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Like other large gatherings, gaming conferences have been sidelined during the pandemic.


Josh Miller/CNET

Video games are booming as people search for ways to stay entertained while hunkered down at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The pandemic has also led to cancellations of major video game events, including the annual E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo, where game companies typically announce new titles. E3 was originally planned for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

Though the show’s been scrubbed, Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 are both due to be released in time for the holiday shopping season. Plenty of details have yet to be announced, including pricing for the new consoles, major titles and new features like cloud gaming.

CNET and our sister site GameSpot will cover all the major game announcements, as well as other conferences that have shifted online, just as we always do — by providing real-time updates, commentary and analysis you can only get here. GameSpot will also be holding a gaming celebration event this summer called Play for All, with news, interviews and a charity drive with Direct Relief to support health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.

Here’s what to expect when it comes to new video game announcements. 

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X

In July

The video game and software giant held a digital event May 7 to show off games made by its partners, including the latest installment of Electronic Arts‘ hit sports franchise Madden 21, the Sega drama Yakuza: Like A Dragon and Ubisoft’s historical fiction game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.

Microsoft said it’s going to have another event in July, when it’s expected to show off Halo: Infinite, a new entry in the company’s hit space war saga. It’ll also provide a peak at games made by development studios that Microsoft owns.


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EA Play

June 11 at 4 p.m. PT/7 p.m. ET

Electronic Arts hasn’t attended E3 for years, opting to hold its EA Play fan event nearby. This year, EA Play will move online as a streaming video show.

EA hasn’t shared the event schedule or many details on the games that’ll be shown. The company is expected to update its FIFA soccer series, Madden NFL games and NHL titles. CNET sister site GameSpot says rumors point to a new Star Wars game in the works and a new Battlefield war simulation shooter.


Other events

Nintendo, which makes the Switch video game console, has held an annual Nintendo Direct video livestream since 2013 timed with E3 in June. So far, the company hasn’t announced a date for this year’s event, and rumors suggest it may be delayed until after early June. Nintendo declined to comment.

French game maker Ubisoft holds a news conference at E3 each year to discuss upcoming games. The company is rolling out the newest entry in its Assassin’s Creed franchise; it’s already announced a new hacker adventure, Watch Dogs, and it’s still updating its postapocalyptic shooting game The Division 2, among others. Ubisoft hasn’t said if it’ll hold an event this summer. The company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

American game maker Bethesda also holds news conferences at E3, during which it discusses its newest titles. The company has updates for the postapocalyptic adventure game Fallout 76 and the Elder Scrolls planned for this year. Bethesda didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Sony had already said it wasn’t going to participate in this year’s E3, though it’s still planning to release its PlayStation 5. So far, the company hasn’t given the public a sense of what the video game console will look like, how much it’ll cost or which games will be released at launch. The company is expected to provide those details sometime this summer, possibly in early June. Sony said it currently has no additional details to share.

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