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June is upon us. And for all gamers, both casual and hardcore, that's cause for excitement.
It's time for E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the biggest, most hotly anticipated video game trade show of the year. But for most gamers outside the Los Angeles area, the main attraction is not the show itself, but the press conferences that will precede it. This is where Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo typically announce brand-new consoles and industry-shifting innovations, and the major video game developers reveal their upcoming titles for the next two years.
Sometimes, these debuts take the form of a new trailer, either of a pre-rendered cutscene or some choice gameplay. But other times, it's a playable demo, and attendees get to try out these new games, months prior to their actual release, on the show floor.
E3 gets so much hype that it dominates the month of June. And in addition to a few high-profile releases near the end of the month, we can anticipate a ton of breaking exclusives from E3. This will be followed by a quiet period with some low-key announcements, including the retirement of an industry icon and a rumored price drop on this generation's most successful video game console.
Here are all the major video game headlines for the month of June 2019.
Xbox Live Gold Free Video Games for June 2019
'NHL 19' (June 1-June 30)
This critically acclaimed hockey simulator is the 28th iteration in the longrunning NHL franchise. It features outdoor rinks, multiplayer, and RPG leveling elements.
'Rivals of Aether' (June 6-July 15)
This is a 2D fighting game in the same tradition as Super Smash Bros; knock your opponent off a platform to emerge victorious. Unlike Smash, which enlists iconic Nintendo icons, Rivals of Aether gives each character a theme based on the natural elements, such as water, air, or fire.
'Portal: Still Alive' (June 1-June 15)
This is the definitive edition of the original, classic Portal game from 2007, featuring new levels.
'Earth Defense Force 2017' (June 16-June 30)
An alien space shooter from a 3D perspective, you play as a soldier in an elite ground unit, trained to take on the "Ravagers" who threaten Earth.
Playstation Plus Free Video Games for June 2019
'Borderlands: The Handsome Collection' (June 4)
This is two games in one: Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. These two first-person shooters should get you hyped and ready for the upcoming Borderlands 3.
'Sonic Mania' (June 4)
After years of weird, off-kilter Sonic 3D games, Sonic Mania brought everything back to basics. It's great to once again see the colorful, 16-bit style that sparked the early '90s console war between Sega and Nintendo.
E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo: Press Conferences Day 1 (June 9)
Before the trade show (June 11-13) are numerous press conferences, which will be streamed widely by both video game publications and the developers themselves.
The first major press conference of E3 2019 will be Microsoft's on June 9 at 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST. The company is heavily rumored to be revealing its upcoming Xbox 2 console. Whether we’ll just be getting the specs or something more is still unknown. We may also get updates on Project xCloud, Micosoft's future game streaming service.
Bethesda's press conference will follow at 8:30 PM EST/5:30 p.m PST. The main attraction will be an in-depth look at DOOM Eternal, the sequel to the critically popular reboot of 2016. Hopefully, we'll also get an update on Wolfenstein: Youngblood, out in July.
E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo: Press Conferences Day 2 (June 10)
The PC Gaming Show, hosted by industry publication PC Gamer, will take place on June 10 at 1:00 p.m. EST/10:00 a.m. PST. Companies will include sponsor Epic Games, Chucklefish, Digital Extremes, Modus Games, and more.
Ubisoft will hold its conference at 4:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. PST and will hopefully give us some updates on pirate epic Skull & Bones and sci-fi dystopia Beyond Good & Evil 2. There are also rumors of a brand new franchise, yet to be revealed.
Square Enix will close out the night at 9:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. PST, occupying the time slot typically reserved by Sony, which will be skipping E3 this year. Square might show off new footage of the Final Fantasy VII remake or of Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC. There's also a long-gestating Marvel Avengers project that might finally be revealed.
E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo: Press Conference Day 3 (June 11) and Show Floor (June 11 - June 13)
Finally, Nintendo will hold their press event on June 11 at 12:00 p.m. EST/9:00 a.m. PST. However, unlike the other live presentations, this will take the form of a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct, which can be streamed from YouTube or from Nintendo's official site. Maybe we'll get some Metroid Prime 4 news if we're lucky.
The show floor will open to the public on June 11 and will last until June 13. Attendees can attend panel discussions with game developers and demo upcoming games. To attend the Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, check out E3's official site.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (June 18)
Producer Koji Igarashi, best-known for his work on classic game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, is back with a spiritual successor called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. The game uses the same exploratory, upgrade-based play as its forbearers, Symphony of the Night and Super Metroid, making it a notable addition to the "Metroidvania" video game genre.
Kaz Hirai Retires as Chairman of Sony (June 18)
Kaz Hirai, the current Chairman of the Sony Corporation, will be stepping down this month, passing the reins of leadership to current CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. Hirai has worked for the company in different capacities since 1984, but he joined the Sony Computer Entertainment division in 1995, approximately nine months after the launch of the original Playstation console.
Since then, he has become an instantly recognizable figure in the video game world, and oversaw the early days of the Playstation 3 as president of the games division. He became president of the entire corporation in 2012.
The Sinking City (June 27)
A mystery horror game, The Sinking City casts you in the role of a private investigator in Oakmont, Massachusetts, where you investigate a flooded city filled with cult members and supernatural occurrences. You collect clues and draw conclusions in a seven-district open world.
MotoGP 19 (June 27)
There is an endless number of realistic car driving games, but motorcycle games are a bit more rare.
MotoGP 19 is a realistic racing simulator for bikers. One of MotoGP 19's most distinctive selling points is its artificial intelligence; the more the game plays against you, the smarter it gets by learning your tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.
'Super Mario Maker 2' (June 28)
The sequel to Super Mario Maker is the biggest video game release this June. Super Mario Maker 2 for the Switch puts the power in the player's hands, allowing him or her to conceive and create the most tricky, fiendish, infuriating 2D Mario levels possible. It comes with even more options for the expert level designer, from custom scrolling levels to snake blocks to slopes. Nintendo is placing a strong emphasis on the game's multiplayer functions, and even if they don't currently allow for online matchmaking with friends, that could hopefully change down the line.
Rumored Price Drop on the Nintendo Switch? (June TBA)
Lastly, the Nintendo Switch has been priced at $299 since its launch in 2017. It's been heavily rumored that the portable console will drop in price for the first time this month, and that the current build will be slightly upgraded with new hardware. This hasn't been officially announced, but E3 seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.