The hype trains are currently going through their final safety checks, presumably while staff stock their dining carriages with soft drinks and biscuits. It won’t be long until they leave the station.
E3 season is with us once again. And let’s face it: even though a large part of E3’s spectacle is the trade show itself, for the majority the most important aspect of the show is its many press conference dates and live stream events.
This is usually where we get the bombshell announcements, the memorable moments and the inevitable awkward bits that provide the internet with memes for months to come. Best of all, we don’t need to travel to Los Angeles to see them: we can enjoy them all from the comfort of our beanbags.
After its ‘interesting’ attempt at something different last year, Sony has opted not to have a conference this time around. That doesn’t mean there are slim pickings, though: there’s still plenty to watch, to the extent that it may be a bit tricky to keep track of everything.
Below is your handy guide to every notable E3 stream, in chronological dates order, along with what time it starts and how you can watch it. Keep this guide handy as E3 kicks off and you won’t miss a minute of the action.
Although it isn’t quite taking its ball and going home, EA is still taking a leaf out of Sony’s book by not going for a traditional conference this year.
Instead, its usual EA Play event will return, but in a new format that will focus specifically on six games. Each game will get a half-hour slot, meaning you can tune in to see the games that interest you and ignore the others should you so desire. The highlights will clearly be the first Jedi Order gameplay and Apex Legends Season 2 details. The next Need for Speed unfortunately will not be at this year’s show.
Dates: All six of EA’s showcases take part on Saturday 8 June. Find the games you want below to see when to catch them:
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order – 09:30 (PT), 12:30 (ET), 17:30 (UK)
Apex Legends – 10:00 (PT), 13:00 (ET), 18:00 (UK)
Battlefield – 10:30 (PT), 13:30 (ET), 18:30 (UK)
FIFA 20 – 11:00 (PT), 14:00 (ET), 19:00 (UK)
Madden NFL 20 – 11:30 (PT), 14:30 (ET), 19:30 (UK)
The Sims 4 – 12:00 (PT), 15:00 (ET), 20:00 (UK)
With Sony taking a back seat (presumably to prepare for its own event in the near future), Microsoft has a big opportunity to draw first blood in the next-gen battle if it manages to impress with the next Xbox (or Xboxes), which is/are widely expected to be shown.
Phil Spencer said in a recent Xbox podcast that it was time to “go big”, and with 14 first-party games promised for the E3 conference, including Gears 5.
Dates: Sunday 9 June at 13:00 (PT), 16:00 (ET), 21:00 (UK)
Since hosting its first E3 conference in 2015, Bethesda has quickly gained a reputation for delivering strong presentations.
Bethesda exec producer Todd Howard has already made it clear that we won’t be seeing its sci-fi RPG Starfield – despite its ‘save the date’ image being literally made of stars – or the sixth Elder Scrolls game at its conference, but Doom Eternal certainly will be there, as well as a few surprises.
Dates: Sunday 9 June at 17:30 (PT), 20:30 (ET), Monday 10 June at 01:30 (UK)
The highlight of E3 for many in recent years has been indie publisher Devolver’s series of bizarre and hilarious pre-recorded ‘conferences’, which pretend to play out like normal presentations but inevitably end up with copious amounts of blood shed.
Its conferences may be fake, but the games announced during them are very real, and more often than not end up being something special when they’re eventually released, so this is very much worth keeping an eye on.
Dates: Sunday 9 June at 19:00 (PT), 22:00 (ET), Monday 10 June at 03:00 (UK)
How to watch it: Devolver is generally quite odd when it comes to its conference streams. This time all it’s saying is that it’ll be shown on the main Twitch feed.
San Francisco-based virtual reality enthusiast site UploadVR has thrown its motion-tracked helmet into the ring with its debut E3 presentation, which it’s calling The First Ever E3 VR Showcase.
Opting to go for a pre-recorded video similar to a Nintendo Direct rather than a proper live show, UploadVR intends to shine a light on upcoming VR games that may be lost in the E3 crowd (especially since Sony’s no-show will mean fewer PSVR announcements).
UploadVR promises “a BUNCH of new game reveals, trailers and more”, so it’ll be interesting to see if those caps were justified.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 09:00 (PT), 12:00 (ET), 17:00 (UK)
How to watch it: There’s been no confirmed feed yet, and there may not be one given that it’s a pre-recorded show. UploadVR simply says users should visit its site at the time given.
PC Gaming Show
PC Gamer will be bringing its computer-focused conference to E3 for the fifth time this year, promising a bunch of new game reveals.
This year’s show will be sponsored by Epic Games, but it’s not quite clear how much that will have an impact on the announcements planned, and quite how many games due to be revealed will be Epic Store exclusives. Either way, it’s certainly going to be interesting to find out.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 10:00 (PT), 13:00 (ET), 18:00 (UK)
The popular publisher of limited edition physical versions of otherwise download-only games is returning to E3 this year following its first ever conference in 2018.
Naturally, expect some more announcements regarding which games will be getting the Limited Run treatment in the coming months. The company has also confirmed it’ll be giving the release schedule for its remaining planned PlayStation Vita games.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 12:00 (PT), 15:00 (ET), 20:00 (UK)
How to watch it: Limited Run will be streaming its conference on its Twitch channel.
You can always expect to see a slew of new titles at a Ubisoft conference, so we’re hopeful that 2019’s will be no different.
CEO Yves Guillemot recently confirmed the publisher has three ‘triple-A’ titles still to be announced for this fiscal year, so expect a typically stacked selection from Ubi, along with its token ‘and finally’ new game it generally tends to leave until the end.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 13:00 (PT), 16:00 (ET), 21:00 (UK)
Kinda Funny Showcase
The folks at Kinda Funny held a fun little presentation at last year’s E3, complete with gameplay and trailers for a number of games.
Don’t expect to see any enormous bombshells here, but there may be some interesting reveals nonetheless, as well as further demonstrations of bigger games that have already been announced.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 16:30 (PT), 19:30 (ET), Tuesday 11 June at 00:30 (UK)
How to watch it: The Kind Funny Showcase will, conveniently enough, be shown on the Kinda Funny YouTube channel.
If it ends up being half as good as the modern Tomb Raider games we could be looking at one of the potential games of E3. It’s not known what else Square Enix plans to show at the event: many will be hoping for more Final Fantasy VII Remake footage but given that we got a nifty trailer for it just a few weeks ago it may be wishful thinking to hope for more so soon. Still, you never know.
Dates: Monday 10 June at 18:00 (PT), 21:00 (ET), Tuesday 11 June at 02:00 (UK)
How to watch it: Keeping its cards close to its chest, at the time of writing Square Enix hasn’t confirmed which of its various media channels it’ll be using to broadcast its conference, instead directing people to this link on its website, where it promises you’ll be able to watch.
E3 2019 will mark the eighth time Nintendo will be streaming a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct E3 presentation instead of a live stage show, presumably under the impression that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Smart money would have been on Pokemon Sword and Shield making an appearance, but the recent announcement of a separate Pokemon Nintendo Direct taking place the week before means it’s now anyone’s guess what Nintendo will show.
The only relatively safe bet is that the Switch version of Animal Crossing will be included, given that Nintendo previously stated it was due to be released in 2019.
Dates: Tuesday 11 June at 09:00 (PT), 12:00 (ET), 17:00 (UK)