E3 2019 has come to a close, and it’s been another wild week of gaming news. There were big reveals, flashy press conferences, cool trailers, and even a glimpse of how the future of gaming could change in the years to come. And whether you were out on the show floor or watching from home, there was a ton of news to try to follow. So, in case you got lost along the way, here’s the most important stuff that was announced.
MICROSOFT TEASES THE FUTURE OF XBOX WITH PROJECT SCARLETT
With Sony skipping E3 and Nintendo doing its usual pre-taped Direct, Microsoft was the only one of the three major console makers to hold a tradition press conference. And the biggest news there was the first details on Project Scarlett, the company’s next-generation Xbox console, set to launch holiday 2020 with 8K gaming, support for 120 fps frame rates in games, ray tracing, and an optical drive, along with backwards compatibility for the last three generations of Xbox consoles. Oh, and a new trailer for Halo Infinite, which will launch alongside Scarlett.
STREAMING SERVICES ARE ABOUT TO BE A BIG DEAL FOR GAMING
If there was one trend of E3 2019, it was the emphasis on streaming services as the next big thing for gaming. Starting with Google’s pre-E3 Stadia reveal, Microsoft’s slightly confused xCloud service, Ubisoft’s new UPlay Plus subscription, Bethesda optimizing its games for cloud streaming, and rumors of a Square Enix service, the race to become the new “Netflix for games” is clearly on. With the first of these services set to launch later this year, we’ll get to see for ourselves how these promises actually hold up in the real world, but the idea of being able to play any game anywhere does sound appealing.
BREATH OF THE WILD IS GETTING A SEQUEL FOR THE SWITCH
Zelda fans went into Nintendo’s press conference confident that we’d be getting more information on the upcoming Link’s Awakening remake and the Zelda-themed Crypt of the NecroDancer spinoff, but no one could have expected this: the announcement of a full-fledged sequel to Breath of the Wild. And unlike some of Nintendo’s other long-term projects (like Metroid Prime 4, still a no-show), the company didn’t just flash a logo and call it a day — there was an actual trailer for the sequel, too. There’s no word yet on a release date, but expectations are already sky-high.
ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW HORIZONS IS DELAYED TO 2020
There was some bad news at Nintendo’s announcement, though: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the anticipated Switch debut of the series, has been pushed back from a holiday 2019 release to March 20th, 2020. As a consolation prize, Nintendo did have the first gameplay trailer for New Horizons, which looks to add a new crafting element to the series. And even without Animal Crossing, Nintendo still seems to have an incredible holiday lineup this year, with Pokémon Sword and Shield, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake.
JEDI: FALLEN ORDER MIGHT BREAK EA’S STAR WARS SLUMP
EA was surprisingly light on news at E3 this year, with most of its focus falling on Respawn’s new, single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. After the lackluster Battlefrontreboot, the PR disaster that was Battlefront II’s loot box scandal, and the public collapse of the Amy Hennig-led Visceral Games title, the company hasn’t had a lot of luck with the Star Wars license. But Fallen Order looks like it might break that curse: “We’re trying to be faithful to Star Wars, but also we’re trying to make a fun game,” game director Stig Asmussen says.
SQUARE ENIX FINALLY REVEALS MARVEL’S AVENGERS
It’s been over two and a half years since Square Enix announced that it was working with Marvel on an Avengers game, and at E3, the company finally showed us the results. What we got was mostly story-based, with a few snippets of the third-person action show in between. But it’s clear that the company has a huge vision for what it wants The Avengersto be, with promises of years of new content and characters for the title said to be in the works. It’ll launch on May 15th, 2020.
CYBERPUNK 2077, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, AND DEATH STRANDING ALL GOT ACTUAL RELEASE DATES
It’s been a good E3 for near-mythical games, with three of the longest-teased games — Cyberpunk 2077, announced in May 2012; Final Fantasy VII Remake, announced at E3 2015; and Death Stranding, announced at E3 2016, all getting actual, concrete release dates… all within the same six-month span. While new gameplay for the three titles (one of which technically was announced just before E3) was limited, the fact that we’re close to being able to play them at all feels like an achievement after so many years of waiting.