It was the stuff of dreams for game enthusiasts from around the world: Hands-on displays, earth-shaking announcements and plenty of play to go around. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, has just concluded, and fans are still on a high from the stunning, interactive displays at the premiere exhibition event.
Although it's an insider show, gamers had their eyes on Twitter conversations and interactive livestreams to listen in when their favourite game-makers gave bombshell announcements. We're talking about all the big players here: Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Namco Bandai, PlayStation and 2K Games, to name just a few.
— StevesCODvision (@StevesCODvision) June 20, 2015
What are some of the highlights from this year's show?
- Bethesda knocked everyone's socks off during its first E3 conference, revealing Fallout 4 and giving a surprise product launch: Fallout Shelter.
- Ubisoft showcased a number of new games and features, unveiling South Park: The Fractured But Whole, For Honor and Rainbow Six Siege. A theatric highlight was the gorgeous Victorian-era imagery in the Assassin's Creed Syndicate trailer, complete with remarkably real fights and carriages.
- Sony offered some truly blockbuster moments, with exclusive looks at Killzone, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Hitman and Street Fighter 5 content. Also, The Last Guardian, complete with its winged beast, is coming (for real!).
- Microsoft shocked the crowd by announcing Xbox One is getting backward compatibility – just in time for the holiday season.
"More than any other E3, this year was about the gamer. E3 demonstrated both the remarkable transformation of entertainment taking place on all video game platforms – virtual reality, augmented reality, hardware, mobile and handheld – and awesome games," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA.
— For Honor (@ForHonorGame) June 22, 2015
It's no wonder that E3 broke records for social media engagement, inspiring some 6.3 million Tweets, 7.5 million Instagram likes, 1 million YouTube videos and more.
Inspired by E3? The excitement doesn't have to end there. If you're looking to add some gaming expos to your schedule, here's a brief selection of some of the most anticipated conventions to keep on your radar:
1. EGX London
London, UK: September 25-27, 2015
Arguably the reigning champion of games shows in the UK, EGX London gives visitors a first-hand taste of console and computer games before they hit the shelves. Attendees can meet top developers at sessions where designers announce their newest creations.
— EGX (@EGX) June 17, 2015
Held at the Nec in Birmingham, this trade show gives gamers the chance to compete in tournaments, play AAA games and experience the whole spectrum of the gaming industry, from little indie publications to the biggest names out there. PlayStation, MadCatz, Xbox, Bandai Namco and Ubisoft will be there – will you?
2. EB Expo
Sydney, Australia: October 2-4, 2015
EB Games Expo, EB Expo, EBX – whatever you call it, this video game trade fair is Australia's largest gaming event, drawing tens of thousands to its 15,000-some square metre exhibition at the Sydney Showgrounds.
Open to the public, gamers can join up with their fellow hobbyists from around the country for an experience of a lifetime. Bethesda, PlayStation, EA and Ubisoft are just a few of the confirmed exhibitors. Oh, and don't forget the aliens:
— Xbox Australia (@XboxAustralia) October 5, 2014
With hands-on displays and opportunities to try out the very latest creations from game developers, this show is sure to provide ample entertainment and an adrenaline rush that will rival any power up.
3. PAX Australia
Melboune, Australia: October 30 – November 1, 2015
As far as gaming conventions go, PAX has pretty much pwned the competition. As the Aussie version of the US-based event, PAX Australia brings that special focus on gaming that has always been at the very heart of the show.
In other words, if you're looking for anime and comics, go somewhere else. At PAX, it's all about the gaming, and what an event it will be. Get ready for console freeplay, bracket-style tournaments, E3-style exhibitions and thousands of square feet showcasing every kind of game you can imagine.
Registration is now open, but don't lag because the three-day badges are already selling out!
— PAX Australia (@PAXAus) June 29, 2015
4. Game On at Vivid Sydney
Sydney, Australia: TBC
You don't even have to attend a gaming-specific convention to get in on the action. Proj-X recently delivered a Wargaming stand at a new event called Game On, which was part of Vivid Sydney and took place at the Australian Technology Park.
The dates and plans for next year's event are still in the works, but stay tuned – this could be a great way to satisfy your gaming cravings while also enjoying the rest of Vivid Sydney's impressive displays and presentations.
And the list goes on…
The gaming industry is of legendary proportions, and its fans love to gather for competition with bots and clans alike. As far as E3 goes, the 2015 reveals will keep us going for a while – but it's never too early to start planning for next year. The 2016 event will take place June 14-16, 2016, so mark your calendar.
For other opportunities to hear breaking news and experience the some of the best entertainment out there, check out this longer list of gaming shows to add to your itinerary. Play on!