Some Of The Biggest Things That Weren't At E3 2017

Image: Rockstar

E3 is always important in the gaming calendar not just for what games and hardware were announced - but for the ones that weren't. You've seen the major announcements, but what about the things that weren't at E3?

The Last of Us Part 2

One of the most anticipated announcements in Sony's conference was The Last of Us Part Two, but the conference came and went without any mention of Ellie and Joel. Naughty Dog didn't go unrepresented though, with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and some of their lineage in the Crash Bandicoot remaster.

Neil Druckmann, creative director on TLOU 2, explained through Twitter (during the Sony conference) that it was Uncharted's time to shine.

Given that TLOU 2 is in development, chances are we'll see a teaser or trailer for the game at either Gamescom or the PlayStation Experience later this year. Just not at E3.

Xbox and VR

Image: Kotaku

There was some chatter as to whether Microsoft would make some kind of VR announcement in conjunction with the Xbox One X. The console certainly should be powerful enough, and Microsoft is building their own mixed-reality headset, not to mention the work being done on HoloLens.

But while there was some hope that the XBX itself would have VR support, Microsoft's conference came and went without a whisper about VR. I'm told the company also had nothing to say about the technology afterwards in interviews, which is telling. Maybe Microsoft still doesn't know what they want to do with VR yet.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Image: Rockstar

The internet was ready to bet the house on Red Dead Redemption 2 being shown off at at least one of the conferences this year; one of the more persistent rumours was that Microsoft would use RDR 2 to tout the XBX's 4K capabilities.

But even though the game is due out next year - after getting delayed, like every Rockstar game in recent times - it didn't get pride of place during any of the E3 conferences. It wouldn't be surprising if Rockstar doubled down on how RDR 2 was announced, through a livestream or an event of their own.

Star Citizen

Image: Xanvast

The PC Gaming Show is always a little cringey and a bit weird, but there are typically some games you can bank on. For the first time, however, one game didn't show up: Star Citizen. There's still some hope that Squadron 42, Star Citizen's singleplayer component, will launch before 2017 comes to a close.

There was a brief cameo in the showcase's B-roll with Chris and Sandi Gardner, but not for the crowdfunded space epic itself. It wasn't on the E3 show floor either, although that's not out of form for Cloud Imperium Games, as they've not had an E3 booth in the past. Amazon has a presence at E3, and their Lumberyard AAA engine is a modified Crytek engine which Star Citizen has been using.

Still, CIG also holds their own events and livestreams to promote Star Citizen. They did make a big splash at Gamescom last year though, and they have a constant dialogue with their community through their website, social media, Twitch and YouTube.

Smash Bros. on the Switch

Image: Supplied

Nintendo have been making more of an esports play with the Switch, but the hybrid console is still lacking the company's most appropriate esports title: Smash Bros. Their Spotlight didn't mention hide nor tail of what was happening to the series, or when it might be coming to the Switch.

On one hand, it's interesting because Nintendo is obviously comfortable with letting fans know that a project is in development - even if there's nothing to show from that project, like Metroid Prime 4 and the "core Pokemon game" for the Switch. But Nintendo has also held directs for games like ARMS and Splatoon 2 before, and Smash Bros would be well suited to the same treatment.

That said, it's possible Nintendo might ignore the game altogether for a while. The FGC community has been enraged before by Nintendo's lack of support and sometimes outright refusal to acknowledge their existence. If Nintendo is going to make a splash in esports, they need Smash to do it - and winning over a bemused community, which has grown almost exclusively without Nintendo's support, would be a good way to start.

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Death Stranding

Image: Youtube

This isn't a surprise, given it was confirmed that Death Stranding wouldn't make an appearance at E3. The game could be two or three years away at least, given how lofty Kojima's visions are.

The future of Halo

Image: Kotaku

343 Industries are working on a new Halo, but it wasn't until after the Xbox conference that the studio's founder and head revealed that the game wasn't ready for a reveal:

Ross followed up on Twitter by telling a fan "yes" when they asked if their next Halo FPS would have LAN support. I wouldn't hold my breath for that, although Halo 5 came a long way on PC over the last year.

Square's Final Fantasy VII remake

Image: Square Enix

The last news about the Final Fantasy 7 remake was that Square had moved the game's development in-house, having previously worked with CyberConnect2. The split is still a touchy subject apparently, but you can't imagine switching developers would result in the game being developed faster.

