Guide to E3 2017: Staff Predictions

So what do the various members of our staff think about what’s to come at E3 2017?

With E3 finally here, the SmashPad staff shares their thoughts, hopes, and predictions of what will happen at E3 2017 and compiled their responses into an easy to read list. Have fun!

EA Play – Saturday, June 10 at 12 PM PT/3 PM ET

“Showcasing much of their stuff at EA Play, I think Battlefront 2 will be their focal point. Need for Speed will be playable but the franchise needs something new to pick it up. With the sports franchises basically coming out over and over again with nothing new, it’ll be a snooze fest.

WILD CARD! NBA Live 18 won’t actually suck this year.” – Christian Paraguya, Editorial

“EA is going to have to make it clear that Star Wars Battlefront 2 will NOT have any of the problems of its predecessor. The lack of a campaign and locking so much content behind a paywall was quite scummy, if typical, of EA. After the less-than-well-received release of Mass Effect: Andromeda, Bioware is going to have an uphill struggle in revealing their latest project, codenamed Project Dylan. They may be second to none in Western Game Development when it comes to world building and character development, but that won’t help them much this year.” – Brandon Perkins, Let’s Weekend Host

“EA is rumored to release a new Switch title. There are lots of people hopeful for a Sims game for the Switch and in my opinion this makes the most sense and fits the platform. However, realistically speaking, it will mainly just be another sports title.” – Jamie Rae, Editorial

“They have really big shoes to fill with hyping up FIFA on Switch with no gameplay, just conversation. Are sports games going to be ports of other systems or built from the ground up for the Switch? Battlefront reboot left a sour taste in my mouth with locking so much content behind the season pass paywall. There won’t be one for Battlefront 2, so I’m interested to see how they handle content and if there are any other Star Wars announcements.” – Joe Rosa, Editorial

“EA is in some estranged territory. Mass Effect: Andromeda was supposed to be a hit. It wasn’t. We know they’ll be bringing the guns with EA Sports as FIFA and Madden should remain strong while NBA Live tries to make yet another return. Starting things off, EA is apparently ready to make the crowd go crazy, but with what?  To me, it’s going to have to be not one, but two Star Wars games.” – Danreb Victorio, Managing Editor

Microsoft – Sunday, June 11 at 2 PM PT/5 PM ET

“Where is Crackdown 3? Seriously, where is it? That said, let’s have the name and price for the Scorpio. I would hope they don’t devote the entire show to Scorpio, but I do want to get the final details. I’d also like to see some new IP from Microsoft. Preferably new IP that doesn’t get cancelled.” – Filippo Dinolfo, Senior Editor

“Microsoft is going into this E3 with an unusual sense of urgency after losing the first half of the year to the one-two punch of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Horizon: Zero Dawn without an answer in the wake of Scalebound‘s cancellation. They have to be careful to hype the Xbox One Scorpio without tying up too many minutes talking about hardware, because games are the only way they’re going to work their way through this. Forza 7 is a given, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Halo 6 make a surprise first appearance (after all, the timing seems right), but with Microsoft it seems there’s always a higher probability of seeing new IPs step up, so that could be a factor. My personal hope: Project Gotham Racing 5.” – Patrick Mifflin, Senior Editor

“Playing from behind in terms of hardware, I’d love for them to really come strong with Scorpio, of which we will finally have the retail name. We’ve gotten glimpses here and there and I expect the full announcement come Sunday. I think if they can come strong at a great price point and have some playable AAA titles to back it, the race is on. I feel they will announce some type of Forza game and bring back the chief for one more oorah.

