The behemoth that is E3 2017 is but days away, amid an inevitable bombardment of leaks, rumours, hope and dreams. We’ve gone internet dark in an attempt to remain in a vacuum for the upcoming press conferences. We want to retain the magic of surprise announcements and unexpected reveals for as long as possible, and so far, we’ve succeeded. In a year where new IP has surprised us, missing features have baffled us, and console gaming is healthier than ever, the battle lines are drawn. This year will be an E3 to remember.

We’ve broken down our thoughts into ‘Bets’ and ‘Dreams’. The former detailing exactly what we expect to see, and the latter a wish list of potential surprises that would make this E3 an unforgettable few days.

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BETS

MICROSOFT:

NEW FIRST PARTY IP OR EXCLUSIVES - anything other than two massive new first party IP will leave me disappointed by Microsoft's showing. They know they are well behind Sony now and in the eyes of all but the most ardent Microsoft fans they are years behind in the first party exclusive stakes. New Halo, Gears, Forza are not good enough. I'd love to see those teams put on new franchises, or revivals of old ones. See my dreams for an example of what I'd love to see back on the 'box. Get some PC indies on board making exclusive titles - like Sony have done - but these need to be ambitious titles that Microsoft can lift to triple-A status. - MIKE

CLOSER WINDOWS INTEGRATION - I say this every year, but at some point Microsoft need to essentially put Windows on the Xbox One so that it can play more and more PC games, more easily. We've seen things like Cities Skylines added to the console lately, which is a flip compared to PlayStation, so more of the same please. - MIKE

SCORPIO IMPRESSES, BUT IS EXPENSIVE- I am expecting to be very impressed by Scorpio. Microsoft are taking the right strategy with treating their consoles like a minimum spec and high spec PC, and I imagine I will be blown away by what is shown on it. The price though, as speculated by the JTGA podcast, is going to be £499 - I can't see it cheaper than that, which is going to put people off. - MIKE

XBOX GAMES PASS TAKES OFF - I think they are going to offer a very enticing catalogue of games as part of this subscription. In keeping with their performance on the console in general so far, Microsoft's value proposition to gamers (with the likes of EA Access and Games with Gold) is going to keep going. - MIKE

SCORPIO EXCLUSIVE SOFTWARE FEATURES - MS have taken a firm stance with Scorpio exclusive games. There won’t be any. However, I think we’ll start seeing them make a push, much like with timed DLC exclusives, on Scorpio exclusive features in big first and third party games. I don’t mean 4K support here; I see them offering things like increased player counts for multiplayer titles. Imagine the next Battlefront game, but on Scorpio you can play with more humans in a single match? - JAY TEE

PLAYING ON NOSTALGIA - We’ve seen MS dip their toes in the water with things like Conker appearing in Project Spark. I reckon a few surprise announcements for things like Midtown Madness and Banjo Kazooie could be on the cards, perhaps farmed out to other smaller developers? They desperately need to increase their exclusive library, and partnering with new teams and giving them the rights to reinvent dormant franchises could be a good way to do it. - JAY TEE

NEW IP, AND DATING OLD ANNOUNCEMENTS - We get firm release dates for Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, and State of Decay 2. We also see MS roll out their Titanfall 1 moment - a huge third party partnership for a brand new IP. Hopefully they’ve learnt their lesson when they got burned for the Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusivity… - JAY TEE

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E3 2017
Bets and Dreams in a year of uncertainty…

EDITORIAL
By MIKE HAZLETON & JAY TEE
07/06/17

THE BASICS

E3 is a massive press and public event, celebrating the games industry at large, while the heavy hitters roll out their plans for the future.

PLATFORMS

All of them!

PLAYERS

Lots of them!

CO-OP / MULTIPLAYER

Definitely!

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT

For sure!

Lots to prove. SO much potential. MS need more GAMES. And they need to show their hand.

Horizon has been a critical and commercial smash hit. Expect Sony to go big with it this year. Perhaps with an  early tease of DLC / a sequel?

