With Sony and Microsoft both unleashing new hardware, this year's E3 is set to be something very special. Mr Hyde editor Jonathan Pile reports from LA on the seven biggest moments of the pre-E3 press conference
1. Playstation has had a great E3. And E3 hasn't even started yet. The wheels were set in motion with the Xbox One event last month where it was announced that all games would require an online connection and barriers were being put in place to stop you trading in your used games. Or even lending them to a friend. But the real boost to Sony came when Microsoft revealed its price point: £429. Mere hours later there was a standing ovation at the PS4's £349 tag, and the crowd became more frenzied when Sony declared it wouldn't have any registration requirements for its games.
2. We only got a glimpse of it, and not a glimpse of anything approaching gameplay either. Yet the biggest cheer for a game press was reserved for a screen containing three words. They said "Star Wars Battlefront". The previously dormant franchise was top of the majority of most-wanted lists when it was revealed EA had acquired the Star Wars licence. A secondary request? That it was made by Dice, makers of Battlefield 4. Also granted.
3. In an incredible piece of misdirection, a video featuring a cloaked figure walking through a vast desert was played during the Microsoft conference to only a mildly interested audience - the Xbox One's sand effects looked nice, but it could hardly compete with a Halo reveal. Of course, that all changed with the hood of the cloak slipped off to reveal that was, in fact, exactly what it was. Few details were given - not even a proper title - but Halo is due on Xbox One in 2014. Late 2014 in all likelihood.
4. Plants Vs Zombies is a fun and colourful take on the tower defence genre. A sequel's due, we're looking forward to it. But the game that opened EA's conference was a reveal we'd never have predicted. Ever. Called Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, it's tongue-in-cheek third-person shooter with lots of different classes of fighter - the sunflower, as you might expect, is the medic. For what probably started as a joke - this looked remarkably accomplished.
5. Destiny is the title Bungie - creators of Halo - ditched Halo to do. No pressure then. It's an online shooter set, in a refreshing change from the norm for video games, on a post apocalyptic Earth. Where do they get the ideas from? But it looks as impressive as you'd hope from the people who brought you the tales of Master Chief's struggle against the Covenant. It was the final game of Sony's conference, so it obviously has high hopes too.
6. The Division is a shooter set on a post apocalyptic Earth (see?) and was Ubisoft's Columbo-aping "just one more thing" moment. It seamlessly blended co-op, drop-in drop-out gameplay and, on meeting another squad, competitive multiplayer. And don't assume that perfect demos were inevitable because it took place in a controlled environment - Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed IV demo crashed live on-stage. Which was awkward.
7. Mirror's Edge wasn't a very successful game - it looked pretty, but it didn't sell. For some reason though, the lack of a sequel had become a sore point for a certain type of gamer. You know, the type that doesn't understand economics. Apparently a lot of that type of gamer were at the EA event because the news of a sequel to the free-running title had a lot of people very excited. It's a franchise that deserves better than it got first time round - hopefully this one will shift some copies.
(Images: E3, Sony, Microsoft)