E3 2015: PC Gaming Show Predictions, Rumors & Expectations

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E3 2015 is almost upon us! This week, GameSided staffers will be discussing what we should see, think we’ll see or hope to see out of the eight (!) separate press conferences scheduled to go live starting early next week. Our up-to-date preview schedule:

With 20 different participants named, the PC Gaming Show looks like a monster of a showcase. Tons of different companies all trying to share one stage and 2 hours is going to be a case of information overload, but I’ll do my best to make it a little less intimidating.

Things I’m sure we’ll see at the PC Gaming Show

  • Arma 3 Expansion Reveal

Bohemia Interactive is confirmed to be revealing the new terrain for Arma 3 as part of their upcoming expansion.

The company laid out their plans going forward in an Arma 3 roadmap several months ago. The unnamed expansion is slated for a release in late 2015, and “offers a distinctive feeling and gameplay.”

The main map of Arma 3, Altis, features a varied Mediterranean landscape stretching over a monstrous 270 km2. Featuring a diverse mix of hills, forests, beaches, and even salt flats, it struggled to offer a cohesive overall feeling, and may have even suffered from being too large.

The African terrain was only explored in an Arma 2 mod called “Isla Duala”

Hopefully the new terrain brings a lower-tech setting with it. I’ve never quite enjoyed the near-future setting of Arma 3. I found the unfamiliar weaponry and remote warfare much less engaging than the near-past setting of Arma 2, and I’m not alone— a big chunk of Arma 3 mods reintroduce modern and past weaponry to the game.

It’s hard to make a prediction where Bohemia Interactive will decide to base their new terrain given the wide range of climates they’ve already explored, but a low-tech setting combined with an untapped terrain leaves one obvious choice for me: Africa.

  • AMD Launches New Fiji GPU

AMD will be ushering in a “new era of PC gaming”… at least that’s what their presentation is called. After a noticeable absence of Fiji talk during Computex 2015, AMD is ready for its public unveiling of the flagship Fiji GPU.

Running on High Bandwith Memory (HBM), the Fiji GPU aims to make GDDR5 a thing of the past while cornering the affordable power market. Whether or not it will convert NVIDIA snobs (such as myself) is still a mystery.

  • Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns Expansion

ArenaNet is coming to the show and is definitely bringing Guild Wars 2 along. The MMO will soon be turning three years old, and with age comes expansion. It’s called Heart of Thorns, and looks to change how the game is played in creative ways.

Heart of Thorns is set in a jungle region focused on verticality. The region is made of three distinct elevations beginning at the top with the canopy, then the floor with the core, and deep down below in the roots. Instead of raising the level cap, the introduction of the mastery system gives max level players expansion-specific abilities and bonuses.

  • Windows 10 & Xbox One Integration Talk

With Windows 10 launching on July 29th, and Xbox listed as a show participant we’ll definitely be seeing their new console streaming feature. Windows 10 allows you to stream your Xbox One to a PC, which is sorta convenient… for some people.

The bigger deal may be the cross-buy support Microsoft is offering with Windows 10. It’s supposed to work similarly to what Sony has been doing with PlayStation and Vita, where buying a game on one system grants you a license for the other device as well.  Microsoft might even sneak some DirectX 12 talk in as well, and announce a AAA title coming to cross-buy.

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