Dismissed by some as a marketing machine, watching E3 has become a sacred ritual for many gamers. Here, couch-E3 veteran Jack Ridsdale give us his survival guide for the event.
A few years back, watching E3 from home was a more manageable affair. One solid Monday of hot games news that stretched from the mid-afternoon through to the wee hours of the morning provided a concentrated shot of games hype directly to your veins. This year, however, the top firms have grown a little more savvy to the marketing game and have begun separating their keynotes, meaning that completionists are now looking at strapping in for a four-day long marathon.
In previous years, Microsoft generally kicked off proceedings with a solid display of exclusive games, leading into EA’s keynote, whose extensive leanings on sports content left a good chance to squeeze in a quick power nap before it closed out with a bombastic Star Wars Battlefront trailer. This year, these keynotes are swapped, leaving Microsoft a whole night to bask in the glory of the Scorpio reveal before Bethesda, Ubisoft and Sony come out strong on Monday.
Sony is often thought of as the ‘headliner’ of E3, bringing in the big hits – the Final Fantasy VII’s, The Shenmue 3’s, The God of War’s – and while these reveals surely thrill and delight, they’re not as tangible as the reliable slates offered by the other firms.
Before you even think about tweeting out your E3 prediction hot-takes, you need a plan of action. Given the cruel timing of Sony’s keynote (2AM over here), you may want to consider booking Tuesday morning off work. If you fall asleep at your desk, your boss may not accept ‘Jak & Daxter 4 got announced’ as a viable excuse – unless, of course, he’s in LA at the event himself, in which case you’ve got a free pass. Yay!
For an E3 viewing party, the more the merrier is a safe attitude to have. Having some game-savvy buddies to bounce off when the on-stage banter gets dry is a must, and you can’t beat that collective awe when a truly unexpected announcement drops.
Next you’re gonna need provisions. The old standby of beer and pizza is as good a place as any to start, however, hitting this combo hard too early on can spell disaster for lasting through to Sony’s 4am wrap-up. For when your eyes to start to wane, brew some strong coffee or god forbid, start pounding back the energy drinks.
The number one tip for surviving E3 is simply this: have fun! Make jokes, place bets, come up with absurd hashtags and play rounds of Mario Kart between conferences. It’s not often that the worldwide gaming community comes together for an event, so see it as an opportunity to celebrate the best things this world has to offer. Also: don’t expect Kingdom Hearts III to ever come out.
The Game Plan
Here’s a handy schedule for catching all of the must-see shows in the UK.
The Loading Bar’s Stratford location, Secret Weapon, will be holding viewing parties for all of the keynote presentations (see below) with projectors, snacks and a beer garden if a certain reveal leaves you gasping for air.
If you’re planning on watching the action from home, the conferences can be streamed from various outlets.
YouTube hosts the official stream, which is likely to feature panels and commentary from Geoff Keighley’s E3 Coliseum in between conferences, but most publishers will be streaming from their respective Twitch channels as well.
Saturday, June 10th
8:00pm - EA
Sunday, June 11th
10:00pm - Microsoft
Monday, June 12th
1:00am - Devolver Digital
3:00am - Bethesda
6:00pm - PC Gaming Show
9:00pm - Ubisoft
Tuesday, June 13th
2:00am - Sony
5:00pm - Nintendo Direct