Sunday saw EA show off their wares, and earlier this morning it was Microsoft. Now it's Bethesda's turn. So if you're keen on some more news about the Fallout franchise, a possible Wolfenstein sequel, or Quake Champions, chances are we'll find out today.
12:00 PM: So it's been an interesting morning so far. The Xbox One X came in more or less where we expected - Microsoft didn't take on Sony with a huge price cut, and there weren't a lot of massive surprises feature-wise during the conference either. The original Xbox compatibility was nice, but it's really core exclusive games that people care about.
Microsoft's message was more about quantity: almost designed to counteract one of the Xbox One's key problems. There aren't enough games on the console, particularly in the way of exclusives.
But if we're talking about quality, there aren't many publishers that have as good a success rate as Bethesda these days. DOOM. Fallout. The Elder Scrolls series. Wolfenstein. Quake. Prey. The Dishonored games.
That's a pretty good bank of franchises to cherry pick from. And I'd expect a little bit from all of those, with potentially a sequel for The Evil Within as well. It feels like the right time, especially if there's no special DLC dropping for Prey or Dishonored. I'd be surprised, though, given how modern game publishing works.
It'll be intriguing to see if Fallout 4 in VR gets showcased. It's been on the cards for a while, but Bethesda has been relatively quiet on it over the last year. And it'll be fun to see what plans the company has for esports, especially with Quake Champions bubbling away in the background.
What are you expecting from Bethesda's conference? If you want to watch that live while following along, incidentally, the links are below:
A few hours after Microsoft's E3 conference tomorrow, Bethesda will show off its own share of goodies. We can all hope for a new instalment in the Elder Scrolls franchise, but it's more likely to be a showcase of other products under parent ZeniMax's umbrella.
12:15 PM: Being the middle of the day, it's a good time to take a quick break with lunch.
Being a public holiday, there's bugger all open around Sydney city right now (and most Australian cities). I was fortunate, however, to grab a loaded-to-the-brim-with-chilli banh mi. The pharmacy next door was also open, so I was able to get some much needed pseudoephedrine. I'm a bit under the weather - a bug has been going around the office - and waking up early tomorrow morning for the PC Gaming Show is going to kill me, so I figured I could use some medical support.
Speaking of which, if you want to know when you have to be awake tomorrow morning, here's all the times:
What did you grab for lunch?
12:35 PM: So what were your biggest, or nicest, surprises from today so far?
So far the reaction to Anthem has been ... well, bigger than Destiny 2. Which is kind of appropriate given it looks a bit like Mass Effect crossed with Destiny. Whether that combination actually works is another matter. Hell, open-world combat didn't pay off for Andromeda. But that's probably got a year or two in the oven.
Cuphead finally getting a release date is great - that game has been way overdue. And some of the indies looked neat - Last Light has a cool look to it, and it was nice to see one Australian game get showcased. Seeing Metro headline the presentation was pretty savvy too - that franchise has always had a very sticky, loyal fanbase.
And while we're on the subject, what could Bethesda pull out that would surprise you? The main thing I'd be surprised by is if Enemy Territory made a comeback somehow. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars would work very well in 2017-18, if you think about it. Probably better than how it did when it first launched.
1:00 PM: Couple of things that might have been missed from this morning: Crackdown 3 is coming out on November 7, while the next game from the makers of Gone Home, called Tacoma, lands on August 2.
Something I want to ask everyone from this morning: how do you think Microsoft sold the Xbox One X to people who don't, or won't this year, have 4K TVs? There's something intriguing in how frequently the Xbox One S featured during the presentations. It's almost a tacit message: if this isn't for you, we have this other thing here that also has a 4K Blu-Ray player.
What wasn't mentioned was support of anything VR. No Fallout 4 VR on Xbox anytime soon, then. And it seems like games have to be patched to get the most of out the Xbox One X, rather than games automatically supporting it. So it's similar to a PS4 Pro situation, which really means Microsoft is dependent on the developers deciding whether to invest in a small part of a platform that is already playing catch-up.
1:15 PM: It's been surprisingly quiet on the leak front, as far as this year has been concerned. Nothing to really read into that so far. Bethesda aren't streaming their conference in 1440p or 4K, though.
Most people can't take advantage of it anyway, but it's useful for yours truly when you're trying to get nice screenshots mid-stream. Oh well. Just over half an hour to go.
1:20 PM: Nice note from thefong in the comments:
I’d actually really like to see a new IP from Bethesda, instead of milking ES or FO
Me too - although I'm not sure Bethesda have enough resources and studios to venture down that road just yet. It's probably a little too early for a new Elder Scrolls mainstay, but they could pull a rabbit out of the hat. It's been eerily quiet.
1:30 PM: Andy in the comments mentioned that he wanted to see a new Elder Scrolls IP. Elder Scrolls Legends will be there - that's confirmed already - but probably not what you want.
The Bethesda livestream has just started playing music, so we'll probably have a pre-show kicking off in the next five or 10 minutes. Get your coffee and biscuits people.
