Each June, the games industry travels en masse to Los Angeles for E3, the western world's biggest videogames conference, in order to show and see the hottest gaming titles around.
The event is now well underway, with all the press conferences done and dusted and the show doors open for visitors. That means plenty has been announced already, with one or two surprises along the way.
Microsoft, for example, unveiled the Xbox One S console during its media briefing, which is not only 40 per cent smaller than the first-gen model, but comes complete with HDR and 4K video capabilities.
In addition, it had a bigger reveal in the form of Project Scorpio, which it calls the "most powerful games console ever". It is scheduled for a Christmas 2017 release.
Sony, on the other hand, made the biggest noise about its PlayStation VR rather than a new console. It will launch on 13 October, priced at £349 ($399). There were plenty of games, naturally, but no other major hardware announcements.
We will continue to update this round-up throughout E3 week. Bookmark it if you want to keep abreast of the latest E3 2016 gossip.
Xbox at E3 2016
Microsoft started its E3 press conference with a bang by announcing the Xbox One S.
The new console is 40 per cent smaller than the current model, but packs 4K HDR video output, as well as HDR for games. It will come with a 500GB, 1TB or 2TB drive, and a refined controller, with better range and Bluetooth support. Pricing starts at just $299 for the 500GB version.
It is available for pre-order now, with an August release touted.
READ MORE: Xbox One S: Everything you need to know
Microsoft also detailed a new Xbox Play Anywhere service that means digitally downloaded games can be played on an Xbox One and Windows 10 machine at no extra cost. Buy a game for one format and you get the equivalent on the other for free.
On the games front, Microsoft showcased new levels within Gears of War 4, Final Fantasy 15, and Forza Horizon 3, with some slick HDR graphics on show and plenty of cross-platform action.
But the real surprise came in the form of Project Scorpio.
We weren't expecting Microsoft to better the Xbox One S news this year, but it did, with a teaser for its next-gen machine - one that is capable of full 4K HDR gaming. It won't self-cannibalise, though, with Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio all able to run the same gaming catalogue - just at different levels of graphical fidelity, so nobody gets left behind.
Called Project Scorpio at the moment, the new console is in development and aiming to give you more power for sharp, smooth 4K gaming, as well as all the grunt you need for virtual reality in high resolution. The Project Scorpio launch date is Christmas 2017. Details are light, but it's very exciting.
PlayStation at E3 2016
The PlayStation conference kicked off in different style to Xbox. There was no mention of hardware, but instead a full orchestra in a classic theatre, crescendoing to introduce the new God of War. And it looks like a visually stunning title, merging hardcore combat with what looks to be a heartfelt story.
There was plenty more besides, including the brand new Days Gone, in which a biker roams an apocalyptic, zombie infested world. And there are more than a few zombies. Indeed, there are droves - perhaps more animated characters on screen in any one moment than we've ever seen before.
Some of the big hitters announced at 2015 E3 were shown-off in greater detail too. From Horizon: Zero Dawn, to The Last Guardian, both of which finally have release dates - 28 February 2017 and 25 October 2016, respectively.
The main hardware push from Sony was the pricing and release date information around PlayStation VR. It'll launch at £349/$399 on 13 October, along with more than 50 available games.
But that was it on the hardware front. No update about PS4.5 Neo, meaning Microsoft is pushing its neck out ahead in the 4K gaming stakes. Of course, it's all about the games, but that's a huge message that Sony just wasn't able to counter.
Nintendo at E3 2016
Nintendo is all about Zelda this year. It unveiled not only the name for the game - Breath of the Wild - but also a gameplay trailer.
The company dedicated its entire stand to the game too, with a huge, contained world aking to Hyrule laden with TV screens and Wii Us. We've played the game for 35-minutes and will be sharing our thoughts later in the week.
EA at E3 2016
EA's press conference saw the company reveal a number of new instalments for popular games. Over the next year we'll be getting Titanfall 2, Mass Effect Andromeda, FIFA 17, Battlefield 1, and a plethora of Star Wars games in the future - including a tease of a PlayStation VR title that will give you immersive control over an X-Wing.
Bethesda at E3 2016
Dishonored 2 was the lead title for Bethesda at this year show. And for those still enjoying the 90s, Quake Champions was also unveiled. It will feature a diverse cast of warriors, each having alternative attributes and unique abilities. Another surprise came in the form of Prey, a futuristic first-person remake that borrows the name and theme of the last-gen classic but looks to be bigger in scope.
In addition, virtual reality versions of Fallout 4 and Doom were demonstrated, under a Bethesda VR moniker, showing the company's commitment to the future tech.
Ubisoft at E3 2016
There actually weren't too many surprises at Ubisoft's event, given Watch Dogs 2 had been revealed the week prior. There were plenty of swear words and some silly dancing, though, plus Star Trek playable in virtual reality form.
The majority of major titles were ones we had seen in 2015, which means they're closer to completion, with the likes of South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Ghost Recon: Wildlands hitting the shelves in 2016. Even new title Steep - which is all about extreme sports, wingsuit gliding, challenges, crazy crashes and social play - will be out before Christmas 2016.
