The Incredible DZ E3 Guide

It’s that special time of year again. The one where proper journalists get sent out to Los Angeles to try and figure out everything that’s going to happen in the games industry over the next twelve months, while the rest of us sit at home watching live internet streams of the big press conferences and get really bloody excited.

Thing is, knowing where and when to watch all the conferences can be a bit of a nightmare, with numerous websites offering live steams of varying quality, and people getting thrown by the time differences between the US and UK. And the main trouble with the steams being live, is that you’ve no idea which ones are going to work once the conferences actually start. There’s no perfect solution to this – you just have to wing it, really – but we thought we’d throw together a quick guide to the main press conferences, and where you should be able to watch them, so if your current stream breaks down you’ve got a few backup options. We’ll also be attempting our own liveblog, so if you’re watching the conferences at home, feel free to join us and chime in with your thoughts. It’ll be like a massive, sexy party.

The Streams:

This year, YouTube and IGN have partnered up for their live E3 guff. It’s likely that both streams will be pretty much identical, but we’ve included both links in case one of them explodes on the night and the other survives. It appears that both websites are claiming to offer hi-def streams, but we’ll be damned if they end up working once the servers get hammered. In any case, IGN’s stream comes recommended as they have, in previous years, done some nice interviews between conferences, where other sites just cut off the feed and go home. Many of said interviews were hosted by Jessica Chobot, so if you find your attention waning, you can always look at her lovely face/chest. You pervert.

There was a bit of a stir this year as, at one point, it looked like G4TV had exclusive rights to stream all the conferences. This was either an outright lie or a hilarious misunderstanding, though, as it clearly isn’t the case. Their streams haven’t been the best quality in the past, but keep them in mind as a backup, if nothing else.

Unless we’re mistaken – which is always, always possible – this is the first year that GameTrailers have offered live E3 streams. Like IGN and YouTube, they appear to be attempting hi-def, but we’ll see how that pans out. Even if their streams turn out to be utter pap, you can generally assume that any ‘proper’ trailers to appear out of E3 will be on GameTrailers first, so they’ll be worth keeping an eye on for that alone.

Yeah, alright. So the Kane & Lynch/Gerstmann episode might still sting for some, but GameSpot have sorted us out with some totally reliable E3 streams in the past. DEAL WITH IT.

The Conferences:

Microsoft – 14th of June, 6PM BST
That’s tonight. Or yesterday, if you’re reading this tomorrow. Whatever. Expect to see more stuff about Kinect, and probably a slim Xbox 360. We might well also get a load of guff about Windows Phone 7, what with its Xbox Live integration. So that’ll be really interesting for those of you who are interested in mobile gaming and, for some reason, don’t already own an iPhone or iPod Touch.

EA – 14th of June, 10PM BST
We’re not convinced there’ll be too many surprises here – obvious EA Sports titles, and probably some stuff about Rock Band 3, Mass Effect 3, Medal of Honour and Dragon Age 2. Less-obvious stuff that would be great to see would include the more-or-less confirmed Mass Effect MMO, or Mirror’s Edge 2. So, a lot of potentially excellent sequels, but probably no surprises here. Andi is also no doubt hoping that EA MMA will make an appearance too, which seems likely after they teased it last year.

Ubisoft – 15th of June, 1AM BST
That’s the same night as the previous two, in case you’re wondering. A lot of people are saying it’s 1AM on the 14th, which clearly is not the bloody case. It’s three hours after the EA conference, not nine hours before it. Anyway, if last year’s E3 was anything to go by, this will be the most disappointing of the lot. We still have potent memories of staring at our monitors at 3AM, while James Cameron talked an endless amount of shit about Avatar. Hopefully Ubisoft will avoid that this year, but we’re still not expecting a lot from them. If they show Beyond Good & Evil 2 I’ll take it all back, but aside from that it’ll be more Assassin’s Creed, and probably the new Driver – although the latter could be interesting.

Nintendo – 15th of June, 5PM BST
Nobody’s 100% sure what Nintendo are bringing to the table this year, but rumours persist about the new 3DS, and possibly the new Zelda for the Wii. Either would be nice, and you can guarantee that the ‘hardcore’ fans will go mental if Zelda doesn’t make an appearance. It’d be easy to make jokes about Nintendo’s casual output, but nobody really saw Mario Galaxy 2 or Metroid: Other M coming last year, so let’s not judge until we’ve seen the conference, mm?

Sony – 15th of June, 8PM BST
It’s likely that Sony will be showing off more of Move’s capabilities, and there’s likely to be a mention of their push towards 3D gaming – not that they’ll be able to show us anything without sending us some stupid glasses over the internet, of course. Rumours abound that a PS3 reworking of Team ICO’s PS2 output – that is, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus – is on the way, so it’d be incredible if they were able to show that (assuming it exists), along with more footage of The Last Guardian. LittleBigPlanet 2 is also more than likely to show up. There’s still a lot of noise about the PSP2, especially with the PSPGo having died a death, so it’s entirely possible we’ll see that too.

…And that’s pretty much your lot. Hopefully we won’t come away feeling massively disappointed this year. And remember to join us on the liveblog!