SONY:

MORE ON PSVR - I think the early adopters are slightly concerned at the lack of movement on games for this lately. It is the key differentiator between PS Pro and Scorpio (or just Sony and Microsoft), so I'd love to see some key first party AAA games produced for it - more than just tech demos please. - MIKE

BIG THIRD PARTY EXCLUSIVE - Sony are at the point now where they are so dominant, they can grab some really excellent third party exclusives for their platform. Similar to the supposedly exclusive Rockstar game for PS3 that never materialised. Don't be surprised to see Microsoft missing out on more and more as time passes. - MIKE

DOUBLE DOWN ON BIG, EASY WINS - Just like last years E3 (and the most recent PSX showcase), Sony will do everything they can to keep their momentum train moving. Here are my bets: we get substantial story DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn, announced for release at the end of the year. Insomniac’s exclusive Spiderman game also gets a 2017 release date. Days Gone takes the early 2018 slot, with a huge demo and possible co-op support. We get gameplay footage of The Last of Us Part 2. We get another huge gameplay trailer for Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Crash Team Racing HD gets announced. Resi 7 DLC gets shown off. Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red gets unveiled, with PS exclusive DLC. And they drop at least three huge new IP announcements, from first and third party. Oh, and they FINALLY let people change their PSN names. - JAY TEE

PSVR GETS SOME LOVE - There has been a steady stream of PSVR support since launch, with quite a substantial library of smaller, experimental titles. But recent months have left many thinking what’s the ‘next big thing’. They need to throw down with third parties and blow people away like they did with Battlefront’s VR mission and Arkham VR. Farpoint came and went, so now’s the time to really get the boards buzzing. I’d LOVE to see a Dead Space VR reboot, perhaps from Creative Assembly? Better yet, that same team could port their very own Alien: Isolation! - JAY TEE

SONY MAKES A DESTINY - Activision have really gone big with Destiny, and even though I’m not a fan, a LOT of people are really digging it. Sony need an exclusive answer to the MMO / RPG genre, and they need to throw some serious mullah behind it. - JAY TEE

NINTENDO:

FAMILIAR IP ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR SWITCH - There's so much to expect from Nintendo. Smash Bros, Metroid, Pikmin, F-Zero, Mario Party, Mario Golf, Maro Tennis, Animal Crossing, Pokemon and countless remaster possibilities. Of these, Smash Bros is most likely - they never like to wait too long before bringing that to the console. I also expect Animal Crossing as they have been featuring their characters heavily lately. - MIKE

NEW IP - Nintendo have been far more ambitious lately with their new IP - Splatoon and Arms are the notable ones. I think they will look to continue that success with another new franchise announcement. - MIKE

VIRTUAL CONSOLE - Surprisingly we haven't seen this implemented yet, so I think an announcement of a basic Virtual Console system on Switch is guaranteed. - MIKE

WHAT HE SAID - Yep. I reckon we see all of the above. I have literally nothing more to add! - JAY TEE

A Switch port of this would be rad. Better yet, a brand new entry!

DREAMS

MICROSOFT:

A NEW PROJECT GOTHAM GAME - extremely unlikely, but I would love to see Playground Games make a new PGR game. Forza Horizon 3 is essentially the perfect open world racer, but as DriveClub and others have shown, there is a still a place for tighter, more structured racing, and gamers still have a lot of love for Bizarre Creations' series. - MIKE

A NEW FABLE GAME - OK, so Lionhead were basically put out of business by Fable's diminishing success - but a new Fable game (perhaps with a slightly more serious setting) would go down brilliantly. Either that, or give us a new first party RPG. Microsoft essentially only have the racing and shooting genres locked down, so they need some great first party stuff for the other genres. - MIKE

A NEW BANJO GAME - please! Sea of Thieves looks great but Yooka-Laylee has shown there is room for some big platformers! - MIKE

STATE OF DECAY 2 - I want to see this in action, with full co-op (including splitscreen, not going to happen I know) and looking better than Sony's Days Gone. It's been in development for ages, so come on! - MIKE

A NEW BANJO GAME - Every year, I wish upon a jiggy for a true Banjo Threeie. Give it to an indie dev like Playtonic! Please!!! - JAY TEE

HUGE BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE EXPANSION - Things have been quiet on this front for a while, with a drip feed of new titles. They should drop a megaton bomb, and say “any Xbox game from ANY era of Xbox will work on One / Scorpio”. This would be a dream come true. - JAY TEE

PHIL SPENCER IS MADE HEAD OF EVERYTHING - Let this guy steer the ship forever. His turnaround from the ‘TV, TV, TV’ era has been impressive, with lots of crowd pleasing features and some interesting titles announced. Exclusives are still thin of the ground, but with Spencer leading the charge, this could be the first E3 where he isn’t still moping up the mistakes of the past. The gloves come off, and the new games are aflowing. - JAY TEE

SONY:

MAKE PS NOW FREE TO ALL PLUS USERS - Sony need to recognise that they are losing the goodwill vote to Microsoft, despite their exclusive games being so far ahead. PS Now is seen as a generally unattractive service (they would almost be better without it!), and it would be a good PR move to make this more appealing. - MIKE