Media Molecule and Dreams

GIF: Kotaku

Media Molecule have been a cornerstone of Sony's E3 press conferences for a long time, mostly because they create things that are just different. They also create games that cater to a completely different crowd than, say, Destiny or Call of Duty. It's good business for a publisher to have products like that in their roster.

So, what's happening to Dreams?

The company announced on Twitter - again, towards the end of Sony's conference - that they would share more about the game later this year. That could mean Gamescom or, as is increasingly the case, PlayStation Experience towards the end of the year.

Regardless, Dreams has been in production for a fair while. The game was first revealed four years ago, and a beta was supposed to be made available last year until it was bumped to 2017. Hopefully we get some news about that soon: it's been a while since we played a game with Media Molecule's name on it.

System updates

Image: Sony / PlayStation Blog

For those who already own a PS4 or Xbox One, bad news: neither Sony or Microsoft had any news about how your current console might get any better. Microsoft has typically reserved a little slot for executives and talking heads to announce upcoming features or dashboards to the console.

The one announcement on that front was backward compatibility for original Xbox games, but that was it. Sony had even less to say: their conference was, for the most part, the flashiest back-to-back trailer reel you've ever seen. Which is cool if all you want to see is games, but it'd be nice for current PS4 owners to hear about how their day-to-day experience is getting better.

Battlecry

Image: Bethesda

Battlecry has pretty much been permanently put on ice since Bethesda first announced the game almost three years ago. The publisher made a huge splash at PAX Australia by announcing the beta would be available to Australia and New Zealand first, but the publisher never followed through and it became clear that the game was in deep, deep trouble.

Just after EB Expo a couple of years ago, Bethesda confirmed that they had "concerns" about the game and the project was being re-evaluated. Bethesda officially confirmed development on the game was suspended last year, and the only games listed on BattleCry Studios' website are three DLC packs for DOOM. Put simply, don't expect to see Battlecry again.

Nintendo's online service

Image: Kotaku

What's happening with the Virtual Console games? We don't know.

The Switch has been out since March. It's been in development for years.

Get it together, Nintendo.


What did you miss from E3 this year?


Comments

    For those who already own a PS4 or Xbox One, bad news: neither Sony or Microsoft had any news about how your current console might get any better.

    Then goes on to point out that Microsoft announced Xbox backward compatibility for Xbox One... which is exactly this?

      Not exactly; that's broadening the amount of games you play. It's not a refresh of the dashboard. It's not a better user experience if you want to find games to buy. It's not an improved streaming experience direct from the console. It's not, say, smarter integration of search features. It's no more info about in-built tournaments (something Xbox announced last year).

      Microsoft was always really good about talking about the little stuff. Sony, not so much. Neither of them did bugger all about that this time around, and that's disappointing. Announcing backward compatibility also doesn't mean squat if the games play like arse when you fire them up - which from memory happened more times with the XBO than it should. (Maybe it won't with the XBX.)

        Do they need to tweak the dashboard any more? They've spent 3 years re-doing the xbox dashboard if they want to focus on games instead that's fine by me

    I'm betting that Dreams is adding PSVR compatibility.

      Yeah, Dreams seems like almost the perfect game for VR.

    Although I wasn't holding my breath for it I was hoping to hear a bit more about Borderlands 3. Oh well, maybe next year...

    There was also no word on below from capybara which xbox have used previously in their conferences.

      Yeah I was expecting to see something about Below (which is now over 4 years since it was revealed)

    Smash Bros. on the Switch

    I was thinking that Nintendo would announce at least a port of Smash Bros for Wii U to the Switch, similar to Mario Kart 8.

    If they really want to print money all they need to do is release Smash Bros Melee via VC for the Switch, surely it would be worth the effort to emulate it? Couple it with a GameCube style wireless controller and the Melee scene would *maybe* get on board.

    SNES Mini Classic would have been good to announce. Hopefully later in the year.

    Wild was also missing.

    And the Vita. (Heh.)

    From my count there was quite a few games that were hoped for that didn't appear:

    Below
    Borderlands 3 (they generally go thru PAX)
    Red Dead Redemption 2 (they always do their own thing though they a stupid day to drop the teaser trailer it got buried under a metric tonne of Switch hype)
    Anything from FromSoft (I actually didn't expect anything cuz we've been spilled the last few years with their games)
    Anything from Valve (the number of high profile resignations from that company shows how they've all but divested themselves from Games Development which is a pity because they've done some of the best)

    Overall it seems like there's been caution to not show anything that isn't mostly done

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