E3 is the biggest gaming event on the tech calendar, and E3 2016 is set to take place in Los Angeles this week. The likes of Sony, Microsoft, Bethesda, Square Enix and others are set to take the stage during the event, showcasing what they’ve been working on for the past year. Here, we talk you through the E3 2016 schedule along with timings for each press conference and what we expect to see in terms of hardware and software. Read next: Most anticipated games of 2016.
Podcast discussion: Games at E3
What to expect from E3 2016: When does E3 2016 start?
So now you know what E3 is, when does it start? The event itself is due to run for three days, from Tuesday 14 June to Thursday 16 June 2016. More details about dates and times can be found below:
- Tuesday 14 June 2016: 12pm-6pm
- Wednesday 15 June 2016: 10am-6pm
- Thursday 16 June 2016: 10am-5pm
However, while the event itself runs from Tuesday-Thursday, many companies host their own press conferences before the show begins. In fact, Bethesda and EA have already showcase their new games: What Bethesda announced at E3 | What EA announced at E3.
The likes of Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Bethesda and Ubisoft usually host press events on the Sunday and Monday ahead of E3, with this year looking no different. Take a look at our E3 2016 schedule below for all the latest press conference timings.
E3 2016 press conference schedule: When are the E3 2016 press conferences taking place?
Electronic Arts caused controversy by deciding not to have a booth at E3 2016. The company hosted its own events in London and LA on Sunday 12 June 2016 named ‘EA Play’, taking place at 1pm LA time or 9pm here in the UK. Activision also made the choice not to have a stand at E3 2016, deciding to instead showcase its new games on partners (like PlayStation and Xbox) booths.
We're used to Nintendo holding a Direct online presentation at E3 instead of a traditional press conference. However, it doesn't look like that's even going to happen for 2016 with just a Treehouse Live planned which will the first in-depth look at The Legend of Zelda.
Take a look at the press conference schedule below, and click through to find out how to watch each event live.
E3 2016 press conference schedule (UK time)
Sunday 12 June 2016
9pm: EA Play
Monday 13 June 2016
8pm: PC Gaming
Tuesday 14 June 2016
5pm: Nintendo Treehouse Live
Wednesday 15 June 2016
No confirmed press events
Thursday 16 June 2016
No confirmed press events
We’ll update this with more information as soon as we receive it, so make sure you keep checking back for the latest schedule information.
What to expect at E3 2016: Games
E3 wouldn’t be E3 without a myriad of game releases, and E3 2016 is set to be an exciting one. Along with a number of blockbuster games set to make an appearance, we should start seeing blockbuster VR games for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and the upcoming PlayStation VR. While there isn’t a lack of VR games and experiences at the moment, we imagine that E3 is where we’ll be seeing the VR equivalent of Call of Duty, for example.
Speaking of Call of Duty, Activision is set to announce details of this year’s edition of Call of Duty, currently being developed by Infinity Ward, during E3 2016. However as mentioned above, the company isn’t hosting its own press conference or stand at the show, and will instead showcase its wares via the likes of the Sony and Microsoft. It’s rumoured that Call of Duty 2016 could be set in Space, featuring space combat unlike anything seen in current Call of Duty games.
There are also some whispers concerning a sequel to the hugely popular The Last of Us, a game that won countless awards when it was first released. While there is nothing solid in place, recent rumours suggest that The Last of Us 2 could be Sony’s secret weapon. We doubt that there will be a working demo at the show, but we should at least see some kind of teaser/trailer.
While the next rumour is a long shot, it’s definitely still worth a mention. Some believe that the upcoming game Destiny 2: The Shattered Suns will make an appearance as Activision has already confirmed that the game is set for release next year, although we’ve not seen any gameplay (or even a teaser) for the upcoming game to date. Despite Activision not having a stand or conference at E3 2016, we imagine that it’ll use the Sony or Microsoft press conference to showcase the sequel to the hugely popular Destiny.
Nintendo has confirmed that The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will be playable at E3 2016 for the first time. In fact, the title will be the 'only playable game' of Nintendo's. The firm has announced that it will launch on the Nintendo NX, too when it arrives next year.
"This June, Nintendo will focus its attentions on the upcoming game in The Legend of Zelda series. The Wii U version of the game will be playable for the first time on the E3 show floor, and it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion," said Nintendo.
Update 3 June: Nintendo has changed its E3 plans and will now also be holding (among other things) a Pokemon Go Q&A on 15 June, and a Pokemon Special on 16 June.
Of course, the above games aren’t only the only games we’re expecting to see at E3 2016. There will be a myriad of game announcements during the show, and we’ll update this section with more rumours as we receive them.
We expect to see game announcements for the following games, amongst others:
- Dishonored 2
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- For Honor
- Crackdown 3
- Call of Duty 2016
- Titanfall 2
What to expect at E3 2016: Hardware
While the main focus of E3 is games, hardware is also a key part of the show. Many hardware manufacturers will also be at the show, including the likes of Oculus, Razer and Logitech, showcasing the latest gaming accessories coming to market. With the Oculus Rift available to (kind of) buy, we imagine that Oculus will announce more details about the upcoming Oculus Touch controllers – bespoke handheld controllers that help the Rift compete with the likes of the HTC Vive.
Sony PS4.5 ‘Neo’
We’re hoping to hear something about the upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, codenamed Neo. Recent rumours seem to suggest that Sony is manufacturing a more powerful version of the PlayStation 4 with a faster processor, better graphics and even a 4K output. It makes sense for the company to release a more powerful version of its console, especially ahead of the PlayStation VR release later this year.
Xbox One Slim
However, Sony isn’t the only manufacturer tipped to announce hardware changes this year. During the Xbox Showcase in February 2016, Xbox boss Phil Spencer teased that there might be hardware changes headed to the Xbox One, and while there is no confirmation yet, we assume that the company will announce changes to the Xbox One.
Rumours suggest that this will be a slimmed down version of the Xbox One code named ‘Scorpio’, possibly with a larger hard drive - it will be the Xbox One S. It will also feature 4K and HDR so a new Xbox One is unlikely to arrive in 2017 now with the PlayStation 4.5 Neo.
Although Zelda will be playale at E3 this year, the upcoming Nintendo NX console (still a codename) will not make an appearance at the show, it has been confirmed with the firm reminding us it 'changes its approach to the show every year'.
"As the first announcement of any NX information, Nintendo confirmed that NX is scheduled to launch in March 2017. NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year," said Nintendo.
Now while there isn’t any concrete evidence that we’ll be seeing the AR-enabled Microsoft HoloLens at E3 2016, we think it’s a possibility. Why? It has been a year since Microsoft last demoed the headset, showcasing its augmented reality gaming capabilities during E3 2015. We haven’t seen or heard a lot about HoloLens since, giving the Microsoft team a year to work on the project and hopefully come a step closer to releasing it. We expect to hear updates on the project, possibly alongside a new demo.