NOTICE AS OF 9/12/2020: This is a revised edition of the E3 2019 Recap video that we did years ago. For the website, we decided to convert it into an article only, along with adding some tidbits here and there to make it a bit more of an interesting read. Hope you guys enjoy this as we continue to make more content for both our website and YouTube channel. 😉
What’s going on everybody, Sage here, and it’s that time again: E3 2019 happened, and we’ve got lots of stuff to talk about in the gaming world!
Here we’ll be discussing what was announced at E3 2019, particularly from Microsoft and Nintendo. Oh wait, did we leave Sony out? That’s because they didn’t attend! As such, to fill in the Sony gap, we’ll be taking a brief look at Google Stadia, Google’s cloud gaming streaming service.
So without further ado, let’s get started…
Now in case you’ve never heard of Stadia, let me give you the skinny…
What is Stadia?
Google Stadia is a cloud-based gaming platform. Basically, it allows you to stream games from the cloud; no console or beefy computer required. There are also no downloads, patches, or installations—you just turn on the game, and you’re ready to go. (You will need a constant internet connection however, much like with any streaming service.)
Stadia works through the Google Chrome browser, and (allegedly) uses some of YouTube’s technology to stream the game. As such, Stadia is compatible with any platform that supports Chrome, such as the PC, smart TVs through Chromecast, and smartphones such as the Google Pixel 3 and 3a. Controlling the game can be done through either a controller or keyboard and mouse.
Stadia began development around 2018 under the name Project Stream. Google officially announced Project Stream on October 1st, 2018, and debuted as a closed beta 4 days later, with the featured game being Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (which was also released that same day), streaming at 1080p at 60 frames per second.
On March 19th, 2019, during the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC), Project Stream was formerly announced under the name Google Stadia, which included some technical details as well as a first look at the controller, which we’ll take a look at later. Google also announced the formation of its first-party studio led by former Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond.
Internet Speed Requirements
As stated earlier, Google Stadia requires a constant internet connection, and there are varying speeds that Google recommends:
- 10 Mbps (Recommended Minimum): Supports up to 720p at 60fps with Stereo Sound.
- 20 Mbps: Supports up to 1080p HDR at 60fps with 5.1 Surround Sound.
- 35 Mbps (Best Maximum): Supports up to 4K HDR at 60fps with 5.1 Surround Sound.
If you’d like to test your internet connection to make sure it can handle Stadia, there’s a tool that Google offers that’ll do just that.
Now of course, Stadia’s not a gaming platform without a controller—as stated earlier, Stadia supports not only the Keyboard and Mouse, but also controllers such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 DualShock controller.
However, Stadia also has its own controller, designed specifically for the service…
The Stadia controller kinda resembles that of the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, with the button arrangements of the Xbox One controller. It includes your normal left and right joysticks, D-Pad, the XYBA buttons, the left and right bumpers and triggers, etc.
There are also some extra buttons in the middle of the controller:
- Stadia Button: The Stadia button is used to turn on or off Stadia, as well as take you back to the main Stadia menu screen while in-game.
- Options: The Options button is used to access the in-game options menu.
- Menu: The Menu button is used to access the in-game menu.
- Capture: The Capture button works similar to the Nintendo Switch; you press once to capture a screenshot, or press and hold to capture a clip.
- Google Assistant: Activates Google’s voice assistant.
Initially, the Google Stadia controller only worked with Smart TVs running Stadia over Wi-Fi. Later on however, computers as well as certain smartphones would gain the same support. The Stadia controller also supports Bluetooth, so it can used for other things besides just Stadia.
The Stadia controller is priced at $69 USD and comes in three standard colors: Clearly White, Just Black, and Wasabi. There was also a limited edition fourth color, but we’ll take a look at that later.
But of course, Stadia’s not a gaming platform without…well, the games. So, let’s take a brief look at the games, shall we?
Baldur’s Gate III
Developed by Larian Studios in cooperation with Wizards of the Coast, Baldur’s Gate III is the long-awaited second sequel in the Baldur’s Gate RPG series. The teaser for this game depicted some armored man in a deceased town, pukes out whatever crap it was, and then turns into some sort of squid man…in probably the most gory way possible. (The teaser shown in the Stadia Connect was cut down for that specific reason, however an uncut version is available.)
