Over the past two days, video game giants Sony, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and Nintendo all wrapped up their conferences at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), and even though there’s still one day to go, we’ve already seen a ton of awesome new previews and content. Here are the top five announcements from E3 so far.
5. Skyrim Gets an HD Makeover
2011’s hit role-playing game from developer Bethesda Game Studios is getting a high-definition update to bring it up to par with other current generation titles on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Skyrim Special Edition will feature improved graphics like “volumetric god rays” (those angelic rays of light that occasionally shine down through clouds and fog). In addition, Bethesda is also planning on bringing mod support to consoles, a feature that will definitely become a part of the ongoing console vs. PC argument that just won’t quit.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nintendo’s new title in The Legend of Zelda universe takes a serious departure from previous games in the franchise. Zelda games usually involve a fairly linear plot, with quests that take you from Point A to Point B to Point C, and so on. Not so with Breath of the Wild, which sees players exploring an open world with much less guidance. You can explore the world however you want, and, according to the games creators, you don’t even have to finish the main story to finish the game.
3. Xbox One and PC to Get Cross-Play Support
Microsoft’s cross-play feature isn’t necessarily something new, but as one of the largest names in both the PC and video game console markets, it’s a wonder it’s taken them this long to implement such a feature. Cross-play allows PC players and Xbox players to play each other online, where previously you were limited to playing only against other players on the same system.
2. Two New Xbox Consoles
In addition to the cross-play announcement, Microsoft also confirmed two new Xbox consoles: the Xbox One S, which is set for release in August, and the other, nicknamed “Project Scorpio,” which is set for release at the end of next year. The Xbox One S is essentially just a slightly upgraded Xbox One, with a 40% smaller footprint, 4K video support, and several storage options. Project Scorpio is set to be their next big release onto the console market, and rumors suggest it’ll be able to support full-quality uncompressed 4K gaming graphics, and at 60 frames per second no less.
1. Sony’s PlayStation VR: Release Date Set
The virtual reality market has been heating up lately, with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR at the forefront. But of those three heavy-hitters in that space, only the Sony can say that it’s price is definitely affordable. At just $399, the PS VR headset will not only come in at a price significantly below its competitors; it will also support a bevy of games right at launch. Sony wants to do this right, and with the awesomely low price point for a device capable of 120 frame-per-second virtual reality gameplay, they’re certainly on the right track.
By Andrew Janson
Top photo by Mulling it Over on Flickr
Middle photo by Andrés Álvarez Iglesias on Flickr