This year the world’s largest gaming event for consumers saw Netflix among the pack, making a presence to the audience of game developers, players, supporters, and vendors. E3 also saw a slew of unveils including the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer, which features Keanu Reeves. And Keanu showed up live on stage following the preview. People screamed. Keanu bowed. And the game comes out April 16, 2020, for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
2020 is looking to be a strong year when it comes to titles that will satisfy longstanding players, but also with those games that will usher in new types of competitors. Cloud gaming (the ability to stream games to devices like smartphones without purchasing a console or PC) is also a new phenomenon that has started to shake things up. It’s poised to bring in some serious money over the next few years, as noted in a recent report from market research firm, Newzoo. Newzoo defines the “cloud gamer” as one that enjoys playing high-quality games, preferably free-to-play or discounted titles.
Google Stadia will launch come November 2019. Upon launch the Netflix-like operation for gaming will be accessible on laptops, PCs (with a Chrome browser), Pixel 3 and 3a phones, and you can Chromecast it by plugging it into the HDMI port on the back of your TV. Basically, a “console in the cloud” as The Verge puts it, and with reactionary capabilities through wireless integration. Gameplay anywhere. While more details will be unveiled in coming months, the subscription fee has been marked at a base price of $9.99 a month for a limited selection of games. Expect to pay more for better games.
Sony skipped E3 this year, Nintendo pre-taped, and Microsoft quietly held a press conference around Project Scarlett, the next-gen Xbox console expected to be out in late 2020. It will offer 8K gaming. Microsoft also has its xCloud service, which was first unveiled last year. There will be more of these streaming services and crossover exchanges to come.
Elon Musk showed up for a chat with Todd Howard (Bethesda Softworks), discussing his love of video games and also that Tesla will soon have in-car gaming options with Fallout Shelter as one of the titles. So, Fallout Shelter will bring the series (Fallout) to Tesla screens. Musk mentioned how “you can already play almost all the Atari games in the car” and that you can connect Xbox and PS4 controllers. But he wants more games offered. Now with the partnership Howard and his team, the sophistication of gameplay, its latency levels and all, can improve. Musk mentioned uses like if you’re on a road trip, or parked somewhere, well, you can get that level pounded out without leaving your car. Fresh air is so overrated.
He also had some words to share around the state of reality, which was voiced through a shifty chuckle.
“If reality was a video game, the graphics are great, the plot is terrible and the spawn time is really long.” – Elon Musk @ E3
News around Marvel’s Avengers came out too. A release date is set for May 15, 2020. There will be an “ever-expanding universe” with a pool of heroes and each added hero will be free. The heroes named are Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Iron Man, Hulk and Ant Man. The game will launch worldwide on PS4, Xbox One, Stadia and PC, and is the first to come between Marvel and Square Enix.
Other chatter came around Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel. The FFV11: Remake is a complete remake, not remastered, so those that fell in love with the game back in the late ’90’s will take a trip back to the original M.O. And PC players were happy to hear that all the world premieres previewed at E3 will be coming to PC, so they won’t have to adopt a new playing method, or play on a console they hate.
Here are the games we’re most keen about.
Early Access: July 2019
Release Date: May 15, 2020
Release Date: TBA
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel
Release Date: TBA (most likely 2020)
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Release Date: March 2020
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Another notable mention was Gods & Monsters (from the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey camp), which will be out February 25, 2020 and available on PS4, PC, Xbox One and Google Stadia. Another reveal that popped was around Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is available via Xbox’s Game Pass subscription platform come 2020. Game Pass has opened up a new way to reach hungry subscribers that want classic game development, and Microsoft offers over 100 titles to to Game Pass subscribers. This model may be the ticket as more people test out games and bundle their lives.
And lastly (for now), Netflix showed a Stranger Things game at E3, which will officially drop on July 4. In 2020 the streaming behemoth will release a free-to-play mobile game based on the show, too. Netflix will also have a video game added to the mix for its soon-to-be-released show, The Dark Crystal, available August 30.
Our top 3 picks from E3:
1. Cyberpunk 2077
3. GhostWire: Tokyo