Nintendo is going to keep their promise and avoid talking about the NX at all junctures. This E3 will focus on Zelda as promised, with a bit of Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, and some other small titles thrown in for good measure. Beyond that, expect a Nintendo Direct to announce exactly what the NX will be when it launches in March 2017. Last year, big-N said they wouldn’t be talking about Zelda at the show at all, and they held true to their statement, so there’s no reason this year would be any different. It would be a beautiful thing to see a new proper 3D Mario game announced as an NX launch title, though.
Big franchises won’t be at the show in the same quantities as previous years. With the main games for series like Halo and Uncharted out in the last six to eight months, not to mention slightly smaller titles like Tomb Raider, Fallout, and Battlefront, don’t expect to see these mammoths at E3 this year, even in teaser form. Sure, we’ll see Gears of War 4 and the usual Call of Duty premiere, but we’re not expecting to see much more than those tentpoles as companies shift to new IP for the majority of their announcements. Games like Detroit: Become Human, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Sea of Thieves, and Recore are expected to be the big news of E3 as companies do whatever they can to avoid franchise fatigue while building their catalog of new properties into the future.
E3 2016 will be different this year. With massive publishers like EA, Activision, Disney, and Wargaming pulling out of the show, and with Nintendo only showing off one game, this E3 will not be like years past. We actually have no idea what kind of show to expect, but we know it will be an E3 unique and separate from all others. It’ll be interesting to see just what that means, and whether this will become the new style of the show, or if it will even continue in its current forms. Publishers like EA are realizing more and more that, by hosting their own show, they can dominate the conversation around their own titles. Rather than being shoehorned between Ubisoft and Sony, EA is able to begin the E3 conversation almost a full day before the big three companies show off anything, which could prove to be a huge success or a bit of a mistake. Either way, we’re looking forward to an evolving E3, while we hope it will be one that continues to get better as a result.