a month later. We know the pricing (it’s a bit complex) and we know the game lineup (it’s pretty solid), but we don’t know how well it works beyond the brief Project Stream test featuring Assassin’s Creed Odyssey last year.
Jun 11, 2019
Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077; Lil Jon’s “Let’s Go” playing throughout Gears 5; a new adorable droid in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. These were just a few of the best moments that helped make incredibly fun and memorable trailers at this year’s E3.Read Article >
Without Sony, the show itself was a little slow — but surprise appearances from beloved actors like Reeves, Jon Bernthal, and Rob McElhenney more than made up for it. Well, them and some pretty cool gameplay footage debuted by Ubisoft, Microsoft, Square Enix, Nintendo, and EA.
The head of Xbox just unveiled a new console, but Phil Spencer isn’t too worried about selling you one. “I don’t need to sell any specific version of the console in order for us to reach our business goals,” he told me in an interview yesterday, the day after Microsoft held its annual E3 keynote.Read Article >
There’s plenty going on with Xbox and gaming at Microsoft. In addition to a big lineup of games, at E3, Microsoft officially unveiled Project Scarlett, its next-generation console that launches next year, and provided a bit of detail on its xCloud streaming service, which will debut in October. Just ahead of the show, the company also brought its Game Pass subscription to PC, furthering its foray into services.
The last of the major E3 keynotes took place today, and it was a doozy. Nintendo’s presentation was filled with rapid-fire announcements — though not all of them were good. The long-awaited Animal Crossing on the Switch is delayed, but there are plenty of other things to look forward to, including new fighters for Smash Bros., a Link’s Awakening release date, and a whole bunch of ports. Check out all of the news you may have missed right here.Read Article >
The most shocking announcement was saved for last: Nintendo teased that a “full” sequel is in the works for the venerable Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We don’t know anything else about the game, but it appears to have a much darker tone based on the brief snippet on display.
Jun 11, 2019
Nintendo has announced that it’s working on a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch, in a surprise announcement at the end of the company’s E3 presentation.Read Article >
The news was accompanied by a short teaser, which showed the return of the iterations of both Link and Zelda from the previous title exploring a cave, before encountering what looks a whole lot like the corpse of Ganondorf himself beneath Hyrule Castle.
Nintendo had some bad news at its E3 2019 presentation: Animal Crossing’s debut on the Switch has been pushed back until next year. This morning, the company revealed that the new game, called Animal Crossing: New Horizons, will now launch on March 20th, 2020, as opposed to its original 2019 date. “We must ask you to wait a little later than we thought,” the company said in a statement.Read Article >
On the plus side, we did get our first proper look at the new life sim game, which shifts the setting to a deserted island. The goal, as ever, is to build a home and life for your character, and it looks as though animal neighbors will move in as you clean up the island. Crafting, which is a big component of the mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, also looks like a significant feature, with players able to make their own tools and other items.
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CD Projekt Red’s open-world classic The Witcher 3 is going portable. Today, Nintendo revealed that the game, which first launched in 2015, will be available on the Switch later this year. It’ll be a “complete edition,” so players will get access to the base game as well as the handful of subsequent expansions. The Witcher 3 joins a growing list of older games that are finding new life on Nintendo’s portable / console hybrid, including the likes of Skyrim, LA Noire, Dark Souls, Diablo 3, and, most recently, Dragon’s Dogma.
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One of Nintendo’s most anticipated games finally has a release date. At its E3 2019 presentation today, Nintendo revealed that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will debut on the Switch on September 20th. First announced back in February, Link’s Awakening is a remake of the 1993 Game Boy classic of the same name. A new trailer released today not only gives a better look at the adorable visuals, but it also provides a few new details about the game itself. Most notably, the Link’s Awakening remake will include a new mode where you can build and design your own dungeon to explore, using a variety of pre-made rooms and items.
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Not long ago, we got our first look at Netflix’s prequel to Jim Henson’s classic film The Dark Crystal. Now comes something much more surprising: the movie is getting a game tie-in in the form of a turn-based strategy game for the Switch. Called Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, the game was revealed this morning at Nintendo’s E3 2019 presentation. It looks just as you’d imagine based on the title: players control squads of units, pulled from the Dark Crystal’s fantasy universe, making moves across a grid-based battlefield. It’s being developed by BonusXP, the same studio behind the Stranger Things tie-in games. Age of Resistance Tactics will be launching sometime later this year.
The steady wave of new fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate continues, and this time, the Nintendo Switch game is getting some Dragon Quest flavor. At its E3 2019 Nintendo Direct presentation today, the company revealed that the next DLC character for the game will be Dragon Quest XI’s unnamed hero. (He’s referred to simply as “hero” in the trailer.) The Akira Toriyama-designed protagonist will join an ever-growing cast, which most recently added Joker from the cult RPG Persona 5.Read Article >
DQXI first launched on the PS4 and PC back in August, marking something of a return to form for the long-running role-playing series. It’s also making its way to the Switch soon; a new version, complete with optional 8-bit graphics, will hit Nintendo’s console on September 27th. As for the game’s lead, he’ll be joining the cast of Smash Ultimate sometime this summer.