PRO PRICE DROP - Sony will be acutely aware that Microsoft are bringing out Scorpio later in the year, but also that it will have a big price point. I expect Sony to announce a blistering price for it so that for all but the most hardcore there is really no competition to choose between the two. Imagine PS Pro at £249 and Scorpio at £499? Or, expect a PSVR bundle with Pro for cheaper than Scorpio - that will market itself! - MIKE

KEEP SURPRISING US - There are still a few first party teams that have been VERY quiet lately. Drop some surprises on us! What have Sucker Punch been up to since Infamous: First Light got released three years ago?! What about San Diego? They’ve just shipped Starblood Arena VR. What’s next? London Studio and Foster City have also been far too hush hush. It’s time to lift the veil. - JAY TEE

THE LAST OF US PART 2 GETS A RELEASE WINDOW - Please make it the end of 2018. Please. I need it in my life. - JAY TEE

NINTENDO:

GAMECUBE VIRTUAL CONSOLE - I am still hesitant to say I expect to see this. Possibly we will get a key announcement - Mario Sunshine download included with Odyssey? - which will herald the release of the first Gamecube title for download on Switch. Also Gamecube coloured Joy Cons! - MIKE

DECENT ONLINE IMPLEMENTATION - Please give us a way to private chat and invite friends across titles! Not going to happen though
unfortunately. - MIKE

VIRTUAL CONSOLE SHADOW DROP - It gets unveiled during their E3 Direct, and it’s available… RIGHT NOW. Shadow drop that bad boy. NES, SNES, AND N64 at launch, with GameCube support to follow. - JAY TEE

DONKEY KONG COUNTRY TROPICAL FREEZE ON SWITCH - I’d prefer a new entry, but I’d settle for this. - JAY TEE

METROID ON SWITCH GETS A TEASE - Come on. It’s time. - JAY TEE

YOOKA LAYLEE ON SWITCH SHADOW DROP - The date gets unveiled during their E3 Direct, and it’s available… RIGHT NOW. - JAY TEE

MARIO PARTY ON SWITCH GETS ANNOUNCED - And it’s out in time for Christmas 2017. - JAY TEE

SUPER MARIO ODYSSEY GETS CO-OP - ‘Nuff said. - JAY TEE





THIRD PARTY:

NEW KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC GAME - there have been faint rumblings about this and with Mass Effect basically dead now (for a while at least), there's a big gap in the market for a sci-fi RPG. Please make it happen Disney! (And keep it as a RPG, not a shooter) - MIKE

NEW ELDER SCROLLS GAME - I think this is too soon for Bethesda - as with Fallout they seem to like announcing as late as possible, but of course we'd all love to see this announced. - MIKE

NEW RAINBOW SIX - I appreciated Ubisoft's baby steps in reviving the Rainbow Six brand. But it didn't appeal to me as a multiplayer-only, small scale shooter. I want to see a return to the single-player/co-operative campaign focus for the series and a more ambitious take on things for a sequel. - MIKE

VALVE - A shot in the dark and something we ask for every year, but something from Valve for consoles. Counter Strike or Left 4 Dead would be very much appreciated. Or, just something from another team basically ripping off these series (Hello Turtle Rock!) - MIKE

MORE TITLES FOR SWITCH - We know FIFA is coming, but expect to see more third party publishers jumping on board with the Switch to back up its early strong sales. - MIKE

MORE GOODNESS FROM ARKANE - That team has delivered two excellent SP games in recent months: Dishonered 2 and Prey. Let’s see them strike out with another brand new IP, with a big push from Bethesda. They are so wonderfully inventive. - JAY TEE

BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL 2 IS AT E3 2017 AFTER ALL - Even though Ubi have said it most certainly is not… A man can dream! - JAY TEE

CONKER’S COMEBACK - A proper Bad Fur Day sequel handled by a third party dev. I would LOVE to see what Insomniac do with that franchise. They have already partnered with MS once before with Sunset Overdrive… This could be a match made in heaven. - JAY TEE

DAMBUSTER STUDIOS ANNOUNCE SOMETHING - They did a bang up job patching together Homefront: The Revolution from the ashes of fallen studios, and deserve a shot at making something from scratch. - JAY TEE

TITANFALL 2 ON EA ACCESS - It deserves a new audience, and is massively under appreciated. - JAY TEE

MORE FROM MAFIA - A trailer for the final DLC, and a Mafia 4 please! Thank you! - JAY TEE

A COOL NEW SCI-FI, STORY FOCUSED, CO-OP FPS THAT ISN’T AN MMO - From anyone, for any platform. Give me a new Halo 1 esque experience for the modern gaming era. Or just give us a co-op Metroid. That’ll do nicely. - JAY TEE

Oh. The possibilities.