We're now less than a month away from the start of E3 2014, which is set to be one of the biggest and most important in recent memory. With all the next-gen consoles out, it's up to Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA and Ubisoft to give us a reason to own them; to show off the fattest exclusives, biggest surprises and
It all goes down on June 9th. There will be dubstep. You will need coffee.
Sony has now locked down the time of their presentation, meaning that we bring you the full schedule. Though we'll naturally be predicting the content and chewing over the reveals over the coming weeks (we might make bingo cards again if you want them!), here are the all important times.
Microsoft Media Briefing - 17:30
Microsoft have a lot to prove at this year's show, and new head honcho Phil Spencer has been thinking about little else over the last few weeks judging by his excited tweets on the subject. We can expect to see reveals of Halo 2's anniversary edition if the rumours are on the money, more info on Fable Legends and Sunset Overdrive, much more about Quantum Break and D4, plenty of entertainment programming, some [email protected] highlights, perhaps a teaser for Black Tusk's Gears Of War continuation and hopefully a fair few surprises too.
The rumour mill also hints at some Japanese games, which could provide some much-needed flavour. Either way, we'll be very keen to see whether Microsoft can atone for last year's underwhelming show with real quality this time around. Spencer, it's all to play for.
It'll be available to watch on Xbox.com, Twitch and on Xbox consoles/Windows 8 phones via a downloadable app. Links/embeds nearer the time.
EA "World Premiere: E3 Preview" - 21:00
The time difference means that, after grabbing some dinner and putting another brew on, EA begins their yearly hype-fest in the evening. "Hosted by Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson at the Shine Expo Hall in Los Angeles, the live event will feature never-before-seen content from EA’s upcoming games as well as sneak peeks at new projects and intellectual properties currently in development," reads the blurb - which means that we'll see Star Wars Battlefront and perhaps Amy Hennig's new project break cover alongside all teh sportz.
Ubisoft Media Briefing - 23:00
Getting late, and Ubisoft are out to cater to the night owls. Naturally they'll fully blow the lid off Assassin's Creed Unity while confirming more details about The Crew, which are bound to be their major Christmas earners, though they'd also be mad not to show us more of The Division considering that fans have gone absolutely nuts for it.
We'd also love to see Beyond Good & Evil 2 properly revealed, and will go totally nuts if they pull the trigger. Come on Ancel. Do it. Make it happen.
Otherwise, there's rumblings of another last-gen Assassin's Creed game (codenamed "Comet") - and we can always rely on Ubi to bring a few great surprises too. Not to mention Just Dance.
Sony PlayStation Briefing - 02:00 (!) June 10th
As usual, Sony's evening entertainment (usually involving a huge party and massive stage show - I wish we were going this year) means that only dedicated fans will want to stay up to the wee small hours over here in the UK. However, we suspect that PlayStation superfans will be rewarded for their sleep deprivation with... well, what exactly?
See, Sony really needs to announce more killer PS4 exclusives, which are admittedly thin on the ground right now no matter how hard you slice it. We'll definitely see more of Uncharted and The Order: 1866, but the current buzz suggests that we may also hear about their From Software collaboration (project Beast) and a new God Of War. All things we want. With luck, the Vita will get some serious loving too, alongside Planetside 2 that frankly deserves more attention.
And what about The Last Guardian? Could this be the year? We'll know soon enough.
Nintendo Direct - 13:00 June 10th
Once again, Nintendo aren't holding an official press conference, but will be throwing a livestreamed presentation on June 10th. Alongside a Super Smash Bros tournament and other fun asides, they'll be making sure to hammer home that Super Smash Bros is happening, while hopefully showing off X (yes! yesssssss), a brand new Zelda title, Hyrule Warriors and presumably more Mario to boot.
Perhaps Iwata will take the opportunity to reveal the 'Quality Of Life' initiative that they've been banging on about - and it'd be nice to see even more indie support too, since many developers are adopting the platform, alongside the big hitters. We'll host an embed nearer the time, while the stream will be available here.
So there we you it. As the date approaches, we'll naturally take a more detailed look at what to expect from each of the conferences, but for now let us know what you're most looking forward to and what you're hoping for from the Big Five!