No release date was specified at the time of its announcement, and it was also confirmed to be coming out on PC via Steam. (The game currently has a set release date of September 30th, 2020 through Early Access.)
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Announced prior to E3, Ubisoft brings us yet another Tom Clancy game, that is an online-only open world third-person shooter.
This game would be released on October 4th, 2019 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC (through the Epic Games Store). The Stadia version wouldn’t come until near the end of 2019.
And now we come to our first Stadia exclusive, developed by Tequila Works. Gylt is a single-player horror-like puzzle adventure game, where you play as a little girl named Sally searching for her missing cousin, Emily.
The game would launch alongside Stadia.
This Stadia exclusive that kind of enticed me…sort of. Developed by Moonshine Studios and published by Coatsink, Get Packed is a top-down physics-based game, where it involves packing up stuff. Since it’s a physics-based game (alongside some co-op multiplayer), the gameplay can get pretty wacky.
The game was set for release in 2020; it was eventually released on April 28th, 2020 as a Stadia launch exclusive.
Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
We already talked about this game during E3 2018, but in case you haven’t heard of it: It is a third-person shooter and a sequel to Tom Clancy’s The Division that takes place in an apocalyptic Washington D.C. in an America on the brink of collapse, thanks to a virus pandemic. (Does that sound familiar?)
While the game was already released on March 15th, 2019 on PC (through Uplay and the Epic Games Store), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 platforms, the Stadia version would not come until the following year, on March 17th, 2020.
Finally, Bungie gave us details on Destiny 2, which is coming to Stadia, along with some other updates:
Because they’ve since cut ties with Activision, not only do Bungie regain the publishing rights, but they also brought the game from Battle.net to Steam so you’ll be able to buy the game on Steam as well as its annual pass and DLC. Bungie also showcased a teaser for its expansion pack Shadowkeep, which would roll out in the Fall of 2019. (It was eventually released on October 1st, 2019.)
For Stadia, Destiny 2 is not only going to get all of the DLC as well as the annual pass day one, but also adding support for cross-platform saves on all platforms, not just Stadia. So if you’re making progress on another platform (such as a PC) and you want to continue progress on another platform (such as Stadia), it’s now possible to do that.
The other games showed off that’ll be available on Stadia were mostly third-party titles already available on other platforms:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Ubisoft) – Launch Title; used for the Project Stream closed beta
- Just Dance 2020 (Ubisoft) – Launch Title
- Doom Eternal (Bethesda) – Released on March 20th, 2020
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Bethesda) – Launch Title
- The Elder Scrolls Online (Bethesda) – Released on June 16th, 2020
- New Tomb Raider Trilogy: Tomb Raider (2013), Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix) – Launch Titles
- Final Fantasy XV (Square Enix) – Launch Title
- Mortal Kombat 11 (WB Games) – Launch Title
- NBA 2K20 (2K Sports) – Launch Title
- Farming Simulator 19 (Giant Software) – Launch Title
- Metro Exodus (Deep Silver) – Launch Title
Pricing and Availability
Now let’s talk a little bit about the pricing for Google Stadia. There are going to be two subscription tiers:
- The base tier is free to use, but there are some catches: Game streaming is limited to 1080p at 60fps with stereo sound, and the games have to be bought separately—you also don’t get any discounts nor free games.
- The paid tier, called Stadia Pro, priced at $9.99/month, upgrades the game streaming to up to 4K at 60fps with 5.1 surround sound, and you get free games as well as exclusive discounts every month.
But if you wanted to get the full Stadia experience early, there was a product you could buy from Google called the Stadia Founders Edition. For a one-time fee of $129 USD, you got a Chromecast Ultra (which supports 4K), a limited edition Night Blue Stadia controller, 3 months of Stadia Pro (which includes a buddy pass, so you can give a friend three months of Stadia Pro), free access to Destiny 2 and its expansion packs, and an exclusive Stadia name so you get bragging rights.
Sage’s Fun Fact: As of September 18th, 2019, the Founders Edition is now called the Premiere Edition, which contains the exact same contents, but has a Clearly White Stadia controller rather than the limited edition Night Blue Stadia controller. Its price was eventually cut to $99 USD on June 16th, 2020.
