By ALEX FRUECHTENICHT
Every June, the video game industry takes over Los Angeles with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it is more commonly known.
E3 showcases new video games that are coming out, from Activision to Zynga and everything in between.
While the press conferences are the crème of the crop at E3, the booths are where the media gets to go hands-on with new games before anyone else.
Unfortunately for common folk, E3 is not open for public admittance. However, the entire convention is streamed online.
Being restricted to a computer or TV for information on the conference does have its advantages.
Many websites stream the conferences live and have journalists at the convention to report and interview those in the video game industry.
One of the most common ways of getting your information if you can’t watch the conferences yourself is to follow the right people on Twitter.
News sources like Polygon, IGN and Kotaku are some of the ones I follow because they usually link to articles they’ve written about said announcement.
There are a few things from each of the three console manufacturers (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft) that you can be sure to look forward to at E3 this year.
One of the biggest absences we know about is The Legend of Zelda Wii U. Nintendo will not showcase it as planned.
At the end of March, Eiji Aonuma, the producer of the upcoming Zelda title, released a video to the public saying that the game would not be out this year as they had initially planned.
He used the official Nintendo Twitter page to say the game would also not be shown. “Mr. Aonuma & team will be hard at work on #Zelda and have decided not to show it @ E3. Thanks for your patience,” he wrote.
The absence of Zelda at E3 this year won’t go unnoticed, but Nintendo will have a few more tricks up its sleeves.
I speculate that Star Fox Wii U will be the standout from Nintendo. Xenoblade Chronicles X, Yoshi’s Wooly World and Devil’s Third should have strong showings for Wii U.
3DS owners should look forward to Fire Emblem: If and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, but I suspect there will be more than one 3DS game announcement at E3.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has many new games coming out. Some of the biggest include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Persona 5 and No Man’s Sky.
No Man’s Sky, “a science-fiction game set in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy,” is one I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced.
Showing No Man’s Sky at E3 with a release date this year will be a standout from the competition for PlayStation 4.
PlayStation Vita should also be sharing some of the limelight at Sony’s conference with games like Persona 4: Dancing All Night, Lost Dimension and Danganronpa: Another Episode.
Microsoft’s Xbox One will also have some standout titles at E3, including Halo 5, Quantum Break and Scalebound.
While everyone knows the Halo franchise, Scalebound, a game shown off last E3 from developer Platinum Games, is one I think Xbox gamers should be looking forward to.
A Platinum game where you get to take down colossal monsters with the help of a dragon while listening to awesome music? Sounds like a hell of a game.
The biggest thing that everyone can look forward to every year at E3 is the stuff we don’t know about yet.
What other games will Nintendo show since Zelda won’t be there? Could this be the year we see a new Metroid game?
We haven’t heard much from Retro Studios since Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. The studio should bring the dormant franchise to life. How about a new F-Zero game to resurrect Captain Falcon and his hyper-speed racing?
How about Sony? Will we at long last get The Last Guardian or will this be yet another year of absence?
Since we first saw The Last Guardian from Team Ico back in 2009, the game has been on a roller coaster behind the scenes with the director leaving and then coming back under contract, as well as the numerous “cancellations” the game has supposedly gone through.
And does Microsoft give us the details on the next Gears of War game this year, or maybe something else entirely? I’d love to see Microsoft do something with Conker that wasn’t just in Project Spark.
There are also third parties to keep your eyes out for at E3.
Konami has Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, hopefully shown off by the game director, Hideo Kojima before his leave in December.
Star Wars Battlefront will also be at the show, possibly showing off gameplay for the first time.
I know this: On June 16-18, the video game industry is going to explode.
Conference dates: June 14-16
Conferences: Square-Enix, Bethesda, Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony
Key steps: Follow developers, publishers and news outlets on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for up-to-the-minute information