E3 2019: What You Need to Know

So another year has come and gone, and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has finished yet again, leaving us with a whole host of new information.

Though E3 2019 might have been lacking some punch, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to get excited about. This year we’ll cover the new console announcements and 4 indie titles to watch out for.

The Consoles

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As mentioned above, Microsoft announced its new console at their E3 conference, and they gave us quite a few details to get gamers excited.

Though they didn’t give precise details, they let us know that the new hardware will be built by AMD, and will include their new NAVI graphics architecture and a Zen 2 CPU. They’re hoping that all of this will decrease load times and that it’ll be around four times more powerful than the current console generation.

They also promised 120 FPS, 8K and ray tracing (an advanced lighting technique, commonly used in Hollywood). Whilst that might not sound too exciting for any PC enthusiasts, we’ve got some fantastic performances out of this generation, and there’s no reason to believe that they can’t do even more with Project Scarlett.

There was a small mention that you’d be able to play any game from the four generations of Xbox on the new console, but the thing that would’ve excited Xbox fans the most was the announcement that Halo Infinite will be launching alongside it. You can see the trailer for the below.

Project Scarlett has been given a release date of late 2020.

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Sony hasn’t yet confirmed what its new console will be titled, but at the moment everyone seems to be running with PlayStation 5 as to keep with previous titles.

Announced a few weeks before E3, we have a fair amount of information on Sony’s next generation.

Sony will be using a bespoke 8-core AMD chipset based on Ryzen architecture, with a GPU based around the Radeon NAVI GPU family. It will also have a specialised SSD storage system, 3D audio and 8k TV support. Like Microsoft, the improvements to the GPU and CPU will allow for ray tracing.

They’re promising a new ‘gold standard’ for audio on the PS5 too.

They’ve also confirmed backwards compatibility with PS4 games, PSVR hardware and the ability to play with PS4 users. There’s a rumour that the PS5 will be able to run games from the PS1, PS2 and PS3 as well, much like Microsoft confirmed for Project Scarlett.

No date has been given for its launch, but it’s unlikely to be before mid-2020. Unfortunately, there’s no clue as to what the PS5 might look like or any new titles announced for its launch, but we imagine titles like Death Stranding will be there. You can view the newest trailer for Death Stranding below:

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Whilst not technically a console, Google is making big moves in an effort to disrupt the market. The Stadia will be a streaming service for games, and Google hopes it will move gamers away from the idea of having hardware in their homes, and instead prefer and opt for streaming.

Google is promising that through Stadia, you’ll be able to play the latest titles through a Chrome tab, playing a game in 4K detail with 60 FPS, within 5 seconds, and no installation required. You’ll be able to use Stadia with desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

They’ve also promised that the Stadia’s computing power will be equivalent to a console running at 10.7 GPU terraflops; more than the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X combined, so that’s a big statement.

It’ll be launching in November 2019 within the USA, Canada and the UK. Prices will be around £8.99 a month for unlimited games. They’ve stated you’ll need around 35Mbps to play with the full 4K/60 fps.

You can read a confirmed list of games here.

It’s worth mentioning that if you have limited bandwidth, Stadia could easily eat that up. So keep an eye on it.

Possibly in response to Google’s move, Microsoft and Sony have announced that they are starting a ‘strategic partnership’, which will allow Sony to provide a streaming service, by accessing Microsoft’s infrastructure. Will it be enough to compete with Stadia? Time will tell.

You can watch the full conference on Stadia below:

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Though not new consoles, there are a number of retro consoles that are coming out:

  • Atari VCS. The all-in bundle is $389.99 for pre-order.
  • PC Engine Core Grafx. Prices range from $249.99 for the 4GB model and $389.99 for the 8GB model. Joysticks and controllers are sold separately at $49.99 and $59.99 respectively.
  • Segas Mega Drive Mini. Pre-order price on Amazon is £69.99.
  • Capcom Home Arcade. Pre-order price on Amazon is £199.99.

The Indie Titles

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Spiritfarer looks like it’s going to be a beautiful indie game, with beautiful, clean hand-drawn like graphics. It appears that humans and animals live together on a ship, and as the game progresses, you’ll be able to build and upgrade the ship.

Judging from the trailer, you’ll have cat companion who follows you everywhere, and that you’ll be able to mine; bake cakes; plant flowers/seeds; explore; sail and befriend various animals.

Right at the end of the trailer, it explains you’ll need to learn how to say goodbye. In the trailer, a deer vanishes in a blinding light after this piece of information, and it looks like this game has potential to be a real tear-jerker.

Watch Thunder Lotus Game’s adorable trailer below.

Release Date: 2020

Platforms: PS4, Xbox and PC

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Like Spiritfarer, Sky: CotL, looks to be incredibly stunning and the music gives it a touching, charming feel.

You play as a cute individual, powered by light and fire, and you’ll explore a world made of fallen stars, attempting to find a way to get them back into the sky. As you progress through the game, you’ll go through a variety of unique realms and lands, with some absolutely gorgeous looking flight portions. And this is a game that’s meant to be played with others.

Thatgamecompany was behind Journey, a multiple award-winning game, so this is one to definitely keep your eye on.

Release Date: July 2019

Platforms: First on iOS, eventually targeting consoles, PC, Mac and Android

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What is it with the indie games looking so lovely this year? Way to the Wood is a third-person adventure created by one man, Anthony Tan.

Way to the Woods is a survival adventure and features two deer (one an adult and the other a fawn), and details their long journey home after human civilization has collapsed.

Anthony states that he’s heavily inspired by Miyazaki films, specifically Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, as well as the video game The Last of Us.

Release Date: 2020

Platforms: Xbox One and PC

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The Legend of the Wright is a new hand-drawn RPG from the Japanese studio Desk Works.

This game takes place within a student’s notebook and their doodles seem to come alive and transform into in-game items and characters. It has incredibly cute design as cut-outs, pops ups and flip books come to life as part of the gameplay.

You’ll need to use what’s available to you to overcome many puzzles and obstacles. Check out the trailer below.

Release Date: Spring 2020

Platforms: Xbox One

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What were some of your favourite announcements from E3 this year? Let us know!