And now comes the most important question: When could you get your hands on Google Stadia? Well, for those who bought the Founders Edition, Stadia launched for them on November 19th, 2019 in 14 countries: USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. Expansion to other countries would come the following year.
As for the separate Stadia Base and Pro subscription tiers, those were set to launch to everyone in 2020. (It would eventually launch in April 8th, 2020.) In other words, the Stadia Founders Edition was more of an open beta to Google Stadia.
Problems with Stadia
While the concepts of Google Stadia and cloud gaming seem cool and all, the executions are where the problems arise:
Much like with any other streaming service, streaming consistently uses up bandwidth. If you’re on an internet plan that offers unlimited data, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re on an internet plan that imposes a data cap, that’s gonna cause some problems.
For example, say you’re on an internet plan that imposes a 1 TB data cap. If you’re streaming games in 4K at 35 Mbps (which is about 4.375 MB per second), the theoretical maximum amount of time you could play a game through Stadia is at best 65 hours, and that’s not accounting for other uses, such as internet browsing and downloading other data.
The biggest problem with Stadia however is how the games are delivered. As stated earlier, through the free tier, you’d have to buy the games separately, and since there’s no discounts or free games, you are pretty much forced to buy them at full price.
Now at first, this may not sound bad, but what happens if Google Stadia or your internet goes down? You might as well kiss your money goodbye; you’re better off buying a console or PC because, digital or not, at least you (with exceptions) own the game, and you don’t need a constant internet connection to play. With Stadia, you merely pay a license to play the game online.
The best way to experience Stadia is to pay for the Pro subscription, which at least gives you some free games to play, plus you do get the full experience of streaming games in 4K. I would not recommend using the free tier from the get-go.
Alright, so now let’s move onto the big console makers, starting with Microsoft.
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
First off, the second generation Xbox Elite Wireless Controller was unveiled, touted as the “world’s most advanced controller”, with a new design for “ultimate performance, customization, and durability”.
Some of the new features include adjustable tension thumb sticks, a wraparound rubberized grip, and shorter hair trigger locks. A third controller profile was also added, replacing the 2-profile switch with a toggle switch instead. As for the battery, the controller uses an internal rechargeable battery (no more AA batteries) with up to 40 hours of battery life. It also comes with a detachable charging dock.
The Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 would be released on November 4th, 2019, at a price at $179 USD.
Xbox Game Pass
Now let’s get on with the Microsoft services, starting with Xbox Game Pass…
Xbox Game Pass, a video game subscription service previously exclusive to Xbox consoles, came to Windows 10 PCs as an open beta for $9.99/month, the same monthly fee as the console edition. Game Pass for PC gives the user access to over 100 games designed for Windows 10 PCs, such as Metro Exodus, Forza Horizon 4, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and many more.
But if you thought that was enough, a new Xbox Game Pass bundle was also announced: Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It not only includes the Xbox Game Pass service for both console and PC, but it also includes Xbox Live Gold, allowing the user to get the benefits of that as well. The Ultimate bundle normally costs $14.99/month, but for those who try it out for the first month, the user would only have to pay $1 USD for that first month.
There’s also another Microsoft service that is set to compete with Google Stadia: Project xCloud.
Much like with Stadia, xCloud allows the user to stream their Xbox games from the cloud and onto another device, whether it’d be a computer, tablet, or phone. However, xCloud also gives users the option to stream from their console through Console Streaming (essentially turning their Xbox console into a free xCloud server), so the user could start playing a game on their Xbox, and continue their progress on another device through Console Streaming. The games are also provided to you automatically, much like with Xbox Game Pass. (In other words, it’s the Netflix of video games.)
A public beta of Project xCloud began in the Fall of 2019. (It would launch officially on September 15th, 2020.)
Project Scarlett (later called Xbox Series X)
Finally, we come to Microsoft’s next-generation system, codenamed Project Scarlett (later called the Xbox Series X) with a set release date of Holiday 2020.
in terms of specifications, it’s going to have a custom-designed AMD Zen 2 processor (which Microsoft claims is 4x more powerful than the Xbox One X), GDDR6 memory (the amount was unknown at the time), a custom-designed AMD Radeon RDNA GPU with support for ray-tracing, and a high-speed SSD for very speedy loading times. The console is also planned to not only be 4K capable, but also 8K capable.
