LOS ANGELES — At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, video games alone won’t soak up all the attention.
Besides the usual laundry list of sequels and new titles coming to gaming consoles, next week’s annual interactive extravaganza at the Los Angeles Convention Center will also play host to exhibitors from around the world pushing augmented and virtual reality systems, video streaming services, as well as games specifically created for PCs and mobile devices.
“We have a tradition of being open to new technologies, new game companies and new approaches,” said Michael Gallagher, president of the Electronic Software Association, which organizes the industry trade show. “We have more than 270 exhibitors at E3 this year showing over 1,600 products, including 100 of them that haven’t even been teased. It’s meant to be a very diverse environment. This will probably be the most diverse E3 in the show’s history.”
Here’s a look at what’s likely to unfold during gaming’s biggest week:
VIRTUALLY HEAD OVER HEELS
With virtual reality systems like the Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus and HTC Vive scheduled for release throughout the next year, game creators are expected to heavily tout their VR experiences in an effort to wrap the immersive technology around consumers’ noggins. Microsoft might similarly use its presence at E3 to hype HoloLens, the augmented reality headset it unveiled earlier this year with a rendition of “Minecraft” set amid the real world.
The looming reality of VR is projected to take center stage at E3. However, there are still plenty of other upcoming interactive experiences that won’t need to be strapped to consumers’ faces. After being teased at last year’s E3, many developers are planning to provide further details on updated versions of popular series due in just a few months, including 343 Industries’ “Halo 5: Guardians,” Konami’s “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” and Crystal Dynamics’ “Rise of the Tomb Raider.”
OUT OF RETIREMENT
While the E3 show floor is always littered with the latest editions of long-running series, a few entries anticipated at this year’s show haven’t been seen in at least five years. “Doom,” “Fallout,” “Mirror’s Edge,” “Just Cause,” “Guitar Hero” and “Star Wars: Battlefront” are among the franchises being dusted off for this year’s E3. In the case of “Star Fox,” Nintendo hasn’t released an all-new mission for the vulpine fighter pilot in nearly a decade.
THE FORCE IS STRONG
Speaking of “Battlefront,” the “Star Wars” franchise will be in full force at E3. Electronic Arts is hyperdriving into the Los Angeles Convention Center with that multiplayer blast-’em-up, while Disney is landing with the latest installment of its “Disney Infinity” toys-to-life series, which will introduce such characters as Yoda and Han Solo to its toy-game empire. EA could also unleash more details about another interactive “Star Wars” episode that’s being created by Visceral Games.
A NEW BREED
Star Fox, Master Chief and Lara Croft are making their way onto the latest generation of consoles, but what about the Prince of Persia, Marcus Fenix or Samus Aran? If history is any indication, it’s likely a few publishers will use E3 as an opportunity to publicly announce the resurrection of such long-gone protagonists. Could a higher-definition revival of “Prince of Persia,” “Gears of War” or “Metroid” be forthcoming for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U consoles?
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.