Last week, I attended the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for our sister sites Kotaku and Gizmodo. The sprawling three-day event packed in more than 52,000 exhibitors, developers and members of the media representing 109 countries. Needless to say, there was a lot of stuff to take in. Here are five personal highlights that should be on every gamer’s wishlist.
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#1 Microsoft HoloLens
The HoloLens is a transparent visor for the Xbox One that creates the illusion of tangible objects in the real world by adding graphical elements to the player’s surroundings. During my hands-on session at E3, I built Minecraft maps on a psychical table, shot at rampaging robots busting through the walls and even stepped inside the Halo universe as a Spartan soldier. While the device currently has some minor design issues, I think it could be the “killer app” that the Microsoft Kinect wasn’t — and its potential outside of gaming is going to be huge. You can read my hands-on report here.
#2 Old games are new again!
E3 2015 was notable for the number of beloved retro re-imaginings that were announced. First and foremost was Final Fantasy 7; a game that JRPG fans have been clamoring to see remade for more than a decade. I was at the Sony press conference when this news landed and the atmosphere was crazy — there were cheers, tears and ecstatic leaping into the air. Other notable throwbacks included Gears Of War, the long-awaited Shenmue III, the collected works of old-school developer Rare and new entries in the Tomb Raider and Hitman series. It’s going to be a good year for nostalgia fans.
#3 Virtual Reality horror
Horror movies have fallen on hard times in recent years — it’s all toothless remakes and “found footage” hack jobs bereft of any semblance of terror. But what if you were to step inside one of these movies as an unfortunate victim? I got to play several VR horror games at this year’s E3, and they proved to be the most exhilarating experiences at the show. My personal favourites were a licenced Walking Dead game where you had to fend off zombies while strapped to a wheelchair and The Kitchen; an Evil Dead-style snuff film that I’m still recovering from. Click here to read my harrowing account of the former.
#4 Backwards compatibility for Xbox One
Arguably the biggest announcement during Microsoft’s E3 conference was the news that Xbox 360 games will soon be playable on the Xbox One — free of charge. For gamers who still haven’t upgraded their last-gen consoles, this could be the factor that gets them over the line. With any luck, Sony will follow suit with a similar scheme for the PlayStation 4. Here’s how it works.
#5 Star Wars Battlefront
Because Star Wars. I got to play this game on the E3 showroom floor and it was stupidly addictive. The graphics, SFX and music are all note perfect. Cannot wait to play this game again.
And finally, here’s a small taste of the showroom floor looked like. (The below video encompasses less then half of the showroom floor!)
What were your favourite announcements from E3 2015? Let us know in the comments section below.