As for software, Microsoft announced what was going to be a launch title for the new system: Halo Infinite, originally announced at E3 2018 as an Xbox One game, with a scheduled release date of Holiday 2020. (It has since been delayed to 2021, which unfortunately means it won’t be a launch title for the system.)
Xbox Game Studios First-Party Titles
So now let’s get on with the games that Microsoft announced for E3 2019.
To start things off, we’ve got the first party titles from Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios division. (All of the games are set to be available on Xbox Game Pass when they come out at launch.)
The Outer Worlds
Announced prior to E3 2019, The Outer Worlds, developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Take-Two’s Private Division, is a single-player first-person sci-fi RPG, where you’re “lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the farthest edge of the galaxy, and you awake decades later only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony.” (In other words, the game is set in an alternate future where megacorporations take over the world.)
The game was released on October 25th, 2019 on all major console platforms, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. (A Switch version wouldn’t come until the following year.) This game, along with Metro Exodus, was one of the victims of timed-exclusivity on the Epic Games Store (as well as the Microsoft Store), with a Steam release for the game being delayed until the following year.
The next first-party game is from developer Ninja Theory (which Microsoft had recently acquired) called Bleeding Edge, a first-person action combat multiplayer game with graphics that combine the styles of Borderlands with the styles of Overwatch…or something like that.
No release date was specified at the time of its announcement, but there was a technical alpha made available for those who signed up for it on June 27th, 2019. (The game was eventually released on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs on March 24th, 2020.)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Developed by Moon Studios, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a sequel to Ori and the Blind Forest, an action platformer with very appealing visuals.
It was originally scheduled for a 2019 release when it was announced back at E3 2018. For E3 2019, we finally got an official release date of February 11th, 2020 on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. (The game was eventually delayed to a month later, to March 11th, 2020.)
Developed by Mojang (now Mojang Studios), Minecraft Dungeons is an action-adventure dungeon crawler (similar to Diablo) and a spin-off to the extremely popular Minecraft game. The gameplay itself looks okay, and it has 4 player local and online co-op.
The game was set for a release in Spring 2020 on pretty much every major platform, except for Stadia of course. (The game was eventually released on May 26th, 2020.)
Announced back at E3 2018, we finally got some gameplay for the new Battletoads game, developed by Rare and Dlala Studios, for E3 2019.
The cartoony 2D animation looks pretty decent; as for gameplay, they showed off the beat ’em up rounds as well as the racing portion, and it’s also going to have the 3-player couch co-op, like the original teaser said before.
There was no release date specified at the time of its announcement. (It was eventually released on August 20th, 2020.)
Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)
Then Microsoft dropped a huge bombshell on the simulation community: A reboot of the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise, developed by french developer Asobo Studio. The graphics looked very impressive, and from what I could gather, the textures and rendering are all powered through the Azure cloud, using some sort of AI to make it look more appealing, as well as make the world’s look more unique.
The new Flight Simulator was expected for release later in 2020. (It was eventually released for Windows on August 18th, 2020 to critical acclaim, but was unfortunately victim of review-bombing thanks to the long installation times. A console version is set to be released later.)
Sage’s Fun Fact: In July of 2014, the rights to the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise were licensed to British simulation developer Dovetail Games, known for their Train Simulator franchise, and (as part of their attempt to diversify their presence in the simulation genre) attempted to create their own flight simulator in the form of Flight Sim World, based on the Flight Simulator X codebase.
However, the game did not perform well as expected, and both development and sales of the game ended in May of 2018, one year after the game was released. The rights have since reverted back to Xbox Game Studios as of August 2019.
Developed by inXile entertainment and published by Deep Silver, Wasteland 3 is a post-apocalyptic RPG and the second sequel in the Wasteland series, set in a perpetual nuclear winter of the Colorado nation.
The game was planned for release during the fourth quarter of 2019 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms, but was (as we’ve seen before) eventually delayed to August 28th, 2020.
