This week is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, and boy has there been a lot of game news. It can be hard to keep up. For a quick sum-up of what exactly this whole expo has given us, and why it matters to families, look no further. Here is our speedy break-down of every E3 press conference, just for families. This synopsis will not include information on any upcoming M-Rated games.
The Nintendo World Championship
On Sunday, June 14, Nintendo gathered some of the best players in the country to battle it out in LA in front of a huge crowd. Nintendo games were selected randomly, so the players had to have a bit of skill in everything. Reggie Fils-Aime, the COO of Nintendo America, even came onstage (as promised) to battle in Super Smash Bros for Wii U. At the end, Shigeru Miyamoto came onstage to present the trophy himself. By all accounts it was a pretty fun time. You can watch a highlights video here, or watch the entire thing here.
The Bethesda Press Conference
Bethesda is the game company responsible for many incredibly popular M-rated games like The Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein, and the upcoming Fallout 4. Their press conference on Sunday, June 14, had just two non-M-rated news stories.
- Bethesda is entering the free-to-play card game fray, with Elder Scrolls Legends.
- Fallout Shelter, a free app rated ages 12+ by Apple, was released on Sunday. In it, the player controls a fallout shelter after a nuclear apocalypse. Repopulation is a factor in the game, and male characters can impregnate female characters in a manner similar to The Sims.
The Xbox Press Conference
Microsoft, owners of Xbox and Windows 10, had a lot to talk about at their press conference.
- ReCore is an Xbox exclusive game from the team behind Metroid Prime. It’s about a young girl and her robot—our favorite kind of story.
- The Xbox One will be backwards compatible, meaning you can play Xbox 360 games on your new console! There will be 100 titles to start, with more to follow.
- Rare Replay is a collection of 30 games from the developer Rare on one $30 disc.
- Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 has been announced!
- Sea of Thieves is a great-looking pirate game from Rare. Naval battles, exploration, treasure…it has all that pirate goodness.
- Gigantic is an upcoming MOBA (like League of Legends) that looks bright, colorful, and fun! Also, it’s free to play. The beta starts in August.
- Xbox is a releasing a new Elite Controller that is totally customizable. It’s also $150.
- In the same story, Microsoft announced a partnership with Valve to make Windows 10 compatible with the HTC Vive VR headset.
- Minecraft for the Hololens got an incredible demo showing off how players can manipulate holograms with their hands.
- Forza Motorsport 6 has improved that driving-on-wet-pavement feel.
- Goat Simulator is getting a rerelease: MMORE GOATZ EDITION.
- Tacoma, from Gone Home creator Fulbright House, got a new trailer that shows the main character using sign language.
- Cuphead is a game done in the style of a Golden Era cartoon.
- Beyond Eyes is a new fairy tale about a young girl who is blind. It explores new ways to represent blindness in a game.
- Ashen is an action-adventure game about surviving in a fantasy world without sun.
The Electronic Arts Press Conference
Electronic Arts (EA) is the company responsible for Madden, The Sims, Bejeweled, and more. This year they gave us updates on upcoming games and announced a few brand-new ones.
- Unravel is the cutest-looking game to come out of this E3. You play as a small creature made out of yarn.
- Minions Paradise is an upcoming game for iOS and Android about the iconic Minions from Despicable Me.
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a prequel to the popular free-running game, Mirror’s Edge (T for Teen). It comes out February 23.
- Need For Speed is a racing game that gives you five overlapping stories and more control of your car’s looks than ever before.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes will be a digital card game on mobile devices.
- Star Wars Battlefront (T for Teen) will have local co-op with split screen, as well as single-player and multiplayer.
- NBA Live 16 has improved their face-scanning technology! No more strange pudding faces. Also, new moves and refined controls.
- The MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic has an expansion coming up called Knights of the Fallen Empire, adding more story to the game. It comes out October 27 and will be free for subscribers.
The Ubisoft Press Conference
Ubisoft is the game company responsible for Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Child of Light, and more. Their press conference was hosted by actress Aisha Tyler.
- Stunt-motorcycle game Trials Fusion (rated E10+) is getting a new expansion called Awesome Level Max that lets you play as a cat riding a fire-breathing unicorn.
- Anno 2205 is a futuristic city-building game in which you can build space shuttles and expand your civilization to the moon.
