×

5 Top Takeaways From E3 2016

The video game industry gathered in downtown Los Angeles this past week for the annual deluge of announcements, trailers and reveals known as E3 Here are five of our biggest takeaways from this year’s convention.

The connection between Hollywood and video games is getting stronger.

As the video game industry (and the technology behind it) has continued to grow, Hollywood’s interest grows with it.

In Ubisoft’s conference alone, they offered another look at the upcoming “Assassin’s Creed” film starring Michael Fassbender, hinted that they still plan on turning their growing “Watch Dogs” franchise into a movie, had “Star Trek” alumni playing the new cooperative virtual reality game “Star Trek: Bridge Crew” and brought Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of “South Park,” onstage to demo their new game “South Park: The Fractured But Whole.”

At the Sony conference, Hideo Kojima’s new game “Death Stranding” was revealed to star “The Walking Dead’s” Norman Reedus, a partnership that managed to weather Kojima’s tumultuous split with Konami.

VR won’t be a fad.

When word started spreading that VR was headed to consoles, a lot worried that it would have the same tacked-on feel that motion controls had and eventually go the way of the buffalo. This year’s E3, more than any other, put those worries to bed.

Microsoft is building a whole new monster console, tentatively called Project Scorpio, with a heavy focus on 4K video and VR optimization. Sony revealed the PSVR would drop Oct. 13 for $399. They followed it by showing an impressive lineup include a VR mission for “Star Wars Battlefront,” an exclusive “Batman Arkham VR” experience, and VR integration with the upcoming “Resident Evil 7.”

Ubisoft brought Palmer Luckey, the creator of the Oculus Rift, onstage to help demo one of the VR games they are developing.

VR games are difficult to demo.

Despite people’s excitement for VR growing, showing them off at shows like E3 continues to be a challenge. So much of what goes into these games is actually putting on the headset and playing, yet most people just watch footage on a flat screen and take the word of the people onstage that the experience is unique and fun.

Not to mention that a lot of these “games” are coined as experiences, which by definition you really have to just get your hands on it to understand what it’s all about.

Console lifespan is shrinking…kinda.

Rumors spread like wildfire leading up to the convention about new, souped up consoles from both Microsoft and Sony. Project Scorpio (Microsoft) and Neo (Sony) were said to leave the current Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the dust while still stressing the fact that they were considered Xbox 1.5 and PlayStation 4.5.

While new SKUs for current generation consoles has always been a thing, this has a feel of being completely different. Think iPhone release schedule (i.e. 6 followed by 6s) where consoles will get sizable and dramatic upgrades much earlier than in previous generations.

E3 itself is changing.

For a long time, E3 was the conference to beat and it was nearly impossible to do so. Now, as other events like PAX and Gamescom grow, E3 is finding itself in a bit of a transitional phase.

These transitions began last year when the convention was opened up to a limited number of the general public, while at the same time Bethesda decided to have its own press conference the day before the show started. This year EA followed suit, dropping it’s usually Monday press conference in lieu of EA Live, a community-based event that started with a Sunday press conference as well and ran in tandem through the week with E3. Publishers like Activision Blizzard also opted out of having booth space at this years convention.

Don’t be surprised if changes are made before the convention comes back around next year, specifically when it comes to opening it up even more to the gaming community.

More Digital

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content