E3 2017 Preview: Xbox Scorpio, The Return of Mario and More

E3 2017 is right around the corner, and it's shaping up to be one of the biggest, wildest and longest events in the show's history. Kicking off on June 10 in Los Angeles and running all the way through June 15, this year's E3 will give us our first official look at Xbox's much-hyped Project Scorpio console, as well as tons of huge new games from Sony, Nintendo and a slew of third-parties.

Image Credit: logoboom / Shutterstock.com

(Image credit: Image Credit: logoboom / Shutterstock.com)

This year's E3 is open to the public for the first time, which means you can look forward to really long lines, a few disgruntled journalists and a bunch of exciting new fan-centric events. Here are the biggest games and announcements to look out for at E3 2017— as well as where to catch all the action online.

Xbox: A Big Scorpio Reveal, But No VR

The main talk of this year's E3 is the 2017 Xbox briefing, where we'll finally get to see the powerful Project Scorpio console in the flesh. We're expecting an official name, price and release date for Microsoft's supercharged Xbox, as well as a multitude of tech demos demonstrating how pretty your games will look in 4K. The Scorpio reveal is such a big deal that Microsoft will hold it a day early, with the Xbox showcase set to kick off Sunday, June 11 at 5 p.m. ET.

Image: Microsoft

Image: Microsoft

However, a fancy new Xbox won't mean much if there aren't any cool games to play on it. Xbox chief Phil Spencer tweeted that there won't be a Gears of War game or proper Halo sequel, though Halo developer 343 industries does have something planned for the show. Forza Motorsport 7 seems inevitable, given the series' steady release schedule. Microsoft will likely push its new livestreaming service Mixer, as well as some new software features that piggyback off of the Windows 10 Creators Update.

We'll probably get a better look at previously announced Xbox One exclusives such as Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2, but Microsoft will need to pull out some big surprises if it wants to stand a chance against Sony's excellent 2017 slate of PS4 games.

One thing you shouldn't expect is news about VR on Xbox. A Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that the company's Mixed Reality headsets are currently being built with a focus on PC, even though they're designed to work with the Xbox One family of consoles eventually.

PlayStation: Spider-Man, Days Gone and a New Handheld?

Image: Sony

Image: Sony

The PS4 is already having a stellar year with huge hits such as Horizon: Zero Dawn and Nioh, but Sony likely isn't resting on its laurels just yet. Expect to see more of big titles such as Days Gone, Spider-Man and Detroit: Become Human, all of which debuted at last year's E3 and may or may not come out in 2017.

Lots of folks are hopeful for a sequel to 2015's brutal action hit Bloodborne, but we've got no official word yet from Sony. We'll probably see some new PlayStation VR games, as well as some slight refreshes of PlayStation hardware.

Speaking of hardware, Sony is rumored to be working on a new portable console to replace the PlayStation Vita. We're taking that one with a huge grain of salt, but given the massive success of the Nintendo Switch, maybe Sony is looking to get back into the handheld market.

MORE: The Biggest PS4 Exclusives of the Year

Nintendo: All About Mario

Image: Nintendo

Image: Nintendo

Nintendo's E3 2017 will be largely focused on Super Mario Odyssey, a new open-ended adventure that brings the iconic platforming series to the Switch in time for the holidays. You can also look forward to some live tournament action of upcoming multiplayer games Arms, Splatoon 2 and Pokken Tournament DX. 

The Nintendo 3DS just got a refresh with the New 2DS XL, so expect some new games for the aging handheld as well as a closer look at Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Some of the bigger Nintendo rumors include Super Smash Bros. for Switch as well as a potential SNES Classic Edition, so perhaps we'll see those at E3. You can check out Nintendo's E3 page to keep up with all of the Big N's activities, which will kick off with a special Nintendo Spotlight stream on June 13 at noon ET.

EA, Ubisoft and More: The Best of the Rest

Image: EA

Image: EA

E3 isn't just about gaming's Big Three, and you can look forward to plenty of big third-party reveals. Electronic Arts will kick off the entire show on June 10 with EA Play, where we'll see Star Wars Battlefront II, a new Need for Speed game and the company's slate of new sports titles.

Bethesda will once again have its own press conference on June 11, which could give us a look at what's next for Quake Champions, Doom, Wolfenstein and The Elder Scrolls as well as some all-new surprises. There's also Ubisoft's June 11 showcase, where we'll see Far Cry 5, The Crew 2 and South Park: The Fractured But Whole as well as the long-awaited return of Assassin's Creed. The PC Gaming Show will return to E3 on June 12, and will hopefully be more exciting than the sleepy talk show that we got during the previous two years.

Where and When to Watch

As usual, you'll have a slew of options for catching E3 at home. Twitch and YouTube will be streaming all of the major press events as well as a variety of exclusive stage shows; major gaming outlets such as IGN and Gamespot will offer live streams, too.

There will be a fan-centric E3 Coliseum showcase on June 13 and 14 featuring gameplay reveals and developer interviews. If competitive gaming is your thing, the Twitch Esports channel will be streaming daily tournament action for Street Fighter V, Injustice 2, Tekken 7 and Overwatch.

Here's a quick schedule of the biggest events to tune in to.

  • EA Play: Saturday, June 10 @ 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT
  • Xbox: Sunday, June 11 @ 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT
  • Bethesda: Sunday, June 11 @ 12 a.m. ET / 9 p.m. PT
  • PC Gaming Show: Monday, June 12 @ 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT
  • Ubisoft: Monday, June 12 @ 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT
  • PlayStation: Monday, June 12 @ 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT
  • Nintendo Spotlight: Tuesday, June 12 @ 12pm ET / 9 a.m. PT
Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.