WILD CARD! Microsoft announces at least two IPs, one being Halo, and one surprise one. Scorpio is playable but fails to impress.” – Christian Paraguya

“Microsoft has done the same press conference for years now. We’ll see some connection to Windows and Xbox play being shared, a Forza game, a Tom Clancy game and something Halo. Microsoft most likely will focus on Scorpio in my opinionm but with the cancellation of Scalebound what IP does Microsoft even have to push Scorpio? Microsoft did purchase the trademark for Scalebound so there are rumors circulating that the title will be done in house and return from cancellation. It would be a smart move for Microsoft to make Scalebound a Scorpio based game to have at least one interesting IP to boost Scorpio sales. That would be awesome. If they don’t start cranking out some IPs, we can probably expect to see Halo 6 on Scorpio and the usual snore fest of games.” – Jamie Rae

“Scorpio is gonna play the biggest role, but I can’t help to think Halo 6 won’t be revealed alongside it. Will it actually play games in 4K because consoles can’t even seem to get 1080p native most of the time.
I wanna know what is actually exclusive to Xbox One/Scorpio without being released on PC. I don’t even know what to hype myself up Xbox One-wise besides Scorpio unless it magically has a portable peripheral.” – Joe Rosa

“Microsoft has their work cut out for them. This easily could be the most interesting press conference as we’ll undoubtedly see the official unveiling of Project Scorpio, but what matters most will be the games we see on it. Halo and Gears of War will can settle some of that thirst, but one has to wonder how bad series fatigue will be.  I personally want to see an aggressive move, such as Microsoft forming a partnership to revive a series like a Panzer Dragoon or an Otogi, two of my favorite games on the legacy Xbox.” – Danreb Victorio

Bethesda – Saturday, June 11 at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET

“Unfortunately I don’t really follow too many Bethesda games, but I definitely feel Quake Champions will be a large presence. I do see some new game announcements that have been teased that will catch people off guard, one being a familiar franchise, (Elder Scrolls anyone?) and the second being either a new IP or a revived franchise.
WILD CARD: Bethesda announces the sequel to Brink. (Yes I was a huge fan of this game and I believe they were way ahead of their time. NOW is the time to do it right.)” – Christian Paraguya

“Bethesda has been teasing people with those two ‘construction zones’ and frankly I’m hoping they might be new IPs. Or perhaps even the next Elder Scrolls game, as much of a long shot as it might be.” – Brandon Perkins

“As far as Bethesda goes, I predict they’ll still giveaway awesome figures at their press conference. I also do not think there will be any new titles or sequels to any of the games they put out just yet. Most likely doc and expansion talk.” – Jamie Rae

“There was a rumor that a new Wolfenstein was in the works. I would love to see something Doom-related after that amazing reboot. The rumor mill is talking about New Vegas 2 which would make sense. They are obviously going to show off Skyrim for Switch but I doubt there would be an announcement for a new game in the series with the MMO having the new Morrowind Expansion.” – Joe Rosa

“Bethesda looks to have a much more fun-filled showcase than we’re all accustomed to, and given that they also opened up some slots to the public, there’s bound to be something consumer friendly. Quake Champions should have a setting showing here, but will we see another Elder Scrolls game?  What if that Skyrim footage on Switch isn’t actually Skyrim?” – Danreb Victorio

Ubisoft – Monday, June 12 at 1 PM PT/4 PM ET

Assassin’s Creed will be the focal point and it won’t disappoint. The beloved franchise will introduce new things that don’t actually suck. They will also tease a bunch of sequels but none will be playable. It’ll be a show and tell for Ubisoft this year.

WILD CARD! The Mario + Rabbids game is actually good and deep, showing that this two generally funny/kid-friendly franchises can have depth to it. I’m thinking along the lines of Mario RPG but updated.” – Christian Paraguya

“Ubisoft’s next Far Cry game is going to be awfully timely considering the current climate in the U.S. But they’re going to need to sell their other projects, like the new rumored Assassin’s Creed game to convince gamers that they’re still worth their money.” – Brandon Perkins

“Ubisoft has linked with Nintendo for the recently leaked Mario and Rabbids game. I’m interested to see how this game will do due to one main downside which is moving an entity and having no movement over each of your characters. This game is also supposed to mock RPGs excessive tutorial processes among other things.” – Jamie Rae

“Seems like most games were revealed. I don’t expect much from Assassin’s Creed taking a break to revamp the series. The Mario Rabbids crossover scares me but if Nintendo gave the okay for it than it must be alright. I’m running on a mixed bag of feelings until I see what the graphic style is.” – Joe Rosa

