E3 time is upon us once again, loyal readers. The Electronic Entertainment Expo is the single largest gaming event of the year. E3 2013 takes place from June 11-13 (plus press conferences on Monday the 10th) at the Los Angeles Convention Center and is open only to members of the gaming industry.
During E3, all of the major console gaming developers and publishers crowd into the Convention Center and exhibit a selection of their latest and upcoming games for attendees to watch and play. Many new games will be announced, while others that we already know about will be revealed in action for the first time. Check out last year’s E3 2012 stories to get an idea of what goes down.
The very largest publishers and platform holders also hold press conferences on Monday, just before the show opens. Microsoft’s annual Media Briefing runs from 9:30-11am PDT. This is when the big MS will reveal the scope of its gaming plans for the Xbox One, including an assortment of previously unannounced launch titles for the new console. Windows Phone Central will be there and live blogging from the briefing, so make sure you check back with us Monday morning!
What should you expect in the way of Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox news from E3 2013? Read on for our predictions!
Windows Phone news
Microsoft probably won’t spare much if any time to Windows Phone during their actual press conference, sad to say. Last year’s solitary mention involved Ascend: New Gods (recently renamed Ascend: Hands of Kul by the way) coming to both Xbox Live Arcade and Windows Phone. This year, I wouldn’t be surprised if Halo: Spartan Assault for Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 came up during the conference. Beyond that, we’ll just have to see.
During the actual E3 event, we’ll definitely have a chance to play Halo: Spartan Assault and bring new impressions. Microsoft traditionally brings about six or so Windows Phone games to the show floor, though only one or two will be upcoming titles. Let’s hope they choose a better selection than last year’s lineup, which included the far too time intensive for events Civilization Revolution and largely unimpressive Battleship.
Last year Microsoft surprised us by failing to mention its Windows 8 PC and tablet OS at all during the Media briefing and even the show itself. The big MS runs a very light PR team as far as Windows Phone and Windows 8 and I guess they just weren’t ready to show anything off yet. That said, Windows 8 had a fairly good presence at Microsoft’s GDC Media Lounge (booth) earlier this year. Those physical resources and displays would be easy to bring along for E3.
My prediction is that Windows 8 will receive the same level of mention as Windows Phone during the Media briefing on Monday. If Microsoft has additional strong multiplatform titles to show off beyond Halo: Spartan Assault, those could come up during the press conference. On the show floor itself, Windows 8 will likely have a small (but larger than Windows Phone) dedicated section with Surface units and laptops for attendees to try out. Maybe one or two unreleased titles will be playable as well.
The Xbox One might be the big focus of conversation right now, but the Xbox 360 isn’t just going to fizzle out and die this year. The 360 has a lot of stuff going for it: it’s cheap to make, affordable to consumers, has a huge installed base, and plenty of games still in the pipeline. Microsoft will focus on the Xbox One during the Media Briefing itself but its little brother console will have a sizable presence at the show floor.
Some of the games we can expect in video or playable form at the show include the recently announced Fable Anniversary and Diablo III. We’ll see plenty of third party titles such as Splinter Cell: Blacklist (first announced at last year’s Media Briefing), Saints Row 4, Disney Infinity, Lost Planet 3, Rayman Legends, Batman: Arkham Origins, and lots more.
What can we say? E3 is Microsoft’s chance to convince the masses that the Xbox One is actually a decent choice of gaming console, especially compared to the Playstation 4. The big MS has a lot of catching up to do after the Xbox One reveal event received a generally disastrous reception from gamers.
The Media Briefing will show actual gameplay footage of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall, a huge FPS that will be exclusive to Xbox One, 360, and PC. Beyond that, Microsoft will also show footage from a number of unannounced Xbox One titles. Expect to learn what UK-based Rare has been up to for the last few years – they’re rumored to have one or two titles to show off at E3. We also expect to see or hear about sequels to major Microsoft franchises like Fable and Crackdown. There might even be a few more Xbox One exclusives like the rumored Dead Rising 3 from Capcom.
The Xbox One probably won’t be playable on the show floor itself. We’ll see playable 360 versions of many games coming to Xbox One like Wolfenstein: The New Order, Call of Duty Ghosts, and Thief. Microsoft will certainly have actual Xbox One hardware on display though, giving attendees a chance to see the new controller and console with their own eyes.
Windows Phone Central at E3
Sam Sabri and I will be live blogging from Monday’s Microsoft Media Briefing. The invite-only briefing takes place at the beautiful Galen Center. Later that day, we’ll also sit in on Electronic Arts’ E3 Press Conference. Perhaps we’ll finally learn about Mirror’s Edge 2 and what consoles it will support.
On top of scouring the E3 show floor for any and all tidbits of Windows Phone and Windows 8 news, we’ve got meetings with Microsoft and other publishers to check out unannounced and upcoming Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles. EIC Daniel Rubino as well as Mobile Nations’ Simon Sage will join Sam and me on the show floor.
Speaking of meetings, we’ll be talking with the good folks at Gameloft once again. We can promise SOMETHING exciting for Windows Phone fans on that front, but that’s all I can say for now. Check back Monday or Tuesday to see what we dig up!
Once again, Windows Phone Central’s E3 2013 coverage will start on Monday, June 10th and run throughout the week. Stop by often and/or follow the e3 2013 tag for all of this year’s stories.
Follow us on Twitter: Paul Acevedo - @PaulRAcevedo, Sam Sabri @SamSabri, Daniel Rubino - @Daniel_Rubino, and Simon Sage @SimonSage. And if you're a developer and want to meet up, send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with E3 in the title and we'll get back to you.