For the 24th year in a row, gaming enthusiasts and industry players alike will gather in Los Angeles in June for E3 2019. The gaming expo is typically grounds for epic game announcements, next-generation console teases, and all-around geeky showcases to bring anyone who’s ever clutched a GameCube controller or mashed a keyboard to the edge of their seats. This year isn’t expected to be any different.
The E3 2019 show floor will be open from June 11 to 13, with some keynotes and pre-show events kicking off starting June 7. While there are no big console releases expected this year, there are still plenty of surprises in store for attendees and livestream viewers.
Sure to be on the docket? Expect no shortage of AAA title teasers, intense esports tournaments, and, possibly, some potential cloud gaming service announcements. One of the biggest stories building up to this year’s conference, however, is who isn’t making the trip, mainly Sony. That begs the question: Will someone else step into the spotlight?
Here’s a complete guide for how to enjoy E3 from the comfort of your home or office chair.
E3 2019: How to Livestream
The Los Angeles Convention Center offers 720,000 square feet of exhibition space to gaming companies large and small to show off plans for 2019 and beyond. There’s so much to cover that only the major companies and announcements will get their own dedicated livestream.
The E3 Expo YouTube channel and YouTube Live at E3 channels are both reliable sources for all of the convention’s biggest announcements and showcases. YouTube gaming also has a dedicated E3 section that’ll likely host a variety of livestreams and trailers for gamers watching online.
Companies hosting flashy keynotes usually host their own livestreams. Expect companies like Nintendo, Bethesda, and Microsoft to cast their announcement live on their home sites or YouTube channels.
Here are the likeliest newsmakers, and the best ways for you to tune in.
E3 2019: The Floor Plan
More recently, E3 published the full floor plan about the event, which may offer further clues about what certain publishers and developers have planned. All of the major players are present, but there was one surprise.
Activision, the gaming giant behind Call of Duty, will not have a booth like last year. Instead, the company confirmed to GamesIndustry on Thursday that it will host a few “behind closed doors sessions” at the event.
E3 2019: Every Major Press Conference and Events
Friday, June 7
- Electronic Arts isn’t planning on hosting a press conference. As was the case in previous years, it will host an EA Play event at the Hollywood Palladium. Attendees will get the chance to play unreleased EA games like Sea of Solitude, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Madden NFL 20, and FIFA 20, all set to launch later this year and all of which could be playable at EA Play. The event will last until June 11.
Saturday, June 8
- Nintendo has yet to announce when it will hold its press conference, though it does have a few events on the schedule already, including Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 tournaments that will begin on June 8. The company has shut down rumors that it would drop a new Switch console, but Nintendo 3DS updates could still be on the table. The Japanese gaming giant could also reveal details about Pokemon Sword and Shield, Metroid 4 Prime, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, Luigi’s Mansion 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Bayonetta 3, and potentially more expected titles.
Sunday, June 9
- Microsoft will host its Xbox E3 briefing starting at 4 p.m. Eastern. Expect teasers for Halo Infinite and Gears 5, but there could be an ever bigger announcement on the horizon. Microsoft’s head of gaming, Phil Spencer, announced that public trials for the company’s xCloud gaming service will begin sometime in 2019. E3 could be when they reveal a launch date, making this the most noteworthy keynote to follow.
- Bethesda will host a press briefing beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. This could include updates on Rage 2, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, and potentially a revival effort for Fallout 76. It could also drop some hints about the far-out Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.
Monday, June 10
- Limited Run Games will be holding its E3 press briefing at 3 p.m. Eastern. It said it has “several upcoming releases” in store for the expo, but no details have been revealed just yet. The company is credited with releasing physical copies of digital-only games for the Switch, PS4, and PS Vita.
- AMD, the chip supplier that will power Sony’s and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles, revealed that it would be hosting a keynote titled “Next Horizon Gaming.” At the event, CEO Dr. Lisa Su will likely break down the company’s plans for “upcoming product and technologies that will power gaming from PC to console to cloud.” That means viewers might get some hints about the graphic and computation power found within the PlayStation 5 and Xbox “Scarlett” consoles. The company will take the stage at 6 p.m. Eastern and will host a livestream on its YouTube channel.
- Ubisoft’s press conference will kick off at 9 p.m. Eastern. Last E3, the company announced it would pump the breaks on its Assassin’s Creed series so the company could bring some big surprises. There’s not much evidence about what this big announcement will be — the company is expected to have some news about its Beyond Good & Evil 2 series, but the rest remains vague.
- Square Enix will also host a press event at 9 p.m. Eastern. The publisher is fresh off its release of Kingdom Hearts III, so it’s unclear as to what it has in store for E3 2019. But an update on the Final Fantasy VII Remake wouldn’t be surprising.
June 11 - 13
The rest of the schedule remains open, but expect time slots to be filled up as June draws closer.
E3 2019: Where Is Sony?
One of the most intriguing elements of this year’s conference is a company that isn’t attending. This year will be the first time Sony has chosen not to attend E3 2019 in the expo’s history.
It’s unclear why. Sony might think it has outgrown the conference, having proved to be a singular force in the gaming industry, publishing an impressive number of exclusive titles in 2018. These exclusive titles are credited with helping the PS4 to become the world’s most popular console.
The fact that Sony will pass on E3 has led to some chatter that it plans on organizing its own media event later in the year. The PS5 is indeed in the works, and far enough along in its development that the company has released some preliminary specs and feature hints. But the company has also pushed back against rumors that it will reveal anything about the console this summer.
With a generation of new consoles just around the corner, E3 finds itself in something of a transitional year. But that still leaves room for a host of new titles, streaming upgrades, and possibly a few surprises.