E3 Video Game Show: A Guide to Next Week's Event
E3 — or the Electronic Entertainment Expo — is a yearly press event that shows the video games that will be released in the upcoming year.
Since it was established in 1995, the Electronic Entertainment Expo — or E3 — has become the premier event to learn about the year's upcoming games. It's here that news regarding new titles, long-awaited game sequels and next-generation consoles have been revealed. This year will be no exception, with both Microsoft and Sony coming out of the gate with new hardware — the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively — and plenty of games debuting for both systems.
(E3 is held for media, producers and others involved within the video game industry and is not a public event.)
Almost all the big video game publishers attend E3, including the game studios of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, as well as high-profile game makers such as Sega, Activision and Electronic Arts.
Microsoft will be showcasing its Xbox One and the next-generation games that will come with it, including the fast-paced racer "Forza Motorsport 5" (expected to launch this fall) and Harmonix's Disney hybrid music/rhythm game "Fantasia: Music Evolved" (coming in 2014). More will likely be revealed at the event, including a new racer from Lucid Studios (possibly the next chapter in the "Project Gotham Racing" series).
Sony, not to be outdone, will be bringing various big guns to E3. It's already been announced that the PlayStation 4 will receive some big free-to-play titles, including the action game "WarFrame" and the popular comic book-oriented "DC Universe Online." But E3 will also reveal more about previously announced titles, such as the first-person shooter "Killzone: Shadow Fall" and the superhero tale "Infamous: Second Son," as well as a few surprises, all coming around the launch time of the system this holiday season. The PlayStation 3 will have its fair share of hits, including "Beyond: Two Souls" (due in October) and "Gran Turismo 6" (coming later this year).
EA and Ubisoft will highlight its big game releases for the year, including "Battlefield 4," which takes first-person shooting to a new level with bigger graphics and more multiplayer options; and "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag," which introduces a new pirate-style angle to the assassin story. Both games will be released on Oct. 29 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with a later date for next-gen consoles.
Other surprises could make their debut as well, including the heavily rumored "Mirror's Edge 2," a sequel to the 2007 cult hit, which puts you in the shoes of a parkour-mastering free runner.
Big Nintendo franchises will be making their Wii U debut at the event, including the racing game "Mario Kart," the multiplayer beat-'em-up "Super Smash Bros." and an all-new 3D "Mario" adventure, putting the plumber back into platforming territory. (All these games are likely to make their debut either later this year or early next year.)
Nintendo's 3DS will get plenty of titles, like the forthcoming sports opus "Mario Golf: World Tour" (which will come with online matchup support and stat tracking) and the previously announced sequels to the platformer "Yoshi's Island" and the 16-bit adventure classic "Legend of Zelda: A Link To the Past," which is sure to get a lot of attention from fans. ("Mario Golf" will arrive this August for 3DS, with the others coming in 2014.) [See also: Nintendo's Future Lies in Past Favorites]
Ubisoft's comedic role-playing game "South Park: The Stick of Truth" will be a highlight, mainly because the show's original creators — Trey Parker and Matt Stone — worked alongside the development team at Obsidian Entertainment to produce character design, battle tactics (including Cartman's ability to unleash fiery farts) and plenty of mature-rated dialogue. (It's due for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.)
Smaller companies will also have some big games to show, including Atlus' "Dragon's Crown," a side-scrolling beat-'em-up that will use role-playing elements to help your character evolve (due for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita on Aug. 6). [See also: 10 Great Games You're Missing]
Konami is also bringing some big names to the show, between the upcoming action sequel "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2" (which puts you in control of the main bad guy, Dracula, this time around — an interesting twist) and the highly anticipated "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain," a strategic action game that puts Solid Snake back in danger. Konami has already made huge waves with this title by announcing that Kiefer Sutherland, from TV's "24," will be voicing Snake. ("Lords of Shadow 2" will arrive this winter, and "Metal Gear" is slated for sometime in 2014.)
So, as you can see, this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo will be bigger than ever, whether you're a fan of gaming hardware, popular franchises or just looking for something new. The next stage of video games is definitely heating up.