- Just Dance 2016 will let you stream new dance routines and use your smart phone as a motion capture camera.
- Trackmania: Turbo is coming to the PlayStation 4, if you’re looking for topsy-turvy racing action.
- The Crew has an expansion pack coming with motorcycles, monster trucks, and wicked stunts.
The PlayStation Conference
Sony, owners of PlayStation, had a ton of new trailers to reveal.
- The Last Guardian, which has been in production since 2007, is still…in production. But it’s not cancelled.
- Horizon: Zero Dawn is a brand-new game starring a young woman in an apocalyptic world fighting robots. No ESRB rating yet.
- Street Fighter V is the latest installment in the Street Fighter franchise.
- No Man’s Sky, a procedurally generated space-exploration game, showed a new demo with destructible environments.
- Dreams is a new game from Media Molecule that lets users create seamless dream worlds using their controllers.
- World of Final Fantasy is a cute role-playing game about siblings!
- Iconic JRPG Final Fantasy VII is getting an HD remake.
- In the same story, Shenmue 3 has been funded on Kickstarter, and is currently in production.
- Heads up, parents: Batman: Arkham Knight is going to be rated M for Mature, unlike the other series installments.
- Project Morpheus is Sony’s virtual reality headset, and it will let you play multiplayer games in virtual reality with friends.
- PlayStation Vue will start offering à la carte television channels in July, and is now available in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
- Disney Infinity 3.0 is bringing its Star Wars Starter Packs to PlayStation a month earlier than other consoles, along with a limited edition Boba Fett figure.
- Star Wars: Battlefront (see EA conference) got a second new trailer.
- Destiny: The Taken King (T for Teen) is a new expansion for the first-person shooter MMO. It features new weapons and a new story.
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (expected T for Teen) showed a new gameplay demo.
The Nintendo Conference
As usual, Nintendo pre-recorded their entire conference and simultaneously broadcast it out around the world. It featured silly puppets, interviews with developers, and lots of family-friendly game previews.
- Starfox Zero is the name of the next installment in the Star Fox series for Wii U, first announced at E3 last year. This game will be not quite a sequel, and not quite a remake.
- Super Mario Maker, coming out later this year, got a new trailer.
- Skylanders: SuperChargers will be compatible with two brand-new amiibo figures: Donkey Kong and Bowser.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a new cooperative multiplayer Zelda game for the 3DS.
- Hyrule Warriors is coming to 3DS with Hyrule Warriors: Legends. It will come pre-loaded with bonus downloadable content (DLC) from the Wii U version of the game, plus two additional character from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
- Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a multiplayer fighting game for the 3DS. The design is considerably different from the main Metroid game series.
- Fire Emblem: Fates is the new American name for the upcoming Fire Emblem game on Wii U.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X got a new trailer and release date (December 4).
- Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer was announced a while ago, but we got a brand-new trailer and release date (September 25). You play as an interior designer in an adorable animal village.
- Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is a brand-new Animal Crossing game for the Wii U. It looks more like a Mario Party game than an Animal Crossing game, though…
- Yoshi’s Wooly World got a new trailer and release date (October 16). Plus, Nintendo showed off a very cute video of Emi Watanabe, the woman who came up with the idea for knitting Yoshi amiibo.
- Yo-Kai Watch is an upcoming game similar to Pokémon, but with more cute anime ghosts.
- Mario Tennis Ultra Smash is going to be the next Mario Tennis game.
- Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is an upcoming crossover between the Mario & Luigi games and the Paper Mario games.
The Square Enix Press Conference
Square Enix is the company that brings us Final Fantasy, Life is Strange, and Tomb Raider. They showed a couple of trailers we had already seen in earlier press conferences.
- Lara Croft Go is an peaceful-looking, puzzle-based Tomb Raider game for mobile devices.
- Final Fantasy VII, in addition to getting a fancy remake for PlayStation 4, is also getting a remastered version for iOS.
- Kingdom Hearts Unchained x (pronounced “chi” like the Greek letter) is coming to smartphones in North America.
- Kingdom Hearts III has a new trailer showing glimpses of Rapunzel’s tower and new fighting techniques.
- Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness (expected T for Teen) got a new trailer.
- Tokyo RPG Factory is a mysterious (and beautiful) upcoming game.