Late last year, Microsoft admitted that its first-party offerings were thin, and that to remedy its lack of exclusives, it would begin buying studios and games. That was six months ago, so expect to hear some news on that front. We're all but guaranteed to hear even more about developer Rare's plans for keeping Sea of Thieves players busy, too, now that its first expansion is out.
We haven't heard anything about Crackdown 3 in awhile, and Microsoft promised that'd be out in time for spring. Redmond has been making a lot of noise about putting its first-party titles on its Game Pass subscription service day and date with retail, and at this point, Xbox chief Phil Spencer (or new head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty) taking the stage and announcing that Crackdown 3 is available to play for Game Pass subscribers during E3 week wouldn't be shocking at all.
Updates about trippy E3 keynote-alum We Happy Few from Compulsion Games and Ori and the Will O' the Whisps from Moon Studio are solid bets as well. There's even a chance we'll finally have a release date for the perpetually delayed Below from Capy.
That Walmart Canada product listing had a few Microsoft games on it too. Namely, a new Forza Horizon and Gears of War 5. The timing is right (and expected) for the former, but typically Microsoft alternates between Gears and Halo. We haven't had a new Halo since 2015's lackluster Halo 5: Guardians, and Gears of War 4 was released in 2016. Here's to hoping Microsoft is switching things up to give Master Chief's next adventure extra time in the oven. There's a new rumor, however, that Microsoft will bring Halo to the show this year, with a sequel named "Infinity."
Of course, Microsoft's keynote will likely be a place for third parties publishers to debut their games. Judging by past media briefings, more info on Metro: Exodus; Shadow of the Tomb Raider and EA's stab at a shared-world shooter, Anthem wouldn't be unexpected. Whatever happens, you can follow along with our liveblog this Sunday.
Sony has already had a hell of a 2018, with Shadow of the Colossus, God of War and Detroit: Become Human all released before June. What will the rest of the year look like for PlayStation owners? Well, Sony says it's taking a different approach to E3 this year. Rather than inundating the audience with trailer after trailer like years past, the company will instead do deep dives on Death Stranding, Ghosts of Tsushima, The Last of Us: Part II and Spider-Man.
The latter will be available this September 7th, but so far, the other three don't have release dates attached to them. With how long Death Stranding has been in development and how barren the rest of Sony's holiday looks, maybe we can expect to play that this year. Or not: Developer Hideo Kojima notoriously takes his time making games, so that slipping into next year might not be too surprising.
The Last of Us: Part II (below) debuted in late 2016, and Sony released a new teaser for the sequel last October, showcasing an even more brutal side of studio Naughty Dog's verdant apocalypse. Again, sans release information. We saw Tsushima for the first time at the same October event. Given that developer SuckerPunch's last game was 2014's Infamous: Second Son, the timing could mean a fall release window for the samurai story. The company also has Days Gone and Dreams, in addition to a slew of VR games, but showed those off already at a pre-E3 event.