It’s that time of the year again! The most wonderful time of the year! Yes, that’s right: it is E3 season. That’s short for Electronic Entertainment Expo. Indeed, there is no better way then to celebrate the impending arrival of E3 with discussions over the biggest rumours; this includes the most anticipated announcements of confirmation and some spicy speculation of our own. Perhaps the biggest company that most are waiting for – or at least, yours truly – is the RPG-churning Bethesda.
The excitement is already here. Pete Hines, Vice President of Marketing for Bethesda Softworks (the overall publisher of games, not the game development studio – that’s Bethesda Game Studios) has loads to share. In one tweet, he writes: “Bethesda Showcase is in one month. I’m starting to get excited. We have a lot to show you this year. Might be our longest E3 Showcase ever? Not sure, but it’s packed.” Now that is one way to build up unprecedented hype for the showcase.
All About Rage
What exactly will be coming from Bethesda? Well, firstly let’s talk about what the world now knows will be showing up: Rage 2. Personally, it’s a clear bet that Hines and company will probably reveal Rage 2 at E3 itself. However, Walmart Canada has already jumped the gun as it accidentally drops the upcoming game on its catalogue. Amazingly, Bethesda has embraced the leak, using it to tease and build up speculation over Rage 2. Thusly, it’s pretty much confirmed that there will be a sequel to the open-world action RPG from id Software. Bethesda have even put out a gameplay trailer for Rage 2 that looks absolutely insane. Seriously, for those who haven’t watched yet, go stream it right now. It is Mad Max meets Borderlands meets Rage meets Just Cause. There’s a reason for that too…more on that later.
So, what details are out for Rage 2? And what can the world expect from Bethesda with regards to this new game at E3? Well, for the release date, Bethesda is likely to release it sometime during Q2 2019. It should be available on the PC, Sony PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Xbox One. id Software are the primary developers, the very same team behind the original Rage. Coming along for the ride is Avalanche Studios, the guys behind Mad Max and Just Cause games. Furthermore, the engine behind Rage 2 is the same one that Just Cause 3 uses. That somewhat explains why Rage 2 looks and feels like a combination of Mad Max and the Just Cause games.
It’s a little surprising that id Software isn’t using its own id Tech engine; well, if it results in a better game, then most will not be complaining. Rage 2 is set in a world where an asteroid has destroyed 80% of the world’s population; players will take the role of the lead character, Walker – he is the last Ranger of the wasteland. He must go up against a group that calls itself The Authority. It’s pretty much guaranteed that some Rage 2 gameplay will show up at Bethesda’s E3 presentation.
Time to Prey
What else can the adoring audience expect from Bethesda during its E3 showcase? By the looks of it, there’ll be some details for Prey. Bethesda and the developers of Prey, Arkane Studios, have been teasing some content from the game for a while now. The biggest hint is the addition of 10 new hidden achievements for Prey, where each feature just one word. When the words are put together, they read ‘If you believed they put a man on the moon.” For the young’uns, like yours truly, they might not get the reference at first. Indeed, these are lyrics from the 1992 R.E.M. song ‘Man on the Moon’.
The teasers continue via the game’s official Twitter, where it has tweet a GIF of the moon. This visual comes with the caption, “Do we really know what’s out there?”. A follow up after shows an artwork featuring the main character, Morgan Yu, on the moon. If there is some chance that gamers don’t believe Arkane and Bethesda have plans for Prey, then Arkane Studios’ tweet of an image might convince them; it shows the Prey developer team with a calendar that has June 10 marked out.
Indeed, that’s the day Bethesda is having its E3 showcase. No one knows exactly if it’s going to be a DLC for Prey or a complete standalone expansion, just like what Arkane did for the Dishonored series. Of course, the world can’t wait to find out more!
Going into more rumour territory, here’s some spicy speculations that are spilling about. Bethesda may finally have something to share about its supposed sci-fi RPG, Starfield. Thus far, there are no details from the publisher or developers, so there is nothing definitive to work with. However, the scant details include Bethesda filing a trademark on the name ‘Starfield’ back in 2016.
As such, it’s clear that it is working on a project with that name, at the very least. A suspicious leak from an unnamed Bethesda employee claims that Starfield is set to appear at E3 2017 along with Fallout 4 VR and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR. While the leak has been right on the money about the two virtual reality games, it misses the mark with Starfield.
Could this be the year that Starfield finally gets a proper reveal? If this is true, then this could be the new IP that might revive Bethesda Game Studios. Right now, most are likely tired of the multiple new versions of Skyrim and Fallout 4 that are appearing every year.
Moving on from gaming news for a short bit, there’s also some speculations that NVIDIA must address. There are rumours going around that the graphics giant will be launching its next-gen GPUs at E3. There are some leaks on specifications and performance data for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1170 and GTX 1180. It’s unclear if it’s a Turing- or Ampere-based architecture. Even so, many are leaning towards Turing for now and for good reason.
The speculations reveal that both next-gen videocards are operating on the NVIDIA GT104 Turing 12nm chip. These leaks claim that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1180 will feature 3584 CUDA cores, 224 TMUs, and 64 ROPs; all work to produce a core clock-speed of 1.6GHz. As for RAM, expectations are betting on the new GDDR6 platform, making it possible to reach 512GB/s bandwidth and 16Gbps transfer speeds. Leak performances show a 50% increase over NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 and 10% faster than the NVIDIA GeForce Titan XP. Retail pricing will be around US$700.
As for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1170, while using the same architecture as its peer, it runs on slightly lower CUDA cores and TMU count; specifically, it only has 2688 CUDA cores and 168 TMUs, with the standard 64 ROPs. Core clock-speed will also be slower, at just 1.5GHz. While it’ll be using GDDR6 RAM, speculations point to how it’ll be limited to only 12Gbps. This is to lower the TDP to 140W-160W. This will likely set NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1170 as the new standard GPU for crypto-currency miners. As for its performance, this GPU will perform similarly to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. For scale, it will be 50% faster than its direct predecessor, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. Rumours set the price at US$499.
It remains to be seen NVIDIA really would announce their next generation of GPUs at E3; NVIDIA hasn’t pull off such an act in years. It will be awesome for E3 if it did though. As for other random rumours, here’s a quick round-up: Keep an eye out for a couple of big hits. This includes Cyberpunk 2077, Borderlands 3, and a new Splinter Cell game, Dragon Quest 2, and Gears of War 5. There may be a new Assassin’s Creed too. The Devolver team may make a return with another infuriatingly funny press conference too. Hideo Kojima has also been teasing the world with some new Death Stranding stuff, so expect that at E3 too. As for what’s real and what will turn out false, stay tuned as PC.com preps itself for the world’s biggest games event to roll in.