1:38 PM: Remember this?
It's Skyrim on the Switch, a game that Nintendo used to draw people in with their initial console reveal last year. It's expected that we'll hear more about Skyrim on Nintendo's hybrid at the presser. No word on whether it'll be the Special Edition that launched last year, a custom version, or just the original game with DLC sprinkled on top.
Would you play Skyrim again on the Switch, especially if you couldn't have mods?
1:45 PM: Time to make a quick coffee myself, I think. A pre-show hasn't kicked off yet, so it's either going to be a quick 10 minute thing or they're just going to roll straight into the conference.
As for predictions, I'd like to reach out to the Quake fans. Having played Quake Champions, how far away do you think the game is from a release?
Also, this music is killing me.
1:55 PM: Pre-E3 ritual round two, this time with some meds:
— Alex Walker (@dippizuka) June 12, 2017
The 2:00 AM or something stupid start is really gonna kill me tomorrow. But we've got some good games. And I'm really keen to hear what will happen with Quake Champions, especially the esports side.
1:59 PM: And Bethesda starts in time - that's two for two conferences today. Not bad.
2:00 PM: It's a bunch of kids talking about what their parents do at Bethesda:
It immediately makes me wonder how much all these kids get to see their parents during crunch time, but let's not get too snarky in the first minute. One of the devs straight out mentions "esports" too - bet that won't be the last time we hear that mentioned in the next hour.
2:01 PM: Lot of recognisable names straight off: DOOM, Fallout Shelter, Fallout 4, the usuals.
Then Bethesdaland appears:
Followed by Bethesda VP of marketing Pete Hines. He makes a quip about a bar tab, which is a neat icebreaker for a crowd that's probably pretty tired already.
2:06 PM: Two VR games "coming out this year", Hines notes. A HTC Vive appears on the screen: it's DOOM time. But not the recent DOOM - a new experience based on that. DOOM VFR is the official title.
And then Fallout 4 VR pops up. It's a Vive game as well, and there looks like a lot of cool interactions you can have in VR. VR flamethrowers look neat.
2:09 PM: It's Elder Scrolls Online time, specifically a plug for the Morrowind expansion which just dropped the other week. We're watching influencers react to Bethesda trailers. Seems like the audio is a fraction out of sync as well.
Bethesda is now introducing the Creation Club, a new way to create mods, gameplay enhancements and the like. It's basically an in-game browser where you can buy content with credits. It's a collaboration between Bethesda, modders, and seems like Bethesda's attempt at paid mods.
It'll be coming out for all platforms this winter.
2:15 PM: Elder Scrolls Legends is getting new content, so it's time for that to shine. Coming to iOS and Android next month as well, which is probably the biggest news. Besides Skyrim coming to the game at the end of the month.
2:17 PM: Yup, it's Skyrim on the Switch. And there's amiibo as well!
Next step: story DLC for Dishonored 2. Neato.
2:21 PM: Esports and Quake Champions appears:
Nothing mentioned yet on structure or features. That'll come, though.
August 26, at Quakecon, there'll be a $US1 million prize pool for Quake Champions. Fair enough. Although the question is: will the game be out by August 26? The trailer still says that you can play the beta now, which doesn't sound like the game is going to be released by then.
2:24 PM: You can dress up as Link in the Switch build of Skyrim, surprisingly. But it's time for something new. Well, by new I mean The Evil Within 2.
Bethesda would like you to appreciate art, by the way.
Yep, definitely The Evil Within 2. Comes out October 13. (Which is a Friday.)
2:29 PM: Almost at the end of the showcase now - it's really quick. But apparently there's one more game, and it's ... uh ...
Yeah, this is Wolfenstein.
2:32 PM: Frau Engel is back!
BJ isn't the hero this time, though.
It's a pretty long segment of gameplay and cutscenes. Seems similar tonally to The New Order, which was excellent. I'd happily take a second one of those.
2:38 PM: Key takeaway - and something Bethesda did last year to a lesser extent - everything shown at their presentation will be released in 2017. That's not bad. Lot of hopes pinned on Wolfenstein 2 and Fallout 4 VR, though.
2:40 PM: Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will be out on October 27. And it's got some weird characters:
The banter between the resistance and the uncannily good writing made The New Order for me. Hopefully they nail it again.
2:45 PM: So that's it for Bethesda's E3 showcase. A lot shorter than Microsoft's 90 minutes-plus affair earlier in the morning.
What'd you think? The New Colossus is my biggest drawcard, but then I was always more of a fan of the original Fallout games than the modern 3D versions. The DOOM VR experience looked interesting, and we didn't learn anything new about Quake Champions that would convince someone to jump in. We certainly didn't get any release dates (although they did say all games shown would be released this year, but they could be talking about a Quake Champions beta and not the full game).
Either way, that's it for now. We'll be back for the PC Gaming Show, Ubisoft and Sony tomorrow, but there'll be plenty of interviews, hands on info, podcasts and more on the site until then.