Who doesn’t love a good expo? If you’ve never heard of it before, E3 is short for “Electronic Entertainment Expo”. Over the past 23 years, E3 has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the world, with industry titans such as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo using it as a platform to announce their upcoming games, consoles and peripherals.
If you’ve ever seen a massive queue outside an Apple Store when a new iPhone is released, trust us… that’s nothing compared to the fan base for E3! Last month’s E3 2017 in Los Angeles saw over 68,000 attendees clamouring to get the latest scoop from press conferences and exhibition booths. Of that number, just 15,000 were very lucky members of the public, with the rest being journalists and industry professionals.
While no one from the office was privileged enough to attend (it’s a long way from WA to LA!) we were on the edge of our seats waiting for the announcements to hit the internet via social media and live streams. Let’s take a look at some of the stuff that the office was most excited about.
Xbox One X
Nothing steals a show like the reveal of the latest gaming console, and Microsoft did just that with the official announcement of the Xbox One X, named so because it creates the acronym “XBOX”. Paradoxical naming conventions aside, the Xbox One X is Microsoft’s long-anticipated 4K definition gaming console. The menu interface, controller and game library will all be virtually identical to the current Xbox One S model; the main attraction of this new console is its power and how that benefits game performance. The Xbox One X will have 40% more power than any other console currently on the market, with 12GB GDDR5 of graphic memory and 326 GB/sec memory bandwidth allowing bigger worlds, faster loading time and smoother gameplay.
The Xbox One X will launch on 7 November 2017, retailing at $649 AUD. You can check out the full briefing here.
Super Mario Odyssey
There were more than a few gripes from fans when the Nintendo Switch launched without a Super Mario title available, but it seems like Super Mario Odyssey will be well and truly worth the wait! As this rather interesting trailer demonstrates, this latest instalment in the franchise will have lots of vibrant worlds to explore, fresh moves to master, and a wicked soundtrack. All of Mario’s new abilities in Odyssey involve Cappy, his magical hat who can help you jump higher, attack from afar, and even CAP-ture control of other characters in the game!
Super Mario Odyssey will release on 17 October 2017, retailing at $79.95 AUD. There’s even more good news for Nintendo fans this year; Rocket League, Pokémon RPG, Metroid Prime 4, a Yoshi title and a Kirby title will all be coming to the Nintendo Switch down the track.
Promising prototypes for Virtual Reality on the HTC Vive
Virtual Reality has become a hot topic in the gaming industry with the HTC Vive being one of the most well-known headsets on the market. There were two potentially game-changing prototypes on display at E3; firstly, Intel has figured out a way to make the HTC Vive completely wireless so you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up in cables while you play.
Secondly, Tobii Eyetracking has developed a retrofit accessory that goes on the inside of the headset, allowing the HTC Vive to track your eye movements, allowing you to glance around your environment and make eye contact with in-game characters for that added sense of realism. It’s still early days for this hardware, but you can register your interest in the Tobii VR Dev Kit here.
In the meantime, you may to check out the intriguing VR reboot of Duck Season from Stress Level Zero, which will feature multiple possible endings with some surprising twists! Check out the teaser trailer here.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
This upcoming epic from the Star Wars franchise was warmly received because the sequel seems to address all frustrations that fans experienced with 2015 reboot of Star Wars Battlefront. While Battlefront II will still have all of the amazing visuals seen in previous instalments, there’s also a focus on delivering content that’s more satisfying to play. In addition to a robust multiplayer mode, there’ll also be a single-player story mode with an improved, customizable character class system that draws content from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Best of all, it’s been confirmed that all post-launch content will be absolutely free, replacing the old Season Pass DLC system which was a sore point for a lot of players.
Star Wars Battlefront II will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC on 17 November 2017, retailing between $89.95 – $119.95 AUD. You can feast your eyes on the trailers on the official EA website.
The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti
It’s not just the big names that make a splash at E3; a number of indie developers attend and The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti really caught our eye with its stunning creative direction. This debut release from Beethoven & Dinosaur will see players controlling Francis, a struggling musician and artist, as he makes a psychedelic journey of self-discovery. Gameplay in this side-scrolling platformer will also include puzzle elements solved by music, rhythm and colour, so it’s bound to be a big hit with creative types.
A launch date hasn’t been announced yet, but The Artful Escape of Francis Vendetti will be available on the Xbox One. Watch the reveal trailer here.
What was your favourite announcement at E3? Tell us in the comments.