During the presentation, Microsoft announced that they had acquired Double Fine Productions, founded by Tim Schafer. As well as that, they announced a sequel to Psychonauts, initially crowdfunded and originally set to be published by Starbreeze Studios prior to the acquisition.
Much like with the original, Psychonauts 2 is a third-person platformer, and takes place after the events of Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a virtual reality game set after the events of the original.
The game had a set release date of 2020, but has since been delayed to 2021.
Developed by The Coalition, Gears 5 (announced back at E3 2018) got a new trailer, along with a confirmed release date of September 10th, 2019 on both the Xbox One and PC platforms.
Some new gameplay was also unveiled for E3 2019, along with the confirmation of a new mode called Escape Mode, an aggressive high-stakes 3 player co-op mode featuring a “Suicide Squad”. (Gee, where have we heard that before?)
Also, if you happened to pre-order the game, you’d also get a character pack based off of the characters from Terminator: Dark Fate.
Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions
Forza Horizon 4 is getting a LEGO Speed Champions expansion pack, that was made available on the same day as its announcement. This expansion pack adds some new cars and worlds based around the Lego universe.
Remember this game from E3 2018? Anybody? It was a thing before mobile games based on AAA games became a controversy, largely thanks to Diablo Immortal…
Gears Pop is a real-time strategy mobile game developed by Mediatonic for Microsoft, featuring Gears characters, Funko Pop! style. Since it’s primarily a mobile game, it’s NOT coming to consoles, nor Xbox Game Pass.
The game was scheduled for a release in the Summer of 2019 on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 PC platforms. (It was eventually released on August 22nd, 2019.)
State of Decay 2: Heartland
Finally, for the first party titles, we have the Heartland expansion pack for State of Decay 2, which was made available on the day of its announcement at a price of $9.99 USD.
Xbox Third-Party Titles
Now let’s move onto the third-party games for the Xbox One…
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a single-player adventure game that takes place after the events of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, where Order 66 has been executed, and you play as a young Padawan on the run.
The game was released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 15th, 2019.
A new Blair Witch game, developed by Bloober Team (the devs behind the Layers of Fear series) and published by Lionsgate’s video game division, was also announced. This first-person psychological horror game takes place 2 years after the events of The Blair Witch Project.
The game was released on August 30th, 2019 for the Xbox One (also available through Xbox Game Pass), PlayStation 4, and PC.
Next, we come to CD Projekt Red’s magnum opus: Cyberpunk 2077. Announced at E3 2018, Cyberpunk 2077 is an open world action-adventure game where you play as an outlaw in a megalopolis world obsessed with power, glamour, and body modification. Some gameplay was shown off for E3 2019, and it was also announced that Keanu Reeves (of John Wick and Bill & Ted fame) would play the leading character.
The game was scheduled to come out on April 16th, 2020 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, the latter of which will be available on numerous PC storefronts, including Steam, GOG.com (CD Projekt Red’s own DRM-free digital storefront), and the Epic Games Store. (The game has since been delayed to November of 2020.)
Developed by indie studio Thunder Lotus, Spiritfarer is a management simulator where you play as Stella, a ferrymaster to the deceased, who has to build a boat, explore the world, care for her spirit friends, and then finally release them into the afterlife. Gameplay mechanics include farming, mining, fishing, harvesting, cooking, and crafting.
No release date was specified at the time of its announcement. (It was eventually released on August 18th, 2020 for all major platforms, including Xbox One [plus Game Pass], PlayStation 4, PC, Switch, and yes, even Stadia.)
RPG Time: The Legend of Wright
Developed by Japanese indie developer Deskworks, RPG Time: The Legend of Wright stars a young, aspiring game developer looking to create his very own RPG while school is off for the season.
The game was scheduled for a 2020 release.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (also known as WB Games), LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga tells the story of the entire Star Wars saga from The Phantom Menace to The Rise of Skywalker…in only a humorous way Lego can accomplish.
The game was set for release in 2020 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. (The game was inevitably delayed to 2021, with some expansion packs based on The Mandalorian, Rouge One, and Solo being announced as well.)
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is…another action RPG Dragon Ball game developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco. Enough said.
The game was set for release in early 2020 for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. (It was eventually released worldwide on January 17th, 2020, with Japan getting the game a day earlier…as to be expected.)