“Pop culture stuff aside, Ubisoft has managed to put out an entertaining press conference for the last few years and we don’t expect anything different this year. Assassin’s Creed is scheduled to make a splash with its return after a one-year hiatus while we’re bound to see more from what’s going to obviously be hilarious in South Park. Ubisoft always ends with some big and new, and we can’t wait to see what it is… unless it’s that Mario Rabbids game.” – Danreb Victorio

Sony – Monday, June 12 at 6 PM PT/9 PM ET

“The PS4 has been selling extremely well and Sony is riding high. Going into E3 I am sure we’ll be seeing the usual stuff like God of War, Gran Turismo, and Spider-Man. I would really like to see some more creative titles from them. I’d also like to understand why I should consider a PlayStation Pro. There hasn’t been much of a reason to get one.” – Filippo Dinolfo

“Sony is still riding a wave dating back to the lead-up to the PS4 launch where it seems as though they can do no wrong, but I did feel that their E3 2016 conference was criminally underwhelming compared to what they could’ve managed with what they had in the pipeline. Based on what we already know, Sony’s game plan is clearly to just keep it rolling, and specifically to do so with long-standing PlayStation-centric IPs. We already know about God of War, but Crash Bandicoot is almost assuredly on the menu with all the build the franchise has gotten of late, and the peculiar timing of a Ridge Racer event in Japan on the 11th makes you wonder if a Ridge Racer 8 is finally in the cards. Ultimately, holding fast to the PlayStation brand’s two-decade-plus identity (and that means keeping the third-parties cranking out quality JRPGs, as well) will be the key to Sony’s success at E3 2017.” – Patrick Mifflin

“With their 4K and VR system out in the wild, they need to focus on games. I’m hoping for a few playable demos to generate a good amount of hype such as Final Fantasy VII Remake and Spider-Man. I’d also love to see more of Death Stranding as Hideo Kojima continues to be an ace in Sony’s pocket.
WILD CARD: Sony comes strong with the VR and announces a big title for it.” – Christian Paraguya

“I would like to see Sony capitalize on their IP as well as nostalgia. I feel there will be a lot of attention directed to Crash N. Sane Trilogy and maybe hint at an all-new crash game in development, tying together nostalgia and killer IPs. I also predict Sony will have much more information on Kojima and his Death Stranding title. I am most excited for Supergiant Games third release, Pyre, that was pushed back from it’s initial January 2017 release. I would love to see Ni No Kuni II get a release date. It’s the least Sony could do with their hitters of KH3 and FF7 remake being rumored (possibly true… we all know it’s true) for 2018 release dates. We need some amazing RPGs with the killer two we’re all waiting on being dangled above us for years. Sony is also notorious for showing their side projects no love. There is a rumor of a new handheld that I predict is entirely false. The Vita gets no attention and Sony VR has no real hard-hitting games or games that seem complexly developed.” – Jamie Rae

“There were some nice things shown off last year like God of War, Spider-Man and Gran Turismo, but too many indie games. They need to show people what the Pro is capable of instead of consumers wondering why they bought it in the first place. What are you gonna surprise me with announcement-wise that will come out in a timely fashion instead of constant delays?” – Joe Rosa

“Most of the gaming community thought Sony pretty much killed it last year, but there’s a number of folks here at SmashPad who think that wasn’t the case primarily because a huge number of the best games shown aren’t even out today.

We’ll probably see highly anticipated titles such as the likes of the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts III, but Square Enix has already mentioned that these games won’t see the light of day for a while. Be that as it may, Horizon was a huge release for them this year and we’ll probably see the new God of War get that same sort of treatment. It’ll be interesting to see if the rumors of a new handheld or some sort of “Switch killer” hybrid are in the works, but in the vein of the PlayStation Move and how the other handhelds fared, I’m can’t say I’ll be impressed.

