E3 2017 is right around the corner, with the expo set to open its doors from June 13 to June 16. With Nintendo coming out swinging with the success of the Switch, Sony in the middle of a run of excellent PS4 exclusives and Microsoft gearing up for the launch of the Xbox One Scorpio, it should be an excellent show this year with a variety of heavy hitters being announced by the “Big Three.”
But while the run-up to every E3 leads to mass amounts of speculation in regards to which new games will be announced, we’ve decided to compile a list of all the rumors we’re convinced will be confirmed during this year’s event. You’ll find no optimistic speculation here; only a series of expected announcements based upon evidence we’ve received over the past year or so.
With that being said, here are the E3 2017 predictions we’re almost certain will come true:
We’ve already seen a leaked (but unconfirmed) Bloodborne 2 poster doing the rounds, while Ori and the Blind Forest‘s game director Thomas Mahler has stated that he is “99% certain” that the game will appear at E3 2017. This is great news for fans of the PS4 original, with From Software seemingly not done with the action RPG genre after all.
If the above leaked poster is to be believed then it seems that Bloodborne 2 will remain an exclusive Sony property, which will disappoint PC and Xbox One owners who missed out on its excellent predecessor. However, for Sony this will prove to be yet another major exclusive, with the Soulsborne series having become one of the most successful in modern gaming. Though it appeared that From Software closed the book on Dark Souls with Dark Souls 3, there are still plenty of people who want to see a Bloodborne sequel, and it seems likely that they’ll get their wish. According to the poster Bloodborne 2 will be released on December 12, 2018, so we don’t expect much more than a teaser for the game at E3.
In the run-up to the launch of the Xbox One Scorpio it appears that Microsoft has forgotten that it already has a console on sale, with the company failing to announce any new exclusives for the Xbox One while the PS4 is showered with new games and the Switch continues its successful launch year. It’s inevitable that the Scorpio will be the biggest talking point during Microsoft’s E3 2017 presentation, and they’re going to need to reveal a slew of new titles for the Xbox One family in order to get people on board with the new hardware.
Halo 6 is the most obvious game to get people interested in the Scorpio, with Gears of War 4 having only been released back in October 2016 and 343 Industries’ sci-fi series being one of a limited number of heavy-hitters that could be a system seller. As such I expect the game to make its debut at E3, and for its upgraded visuals / performance on the Scorpio to be at the forefront of its presentation. In a slightly more optimistic prediction, I also predict that the game will feature a Scorpio-exclusive virtual reality mode, similar to the VR missions including in DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront. 343 boss and owner of the world’s most awesome name Kiki Wolfkill has already suggested that Halo 6 will feature more Master Chief as a result of Halo 5‘s disappointing story, and they’d achieve this with leaps and bounds if they allowed players to assume the role of the franchise’s protagonist in VR. Speaking of which…
Xbox One Scorpio and Mixed Reality
Microsoft and Oculus have been working together for a while now, with the Xbox One controller being bundled with the Oculus Rift and the VR headset being made compatible with Xbox One games using an app. With Microsoft having announced that the Xbox One Scorpio would be VR-ready, it has been suggested that Oculus will have a hand in making this work. However, rather than the Scorpio receiving its own version of the Oculus Rift, it instead seems more likely that Microsoft will be running with its Windows Mixed Reality platform.
The Xbox One Scorpio has been branded the “most powerful console ever,” with it boasting the potential to run the Oculus Rift above its minimum required settings. However, a press release the company put out earlier this year reads: “Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018.” Despite its confusing title, early demos of Microsoft’s Mixed Reality suggests that it’s pretty much just virtual reality. W
hile Microsoft is working on the HoloLens, an augmented reality headset that actually does boast mixed reality technology, the company’s first crack at the whip with Acer’s Mixed Reality headset will likely be comparable to the headset offered with the Scorpio. If this first foray into console VR gaming proves successful, this will then allow Microsoft to release new VR headsets compatible with the console via the Windows Mixed Reality platform, going one better than Sony and its PlayStation VR by way of allowing the Scorpio to receive upgraded headsets more comparable with the PC’s approach to virtual reality.
A whole bunch of PlayStation VR games
Though both Sony and Microsoft have downplayed the competitiveness of E3 in recent years following Sony’s aggressive dismantling of the Xbox One back in 2013, the two companies are still keen to best one another even if they’ve taken to acting friendly during this console generation. With the Xbox One Scorpio set to be the biggest hardware reveal of the show, Sony will likely be looking to steal some of its thunder, and may do so with its PlayStation VR headset.