Developed by Luis Antonio and published by Annapurna Interactive (the video game division of Annapurna Pictures, who were also part of a distribution joint-venture with MGM), 12 Minutes is an interactive thriller where a romantic evening takes a wrong turn after a police detective breaks into your house, accuses your wife of murder, and knocks you out… You are then immediately returned back to the start of the evening before the whole drama unfolded.
Obviously, the player will need to use the knowledge of what’s about to happen to change the outcome until you manage to break the 12 minute time loop. (In other words, a thriller version of Groundhog Day.)
The game is set for a release in 2020.
Way to the Woods
Developed by Anthony Tan, Way to the Woods is a third-person adventure game where you player as a deer and fawn in an abandoned, polluted world trying to get back to their home in the woods. The game features music from Aivi & Surasshu, the composers behind Steven Universe.
The game is set for a release in 2020.
Dying Light 2
Developed by Techland and published by Square Enix, Dying Light 2 is a sequel to the first Dying Light, set in the modern-day Dark Ages brought on by the zombie apocalypse.
While it was already announced at E3 2018, we got an estimated release date for E3 2019: Spring 2020. (However, the game has since been delayed, with no new release date given.)
Phantasy Star Online 2
Phantasy Star Online 2, a free-to-play online RPG game released back in July of 2012 in Japan only, is finally being released worldwide as a Microsoft platform timed-exclusive with an estimated date of Spring 2020. (It was eventually released on April 14th, 2020 for the Xbox One in the United States, May 27th, 2020 for Windows in the United States, and August 5th, 2020 for Windows everywhere else, as well as the Xbox One in Europe.)
Developed by Smilegate and Remedy Entertainment, CrossfireX is a free-to-play first-person shooter and a console version of Crossfire, released for the PC years prior. The console version would be released on the Xbox One first, and is going to include a bunch of console exclusive content not available in the PC version.
The game was made available as an open beta for 3 days, from June 25th to the 28th. It is currently set for a release later in 2020.
Tales of Arise
As another addition in Bandai Namco’s Tale of JRPG series, Tales of Arise is…well, just that.
It was originally scheduled for a 2020 release, but has since been (as to be expected) delayed.
Our next to final game for the Xbox conference is a Borderlands threequel, developed by Gearbox and published by 2K Games. It was already announced prior to E3 at PAX East in March of 2019. For E3 2019, a new trailer with some gameplay footage was shown off.
The game was released on September 13th, 2019 on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC…as a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store for 6 months.
Sage’s Fun Fact: For those who focus on story, there is some downloadable content for Borderlands 2, called Commander Lilith and the Fight for Sanctuary, that takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, and serves as a bridge to the Borderlands 3 story.
Finally, to wrap up the Xbox conference, we have Elden Ring, developed by FromSoftware (the same devs behind Dark Souls) and published by Bandai Namco. Elden Ring is an open-world fantasy action RPG adventure, set within the world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creator of Dark Souls, as well as writer George R.R. Martin, the author behind the fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
There was no release date specified at the time of its announcement.
And that about wraps up the Xbox press conference. Overall, while some of the hardware and games were interesting and all, it was very underwhelming in my opinion. (But with a new console generation coming up in 2020, I guess it’s to be expected.)
So now let’s move onto the Nintendo press conference for E3 2019, and I have to say: they dominated.
The Nintendo E3 2019 Direct marked the first appearance of the new Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser, and the way they introduced him was rather hilarious. First off, they acknowledged the memes by giving Bowser a tie, with Doug Bowser himself coming from the right side, saying that Bowser is “not the right Bowser for the job”. Bowser then becomes all confused, and then inevitably pulls one of those “awkward moment” scenes, where he goes the other way, before someone tells him to exit the right way.
So now let’s get on with the games…
Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
The first game announced was the Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age, originally released back in July of 2017 in Japan.
This enhanced version of the game was released September 27th, 2019 on the Nintendo Switch. Along with that, it was announced that Hero from the Dragon Quest series, would make it to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as DLC in the Summer of 2019.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
The next game that Nintendo talked about is Luigi’s Mansion 3, a sequel to Dark Moon, developed by Next Level Games. The game takes place in a hotel, where Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad are staying over while on vacation. Luigi takes a nap, but when he wakes up, everything’s not only dark, but his friends are also trapped in paintings, and it’s up to Luigi to save them.