Just to put it out there, I think we’ll hear about a new celebrity in Detroit: Become Human, it’ll have a winter release date, and it’ll feature VR play.” – Danreb Victorio

Nintendo Direct – Tuesday, June 13 at 9 AM PT/12 PM ET

“With the Switch out and about now, Nintendo has the opportunity to solidify the Switch as a legitimate successor to the Wii U. They have some good third party support, some good indie support, and their steady stable of internal IPs. If they can’t put on a good show, then they’re really not trying.” – Filippo Dinolfo

“Whether present in Los Angeles or not, this will be incoming CEO Tatsumi Kimishima’s chance to truly put his signature on Nintendo in the wake of the launch of the system he largely oversaw in development. Though much is still unknown of Kimishima’s approach to gaming, there is a list of things Nintendo can do at E3 to change course for the better after some lean years on the console front. Joining companies like Capcom and Sega in moving to activate long-dormant IPs would be a great first step, detailing Nintendo Switch Online despite its delay to 2018 is absolutely necessary, and populating their holiday calendar with more than just Super Mario Odyssey is required to sustain the momentum of a successful Switch launch. The only thing certain at E3 right now, however, is that we will walk away from the event with a much clearer identity for Kimishima’s Nintendo.” – Patrick Mifflin

“E3 is going to be huge. The honeymoon with the Switch is over. If you’re lucky enough to have gotten one, you’re salivating for something good. Zelda did an amazing job of holding down the system, and with Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and ARMS still waiting in the sidelines, E3 2017 should be the place where they cement the Switch’s future.

WILD CARD: Nintendo announces Pokemon Stars which will draw heavily from the Switch’s mobility, another big mobile game announced/release dated and revive a beloved franchise.” – Christian Paraguya

“Nintendo was very smart only showing mainly Zelda last year and leaving their new console more of a mystery. They now have the whole floor open to showcase the Nintendo Switch and what is to come. I predict seeing more controllers and joycons as well as all these rumored Switch being playable. They will knock it out of the park with Super Mario Odyssey and this conference will plant the seed for an abundance in Nintendo Switch Holiday Sales. Wii U who? They have returned from this flop tenfold to the point where you even have fans begging for Switch ports. They are also having an ARMS and Splatoon 2 tournament. People are naturally competitive, so this is a smart marketing device to bring more players to test these games and increase their sales. Also with Sega and Sonic Team fixing their mistakes made in past Sonic games, this will be an amazing year for Sonic and Mario alike. Looks as if the new slogan should be “Sega does what Ninten-do.” Teamwork really makes the dream work.” – Jamie Rae

“Everyone’s eyes are watching to see what they do with the Switch, but I’m more curious about 3DS and its really tiny release titles. Older games are getting “new features” via online but how far will that go? You could really amp people up with some N64 multiplayer titles like Mario Party, Smash and GoldenEye. Will the 3DS do anything with the Switch or is it dying hardware on life support waiting for a successor to be revealed?” – Joe Rosa

“Nintendo is riding high on their momentum with the Switch being quite the success, but a lot of question marks still plague the console namely in whether or not Virtual Console even exists. We also need to see more original games, even if the ports like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are riding high. On top of that, with the recent release of the New 2DS XL, it makes you wonder how much Nintendo will continue to support the handheld, and one thing’s for sure — if too much of the Direct presentation is spent on the 3DS family of systems, people will tune out.” – Danreb Victorio

Everybody Else

Devolver Digital: “After stating they will have an open Indie Picnic event, they have since closed it and it will no longer be open to the public. Shame because this would’ve been a wonderful opportunity for people to get Indie games in their hands.” – Christian Paraguya

“There has been talk that CDProjekt Red might be ready to show more of Cyberpunk 2077 this year. Considering that all of their Witcher 3 content is now complete, now would be the perfect time to start showing it off.” – Brandon Perkins

Crytek: “If I recall correctly they own the rights to TimeSplitters but have done nothing with the IP. TimeSplitters Rewind has been a fan project since 2013. There was a teaser trailer for 2017 so it would be nice if Crytek shows off anything or the publishing/developing company Cinder Interactive Arts.” – Joe Rosa

Thanks for checking out our Pre-E3 content. Stay tuned for the many podcasts, recaps, and such from us during the week of E3.