LOS ANGELES -- With the launch of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U in the video game industry's rearview mirror, the spotlight at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles is expected to shift to games. From online-only titles to virtual reality experiences, about 200 exhibitors will hype their latest software in hopes of becoming The Next Big Thing.
With the rise of the new console generation, several publishers will use this year's E3 to push potential new franchises, such as Bungie's sci-fi shooter Destiny, Turtle Rock Studios' monster battle Evolve, Insomniac Games' cartoony shoot-'em-up Sunset Overdrive and Ubisoft Massive's terrorist thriller Tom Clancy's The Division.
(Caption: Alex Beckers watches a presentation last year, on June 13, 2013, for the video game Destiny at the Activision Blizzard Booth during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.)
A few apologies might be issued to E3 crowds, like Microsoft for backtracking on required features for the Xbox One; Electronic Arts for botching last year's game, Battlefield 4 launch; Nintendo for again dialing back its E3 presence after stumbling with the Wii U; and far too many publishers to name here for delaying titles originally set for release this year to 2015.
(Caption: The crowd plays video games on June 11, 2013 in the Sony PlayStation 4 booth during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles .)
The prospect of virtual reality in the living room probably isn't quite ready for prime time, but that won't stop VR from being buzzed about across the Los Angeles Convention Center this week. A few developers, including Words With Friends co-creator Paul Bettner, will be showing off games created for the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus headsets.
(Caption: Marcus Ingvarsson, right, tests the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset Project Morpheus on March 19, 2014, in a demo area at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco.)
RETURN OF THE JEDI
EA, which announced an exclusive deal last year with Disney to produce Star Wars games for the next 10 years, will detail its DICE unit's intergalactic adventure Star Wars: Battlefront during its E3 presentation on Monday, June 9, 2014, and the company might tease other Star Wars games, including one currently being crafted by its Visceral Games studio.
(Caption: Microsoft presents a LucasArts' Star Wars video game on June 14, 2010 for its Xbox 360 with Kinect technology, during the Xbox 360 media briefing in Los Angeles.)
RINSE AND REPEAT
Despite the boost in nonsequels at this year's E3, a slew of follow-up games are scheduled to be promoted, such as new installments of The Sims, Halo, Call of Duty, Far Cry, 'Metal Gear Solid, Assassin's Creed and Super Smash Bros. If past shows are any indication, more sequels will be revealed for the first time at E3.
(Caption: This Activision photo shows a scene from the video game, Destiny. The recent success of Watch Dogs and Titanfall is paving the way for several new video games that don't contain numbers in their titles to be hyped during the Electronic Entertainment Expo.)
Microsoft may introduce its own virtual reality headset; Sony might unveil an Uncharted or God of War game for the PS4; Nintendo may tease a Legend of Zelda for the Wii U, and a Skylanders-like toy-game line; and Team Ico's The Last Guardian, a game originally teased at E3 2009 but never released, could finally get a release date. Or not.
(Caption: Phil Spencer of Microsoft Game Studios speaks at the Microsoft Xbox E3 media briefing on June 10, 2013 in Los Angeles.)