Jun 11, 2019
Nintendo will be sharing its biggest E3 announcements during a Nintendo Direct video presentation on Tuesday morning, June 11th, at 9AM PT, 12PM ET.Read Article >
Last year’s Direct focused largely on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but we’re hoping to see Nintendo cover a lot more ground for 2019. We’re told that we shouldn’t expect a new version of the Switch console, but it could be a good show nevertheless given its large roster of in-development games. Animal Crossing is expected to play a major role in its showing, as are Pokémon Sword and Shield, and other titles slated to release in 2019. This includes Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake.
Jun 11, 2019
Microsoft is gradually revealing more details about its next-generation Xbox, codenamed Project Scarlett. While we already know some limited specs for Project Scarlett, the next Xbox console will also support existing Xbox One games, controllers, and accessories. “We thought out our design for Project Scarlett, we definitely wanted to make sure that we were compatible across all the generations,” explained Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, during Microsoft’s Inside Xbox E3 event. “Not just with the games, but the accessories. It’s really us respecting the purchases gamers have made on our platform.”Read Article >
Speaking to Windows Central, Jason Ronald, partner director of the Xbox platform, confirmed this means all existing accessories, and new ones like the Xbox Elite 2 controller that will debut later this year. While Project Scarlett is the next-generation Xbox, it’s clearly rooted in the platform advancements that Microsoft made with the Xbox One, and it will even include an optical disc drive.
After a disappointing showing last year, tonight at E3 Square Enix had a lot to show off. Top of the list were two long-awaited, somewhat mysterious games: Final Fantasy VII Remake and Avengers. We now have release dates for both, and trailers that show off how they’ll really play. Additionally, Final Fantasy VIII is finally getting some love, while the franchise’s music is now readily available on streaming platforms. Here’s everything you may have missed.Read Article >
Square Enix spoiled the news of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s March release date last night, but today we got a better look at the game itself via a trailer. It includes a lot detail on how the more action-oriented combat will work, but more importantly, it introduces fan favorites Tifa and Sephiroth.
Square Enix’s Avengers game finally has a trailer, revealed this evening during the publisher’s E3 2019 press conference. The game was first announced two and a half years ago, when Marvel Entertainment revealed it was working with Square Enix and its studios Eidos Montréal (Deus Ex) and Crystal Dynamics, the developer behind the Tomb Raider reboot. News about the title has been sparse in the years since, but tonight we got our first look the superhero game and a lot more details.Read Article >
Notably, the character models for the Avengers are drastically different than their Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. So no Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark or Chris Evans as Captain America. Instead, Crystal Dynamics has created custom looks for each character. The plot line seems to very loosely borrow some narrative threads from Marvel films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. In the game, the Avengers are blamed for an attack and question the responsibility and accountability of superheroes in modern society. Yet it sounds like the storyline will be unique to the Marvel universe.
A remastered version of Final Fantasy VIII is heading to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam later this year. The news was announced today during Square Enix’s E3 press conference.Read Article >
Originally released in 1999, Final Fantasy VIII follows a group of students at an elite military school. They group soon becomes wrapped up in a great conflict with a sorceress trying to compress time.
Final Fantasy VII Remake will feature a completely revamped, dynamic battle system. Square Enix showed its most detailed look yet at the game’s combat during its E3 2019 press conference; viewers also got a first look at beloved characters Tifa and Sephiroth.Read Article >
The remake will include a battle system that’s a hybrid of real-time action and strategy-based combat, similar in seems to Kingdom Hearts and the most recent Final Fantasy entry. In tactical mode, time slows to a crawl so players can choose commands like limit breaks or magic attacks in the spirit of the turn-based original. As players build their focus gage, they can also stagger enemies and deal extra damage. Although we’ve yet to see gameplay beyond Midgar, where the original game’s opening is set, Final Fantasy VII Remake’s take on the city will apparently be robust enough to act as a “standalone game.”
Microsoft is expanding its Xbox gamertag system to allow players to pick any name they want. The software maker is using a similar system to what is used on Steam, Discord, or Battle.net, and it will mean Xbox Live gamertags will include a # number after them if they’ve already been taken.Read Article >
The entire structure is changing today, and up to 12 characters can be used for the new gamertag system. If you prefer your existing gamertag then you don’t need to change it, and you won’t get a number added to the end of your name. If you do decide to switch the first change will be free, and $9.99 thereafter. You can change your Xbox gamertag right here.
Microsoft is winding down new additions to its Xbox backward compatibility catalog. After adding more than 600 Xbox and Xbox 360 games to the list, the team is now focusing on Microsoft’s next-generation Project Scarlett console.Read Article >
“We have now shifted our focus to help make the games you love playing on Xbox One compatible with future Xbox hardware,” says Jason Ronald, partner director of the Xbox platform. “After this week, we have no plans to add additional Original Xbox or Xbox 360 titles to the catalog on Xbox One.”