Luigi’s Mansion 3 introduces some new gameplay mechanics, such as body-slamming ghosts, as well as a new character called Gooigi, Luigi’s all-green slimy doppelgänger. (He actually first appeared in the 3DS remake of Luigi’s Mansion; this is his first appearance in a NEW Luigi’s Mansion game.) Gooigi can do things that Luigi can’t do, such as go through spikes, and it also allows for 2-player co-op, so one player can control Luigi, while the other can control Gooigi. There’s also a local and online co-op multiplayer mode with up to 8 players, called ScareScraper.
The game was set for a release later in 2019. (It was eventually released on Halloween Day 2019.)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics
Developed by BonusXP and En Masse Entertainment, this turn-based strategy game is a tie-in to the Netflix original series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, which serves as a prequel to the 1982 film The Dark Crystal.
The game was originally set for a release in 2019. (It was eventually released on February 4th, 2020 on all major platforms.)
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Remake)
Then we have a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, developed by Japanese game studio Grezzo. Previously announced in a Nintendo Direct in February of 2019, we got more details on it for E3 2019, including new gameplay and a confirmed release date of September 20th, 2019.
The one big feature they showed off was a custom dungeon creator, where you can create your own dungeons by placing chambers, which are earned through Adventure mode, and you’ll be able to get rewards, such as heart containers, extra item slots, etc., once you complete them. It’s a really nice addition to an already graphically superior remake.
Trials of Mana (Remake)
Trials of Mana is getting a 3D remake by Square Enix, set for a release of early 2020. (It was eventually released on April 24th, 2020 on the Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC.)
They also announced that the original Trials of Mana for the Super Famicom (the Japanese Super Nintendo) would finally make it to the West, as part of a bundle called Collection of Mana, which also includes the Game Boy game Final Fantasy Adventure and Secret of Mana for the Super Nintendo, available immediately following the presentation.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is getting a port on the Nintendo Switch, with the Complete Edition, containing all of the DLC and two story expansions in one package. The game was set for release on the Switch in 2019. (It was eventually released on October 15th, 2019.)
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Previously announced at E3 2018, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a turn-based tactical RPG developed by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo, the latter of which is known for its Dynasty Warriors series. For E3 2019, a new trailer for the game was shown off.
The game was released on July 26th, 2019.
No More Heroes III
The hitman Travis Touchdown returns in No More Heroes III, an action and adventure hack-and-slash game that serves as the proper second sequel in the No More Heroes series, and is a follow-up story-wise to Travis Strikes Back, a game released 5 months earlier.
The game had a set release date of 2020, before being inevitably delayed to 2021.
Contra: Rogue Corps
Contra: Rogue Corps, developed by Toylogic for Konami, is a new run-and-gun Contra game that features both single-player, online multiplayer, and co-op modes.
The game was released on September 24th, 2019 on all major platforms. Alongside that, came the Contra Anniversary Collection, which includes all of the original Contra games for arcade and console, available immediately following the presentation.
Daemon X Machina
Announced previously at E3 2018, we got a new trailer for Daemon X Machina, a third-person mech shooter, with a release date of September 13th, 2019 on the Nintendo Switch. (A PC version wouldn’t come until the following year.)
Panzer Dragoon (Remake)
Panzer Dragoon, a rail shooter originally released as a launch title for the ill-fated Sega Saturn where you control a flying dragon, gets a remake developed by MegaPixel Studio and published by Forever Entertainment, under license from Sega.
The game was originally scheduled for late 2019. (It was eventually released on March 26th, 2020 for the Switch, and June 1st, 2020 for Stadia.)
Pokémon Sword and Shield
The latest entry in the Pokémon series was previously announced in a Pokémon Direct presentation in the past, but here for E3 2019, Nintendo and Game Freak did talk about it briefly. Some new features they talked about were new trainers, new Pokémon from the Galar region, super-strong and gigantic Pokémon called Dynamax Pokémon, and support for PokéBall Plus. One feature that Sword and Shield didn’t have however were all of the pre-existing Pokémon from the previous games, which resulted in a backlash by long-time fans.