If Microsoft is going to unveil its own plans for VR with the Scorpio, then Sony may well be looking to revitalize the flagging PSVR, which has received little in the way of new games since its launch last year. There are multiple rumors circulating that Sony isn’t going to abandon the PSVR at E3 2017 and actually has a number of new games it’s looking to announce, and while I’m still disappointed by what the headset has had to offer since picking it up at launch, it does seem likely that Sony will try to resuscitate the hardware during the gaming expo. Hopefully we’ll see more full games announced for the platform, and not just the short “experiences” that make up the majority of its software thus far.
Smash Bros. port
We’re far too early into the Switch’s life cycle to receive a new Smash Bros. game just yet, but considering the overwhelming success of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Nintendo would be foolish to not have a remaster of the Wii U’s Smash Bros. in the works.
This port has already been rumored prior to the Switch’s launch, and with MK8D proving to be one of the best remasters ever released (save for its dodgy online functionality), I’m completely on board with an upgraded port of the Wii U brawler. There were two versions of the previous Smash Bros. released by Nintendo, with different versions of the game launching on both the Wii U and the 3DS, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo merges all of the stages and content featured on these games in order to create a huge compilation, complete with all its released DLC, too.
Both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Smash Bros. were already packed with content, so a combination of both games would certainly get tongues wagging. Hopefully Nintendo will have finally got their heads around developing a competent online multiplayer component by the time it’s released, too.
The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein: New Colossus
Bethesda released the above image of a theme park based upon its various franchises prior to E3 2017, with two of the zones featured in the image listed as “Under Construction” and “Coming Soon.” Unless the company is working on a brand new IP, then the smart money is on a brand new Wolfenstein game titled New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 being announced during the expo.
Wolfenstein protagonist BJ Blazkowicz previously all but confirmed the existence of New Colossus in an interview with Two Left Sticks, saying that Bethesda was “working on the game” back in 2016. Meanwhile, a job listing for The Evil Within 2 was shared on NeoGAF, seemingly confirming the existence of the horror sequel. With Fallout 5 and a new Elder Scrolls game nowhere in sight, these are the most likely announcements we’ll see from Bethesda’s E3 2017 presentation.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom
An odd Mario and Rabbids crossover for the Switch was reported earlier this month, with Mario + Rabbids Kingdom allegedly pairing the Nintendo mascot and Ubisoft characters in an RPG featuring characters from both universes.
According to reports, the game will be a strategy RPG similar to Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, with it featuring co-op multiplayer and its characters including Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and Peach, along with Rabbids dressed up like the four Mushroom Kingdom inhabitants. Oh, and Mario will also make use of laser guns in the game, meaning that he’ll be locked and loaded for the first time ever. Weird.
Far Cry 5 will move to the Old West
The series is under threat of being another stale Ubisoft property following the underwhelming Far Cry Primal, and following the success of the HBO show Westworld it seems that the developer has looked to the Old West for inspiration for Far Cry 5.
A producer who has previously worked with Ubisoft for the company’s marketing campaigns was spotted filming scenes for a video game in a church on the northeastern Montana prairie, sparking speculation that Ubisoft will be looking to base a game in the Wild West. The company also listed a “Spaghetti Western style [game] set in the late 19th Century Americas” as a potential direction for the series in a 2015 survey, which adds more weight to the rumors. There have been a surprisingly small amount of games set in the Old West over the years, but it seems that the anticipation for Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 is starting to inspire other developers, too.
Assassin’s Creed: Origins will be set in Egypt
Assassin’s Creed was given a break last year after a couple of disappointing entries, but the franchise will likely return this year and will potentially make the move to Ancient Egypt. A leaked screenshot reportedly taken from the game features a protagonist mounting a sailboat in what could well be the rumored Egyptian setting, and though information aside from this is light, we’ll likely learn a lot more come E3 2017.
Another leak has suggested that the game will have a much more open structure in terms of how players navigate its expansive world and climb up its character progression system, while it’s also reportedly titled Assassin’s Creed: Origins, suggesting that it’ll be a prequel story to the events that have taken place in the game thus far. While I’m not exactly a big fan of prequels, the Ancient Egypt setting has piqued my interest and, if true, could make me reinvested in this troubled franchise once again.
Red Dead Redemption 2 will close the show for Sony
The two most likely candidates to close Sony’s PS4 presentation will be The Last of Us 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2, but given how Sony and Rockstar are working together to give the PS4 early access to the game’s online content, it’s likely that the company will want to advertise this fact as much as possible during its presentation.
Grand Theft Auto V was the biggest hit of the previous console generation and has continued to rake in cash on the PS4, Xbox One and PC, so Red Dead Redemption 2 will also prove to be a bank-rolling hit and Sony securing the rights to exclusive content is a big deal. We haven’t seen more of the game since its disappointingly vague teaser, but even though Rockstar has a habit of avoiding E3 like the plague, we imagine that their collaboration with Sony will ensure that it’s given center stage this year.