Ubisoft’s E3 keynote had it all: dogs, roller derby, and a mockumentary about game development. While there were plenty of expected and familiar faces, like Watch Dogs Legion and a tense-looking new Rainbow Six, the publisher also detailed a new TV show from the creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a Netflix movie, and even a PC subscription service. If you missed the event live, here are all the biggest announcements.Read Article >
Last year’s Greek epic Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is getting some very cool new features. The most surprising is a “story creator,” which essentially lets you design your own quests using a web-based tool. Even better? It’s out today for free in open beta. Meanwhile, later this fall the game will be getting a “discovery” mode, which looks identical to the excellent educational mode from Assassin’s Creed Origins.
Ubisoft is announcing a roller derby game called Roller Champions, and a PC-only pre-alpha preview is available today. Roller Champions is described as a team-based, player-versus-player sports game where players work their way up from street derby leagues to championships. It’s playable until June 14th, and when it officially launches in early 2020, it will apparently run on a free-to-play model.Read Article >
Roller Champions leaked shortly before E3 began, and here, it looks more or less like what we expected: a colorful game with a cartoonish style evocative of Fortnite, full of cool-looking stunts and custom outfits. The pre-alpha will feature two arenas and six playable characters, which will be grouped in teams of three.
Every big game publisher is getting into the subscription business, and the latest entrant is Ubisoft. Today at the company’s E3 2019 press conference, Ubisoft announced UPlay Plus, a PC game subscription service sporting more than 100 Ubisoft-published titles and coming out on September 3rd. The service is designed similarly to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and EA’s Origin Access for PC and EA Access for console. Effectively, you pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access to a database of games you can download and play however much you like.Read Article >
Ubisoft’s version is much pricier than competitors, however. The company says it will cost $14.99 per month when it launches on September 3rd. EA / Origin Access is just $4.99 per month and $29.99 per year, while Microsoft sells Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 on both console and PC. Microsoft also sells Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which bundles subscriptions for both console and PC and throws in a subscription to Xbox Live Gold all for $14.99, the same price as Ubisoft’s new service. Ubisoft does say that its service grants you access to all downloadable content and expansions for games included in the subscription, which is a big plus for players getting in late on titles like The Division 2.
Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller has been the gold standard in the pro gamepad market since its release back in 2015. No pro controller has come close to the level of build quality, design aesthetics, and ergonomics that Microsoft provided with its first-generation version, and the only device to come close in my personal use of these controllers across platforms is Astro’s C40 TR for the PlayStation 4 and PC.Read Article >
Now, Microsoft says it finally has an update to the Xbox Elite, appropriately called the Xbox Elite Series 2, that will bring some much-needed updates to its premium gamepad. The Verge got to spend a few minutes with a demo version of the Elite 2 here at E3, and while I unfortunately don’t have hands-on experience with how it plays during a live game, I can say that it feels like the best, lightest, and most capable pro Xbox controller. Without instant, on-device button remapping, I can’t say it’s the most capable, but it comes very close.
The jump from the original Watch Dogs to its sequel was a big one. The initial concept — where you play as a hacker in a GTA-style open world — was fleshed out in Watch Dogs 2, with more open-ended gameplay and a tone and style that felt just right. As big as that leap was, though, the third game in the series is even more ambitious. Watch Dogs Legion, which was officially unveiled today at Ubisoft’s E3 keynote, doesn’t just take place in a sprawling, dynamic world — it also forces you to look at the people in that world in a new way.Read Article >
The new game is set in the near future in post-Brexit London. (Of course, this being a Ubisoft game, it’s definitely not a game about politics.) For the most part, the city looks recognizable aside from the futuristic cars that dot the streets and the copious drones in the sky. Creative director Clint Hocking describes the setting as a “time of massive social change.” Unemployment is rampant, with millions put out of work because of automation, and the venerable pound has been overtaken by a new form of cryptocurrency.
Jun 10, 2019
The creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and developer Ubisoft have a new show coming to Apple TV Plus. Rob McElhenney took the stage at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference today to announce the news: a comedy called Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet.Read Article >
Mythic Quest is set in a game studio and follows the team behind a wildly popular massively multiplayer online game. McElhenney stars as egotistical “visionary” creative director Ian Grimm.
Watch Dogs Legion, the third installment in the Watch Dogs open-world action-hacking series, will be released on March 6th, 2020. Ubisoft announced the news during its E3 keynote in Los Angeles, along with a trailer and an 11-minute gameplay video seen below.Read Article >
As earlier leaks suggested, Watch Dogs Legion is set in a dystopian, hyper-surveilled London in the wake of Brexit. Instead of featuring a single protagonist, it lets players take control of other characters with different skill sets — building on a feature that let you see details about non-player characters in previous games.