Both Pokémon Sword and Shield were released on November 15th, 2019.
Previously announced in February of 2019, Astral Chain, another action and adventure hack-and-slash game, gets a new gameplay trailer for E3 2019, and with a set release date of August 30th, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch.
Empire of Sin
Developed by Doom creator John Romero and published by Paradox Interactive, Empire of Sin is a mafia-themed turn-based strategy game, set in prohibition-era Chicago.
The game was set to come out in Spring 2020, but was eventually delayed to near the end of 2020.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
The second sequel in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series, The Black Order brings together famous Marvel characters including the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, the X-Men, and more, in a story that doesn’t connect whatsoever to the previous entries.
The game was released on July 19th, 2019. An expansion pass, which contains characters from the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Marvel Knights, was also announced for a Fall 2019 release.
Cadence of Hyrule
Developed by the indie studio behind the roguelike rhythm game Crypt of the NecroDancer, Cadence of Hyrule is a crossover featuring Legend of Zelda characters, where you have to move to the rhythm while beating up enemies in the process. You can play either as Cadence (not the My Little Pony one), or as Link or Zelda. The game was made available on the same day as its announcement.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Then Nintendo showed off gameplay for their new Animal Crossing game: New Horizons. The game takes place on a deserted island, where you have to collect resources and craft items, as well as fish, garden, and interact with NPCs along the way.
Originally announced with a 2019 release date, it was later pushed to March 20th, 2020.
Now before we get to the final two big announcements: they did showcase a highlight reel of some games coming to the Switch. But there’s one particular game that I want to talk about…
Super Mario Maker 2
This game is a sequel to the first Super Mario Maker originally released for the Wii U back in 2015. Mario Maker 2 incorporates some new features:
- The Super Mario 3D World game style, which includes some exclusive new items, such as Clear Pipes, Banzai Bills that face towards the screen, and even a Koopa Troopa Car that the player could drive.
- New assets from the existing game styles were also added, such as an On/Off switch, Angry Sun, Twister, etc.
- New themes for both the existing and new game styles were added, such as Desert, Snow, Forest, etc. with each having their own respective themes.
- For the first time in a Mario Maker game, there is a single-player campaign called Story Mode, where you have to play pre-built levels in order to rebuild Princess Peach’s castle.
- Co-op Making was also added, so local players can assist in building levels.
- The biggest feature of Mario Maker 2 however is Online and Co-op Multiplayer, so you can now play custom-built levels with other people, competitively or cooperatively.
There was still one feature missing though: Matchmaking with Friends, which thanks to backlash (unlike Pokémon Sword and Shield), would come in a post-game update released in October of 2019.
The game came out on June 28th, 2019.
Banjo-Kazooie in Smash
And now we’ve saved the best for last… No, not Minecraft Steve, but Banjo, is in SMASH.
Banjo-Kazooie (which is Microsoft property) is finally coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and a Nintendo console since the early-to-mid 2000s. The character designs look pretty cool, and there are also new Banjo-themed stages like Spiral Mountain, along with remixes from the musicians behind the original games.
Banjo-Kazooie serves as the second Smash Ultimate DLC, scheduled for a Fall 2019 release.
It’s great that Microsoft, at least in the gaming department, is being not only consumer-friendly, but also listening to the fans. (Phil Spencer recalls bringing Banjo to Smash as “an easy deal to make.”) They have a pretty good relationship with Nintendo right now, especially with bringing some formerly Microsoft platform exclusive games to the Switch, such as Cuphead and Super Lucky’s Tale.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 Teaser
Finally, to end off the Nintendo Direct, we have a teaser trailer for a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, confirmed to be in development.
So there you have it, the Nintendo Direct for E3 2019. Overall, I think Nintendo nailed it out of the park when it came to most of the games and such, and most of the games shown off had gameplay, unlike the Xbox conference which barely showed any gameplay for most of the games. Oh, and Banjo’s in Smash, so…there’s that.
So with all those points I mentioned, I think Nintendo won E3 for 2019, especially with Sony out of the picture.
And there you have it! Overall, I thought E3 2019 was…meh, for the most part, but I was glad to see some great games shown off at least. Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed this read, and as always I will see you all next time. Peace. 😉