Activision at E3 2016
Activision has opted for a lower-key E3 this year, with its games showcased on other company's stands and in a private room rather than have a booth of its own. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Skylanders Imaginators are its major titles, with the latter featuring gaming fave character Crash Bandicoot to the toys to life universe.
The publisher also announced that it is bringing back Crash in fully remastered versions of the first three classic games: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. They will appear on PlayStation 4 in 2017.
What other games companies are at E3 2016?
Hundreds of publishers and developers show their wares at E3 each year, either on the show floor or behind closed doors (BCD) in private rooms. This year's event is no different.
As we've mentioned, there is no Activision stand at the show itself, with some on-site BCD sessions instead. And Electronic Arts too is hosting its own separate event, EA Play. 2K is at the show big time though, showing off a more in-depth build of Mafia III - which it revealed with a 22-minute gameplay trailer, below.
The other major companies at E3, but not detailed above, are as follows:
- Bandai Namco
- CD Projekt Red
- Deep Silver
- Focus Home Interactive
- Square Enix
- Warner Bros
There are plenty of smaller developers, publishers and hardware manufacturers we also have our eye on because they promise some great games and accessories this year, including Rebellion, Alienware, Crytek and Nvidia.
What games are at E3 2016?
As well the big titles announced but not technically playable or demoed at E3 there are plenty on the show floor and in private sessions that we are attending. Here are our picks of what we have seen, hope to see still or go hands-on with at E3 2016. There are clearly plenty more too, but these are on our most immediate hitlist.
- Battlefield 1 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Below - Xbox One, PC
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - Xbox One, PS4
- Civilization VI - PC
- Crackdown 3 - Xbox One
- Dead Island 2 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Dishonored 2 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- FIFA 17 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Final Fantasy XV - Xbox One, PS4
- For Honor - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Gears of War 4 - Xbox One, PC
- Halo Wars 2 - Xbox One, PC
- Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4
- Mafia III - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Mass Effect: Andromeda - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- No Man's Sky - PS4, PC
- Planet Coaster - PC
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- ReCore - Xbox One
- Sea of Thieves - Xbox One, PC
- Scalebound - Xbox One
- Star Citizen - PC
- South Park: The Fractured But Whole - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- The Legend of Zelda - Wii U
- The Last Guardian - PS4
- Titanfall 2 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Untitled Forza game - Xbox One, PC
- Watch Dogs 2 - Xbox One, PS4, PC
- Yooka Laylee - Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, PC
There is also, naturally, a flood of virtual reality games for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. PS VR, for example, is coming out in October so the focus is massive.
We'll also update this list as and when we hear of other big name games at E3.
What we'd liked to have seen at E3 2016
Although we've already seen loads of exciting products, there are some notable absentees.
This then is what we were hoping for, but failed to materialise.
There were rumours that Nintendo would announce its Wii U successor at E3 or even beforehand, but the company itself officially confirmed that there will be no Nintendo NX news or an unveiling at the show prior to its start. Instead, it will be unveiled later in 2016 and will hit the streets in March 2017.
We say it every year and every year we are disappointed. We were again, sadly.
The Last of Us 2
Rumours have flown about a PS4 sequel to Naughty Dog's incredible The Last of Us ever since the original was first released. But as much as we've wanted it to be Sony's "one more thing" at its conference, that wasn't the case. Next year, perhaps?
We were hoping to find out something about Destiny 2 at this year's E3, but Activision confirmed that although it plans to release the sequel next year, there won't be anything at this year's show.
Instead, we found out more on the Destiny: Rise of Iron expansion that is coming in autumn. It'll be available for download from 20 September, so there will plenty of hype around that rather than a fully-fledged sequel.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar rarely announces titles during E3 but we've been waiting for more news on a prospective Red Dead Redemption for years and a recent leak suggested that the sequel is at least in the works.
An alleged map of the open world setting for Red Dead Redemption 2 (or Red Dead 3 if you count the radically different first game) appeared on NeoGaf. Separate sources appear to have verified it too.
Most interestingly, there's an area with the fictional name of "New Bordeaux", the same fictional name chosen by Hanger 13 for 2K Games' Mafia III (which will be distributed by Take-Two, the same as Rockstar's titles). Coincidence? Yeah, probably. Still odd though.
However, it didn't appear at the show. At all.
Oculus Rift 2
Okay, so the first consumer Oculus Rift still hasn't shipped to everyone who pre-ordered it, but our meetings with Oculus over the last couple of years suggest that the hardware update route will be rapid in the early days of VR. Industry analysts and developers have claimed the same.
An upgraded headset isn't on the cards anytime soon though, it seems - at least from its absence at E3.
Mario on mobile
Nintendo has already started the rollout of its five key apps for mobile, with Miitomo being the only one that's not strictly a game. Maybe we'll get to see or play an app based on Mario some day? The next two announced titles will be based on Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing, though, so an E3 debut for the moustachioed plumber was not likely to be on the cards.
More SteamVR headsets
HTC has an exclusivity deal with Valve so that the HTC Vive is the only SteamVR headset on the market presently, but we are of the understanding that after the window expires, other manufacturers will jump on board. Maybe we'll find out which ones soon? Just not at the LA show, sadly.
We'll add more to our wishlist as they occur to us. If there are games or hardware you would like to see announced or shown at E3 this year, let us know in the comments below.