As of this writing, E3 2017 officially kicks off tomorrow with Electronic Art’s showcase of games. Every year, E3 serves as one of the biggest opportunities for publishers to share their best games to the general public and press. Despite the convention being so important, some companies choose to share big reveals prior to the big press conferences leading into E3. Here are some of the biggest and most fascinating pre-E3 2017 announcements that you should keep an eye on.
New Pokemon Games
It’s no secret that the Pokemon franchise is a huge worldwide hit. Last year, The Pokemon Company saw many successes, especially with Niantic’s Pokemon Go mobile game and Game Freak’s next generation titles, Sun and Moon, on Nintendo 3DS. With big hits in 2016, it’s no surprise that Nintendo and The Pokemon Company would have new Pokemon titles available in 2017. Pokemon fans will have a variety of games to choose from, both old and new, including a title for Nintendo Switch.
Pokken Tournament DX is the definitive edition of the Pokemon fighting game, originally released in arcades and on Wii U. In the Nintendo Switch release, the game will feature new game modes, ranked online play, and friend-only matches. There will also be five new characters to choose from that were not included in the Wii U version. Pokken Tournament DX will launch on September 22nd on Nintendo Switch. If you want to see more about the game, Nintendo will be hosting a Pokken Tournament DX tournament on Wednesday, June 14th.
For 3DS owners, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon will be shipping on November 17th. These new versions will bring players back to the Alola region, this time with a new alternate story and new Pokemon to catch. Not much is known about these two titles, but we are expecting to learn more during Nintendo’s Treehouse livestream during the week of E3. Want something a bit more nostalgic? The Pokemon Company is also re-releasing Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver on the 3DS Virtual Console on September 22nd. The Game Boy Color classics will be re-released with compatibility with Pokemon Bank and wireless trading.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
A new entry in the popular Dissidia Final Fantasy series is finally coming to a home console. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is the console version of the arcade fighting game developed by Team Ninja, releasing exclusively on PlayStation 4. According to the official press release, players will be able to play as over 20 iconic Final Fantasy characters in three-on-three battles, both offline and online. While there will be no dedicated Story Mode, the PlayStation 4 version will have exclusive story content not found in the arcade version. If you’re lucky enough to attend E3 this year, Square Enix will have a playable build of the game at their booth. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is scheduled to ship worldwide in early 2018 on PS4.
Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back
Yes, really, Bubsy is back in the year 2017. What could possibly go wrong? In a surprise announcement, Accolade is back in action with a new game in the Bubsy series, Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back. Expected to ship this September on PlayStation 4 and Steam, The Woolies Strike Back brings Bubsy back to this 2D platforming roots in a new adventure. Searching for his beloved Golden Fleece, Bubsy will explore a variety of exotic locations around the planet. Bubsy will be equipped with all of his classic moves, a few new ones, and over 100 new one liners to charm the player. The Woolies Strike Back seems to be very in-tune with the reputation Bubsy has within the gaming community, so expect an interesting experience this Fall, to say the least.
Dragon Ball Fighters
Bandai Namco has an exciting game for Dragon Ball fans, next year. There will be a new 2.5D Dragon Ball fighting game, which has been revealed as Dragon Ball Fighters. Developed by Arc System Works, the team behind BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, Dragon Ball Fighters is a fighting game based around a three-versus-three battle system. It will also incorporate all of the flashy and high speed moves that Dragon Ball is well known for. According to the game’s producer, Tomoko Hiroki, Dragon Ball Fighters will have mechanics that are not possible in a 3D environment. The game was originally supposed to be revealed on June 12th, during the week of E3, but Bandai Namco accidentally released the news early. Dragon Ball Fighters will be available worldwide in early 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
More Atlus Games on 3DS
Atlus has announced that they will be bringing three newly localized 3DS titles to North America throughout 2017 and early 2018. This upcoming Fall, Atlus will be bringing Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth to the west. This turn-based dungeon RPG will feature a fully voiced story in English. In early 2018, Atlus will be bringing over Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux and Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology to the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. Radiant Historia will feature fully voiced dialogue in English, while Strange Journey Redux will only be playable in Japanese with subtitles. All three of Atlus’ upcoming 3DS titles will retail for $39.99 each.
A New Atari Console…?
One of the most shocking announcements this week has to be that a new Atari console is apparently in development. A product currently titled “AtariBox” was recently teased in a short 20-second clip, giving us a brief look at the console’s shell. Atari Interactive has not commented on this product, so it’s currently unknown whether or not this is truly new hardware made by Atari, an outside investment similar to the failed Coleco Chameleon, or if it’s a HD emulation console, akin to the NES Classic Edition. With E3 2017 just around the corner, we should be hearing a lot more about “AtariBox” soon.
Smaller Announcements and Updates
While there has been plenty of major announcements prior to E3, there has also been a number of smaller updates/announcements. Here is a short list of the most notable announcements that are a bit smaller than the rest.
- Shenmue III has been delayed to the second half of 2018. The game will not be making an appearance at E3 2017. Shenmue III was originally expected to ship in December 2017.
- Sonic Mania has received an official release date. The long-awaited return to classic Sonic will be launching on August 15th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
- Bandai Namco’s Project Cars 2 will be launching on September 22nd on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
- Vampyr, the next story-driven game from Life is Strange developer Dontnod, will be shipping this November. No exact date was given.
- Wayforward, the developer behind the Shantae series, announced development of The Mummy: Demastered for consoles and PC. The game is scheduled for an August release.
Whew! That’s a ton of announcements for a week, and it’s not even officially the week of E3. What games are you looking forward to the most on this list? Let us know in the comments!