Your guide to this year’s summer video game events

As the corpse of E3 lies a-mouldrin’ in its grave, its spirit marches on in the form of a bevy of video game showcases and events. There’s a hefty number of them — some notable, some not (but they should be) — and they encompass a wide range of games and genres. Here’s your guide to the whats, wheres, and whens of this year’s summer of games.

Access-Ability Summer Showcase 2024 

Accessibility has become a major feature of games, with developers often incorporating accessibility features in their marketing materials. The Access-Ability Showcase takes that one step further, curating an entire digital event around games with robust accessibility features. “Our aim is to make sure that if a game looks exciting, you don’t have to worry about getting hyped, only to learn later that a game doesn’t support your needs as a player,” wrote Laura Kate Dale, host of the Access-Ability showcase. The showcase starts on June 7th at 11AM ET on Twitch and YouTube and will feature viewing options for American and British sign language and audio descriptions.

Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest was one of the first on the scene to take over when E3 started foundering during the covid-19 pandemic. This is the fourth year of Keigh-3, and it has only gotten bigger with this year’s event boasting over 55 gaming partners, including the big hitters like Xbox and Playstation to smaller outfits like Annapurna Interactive and Thunderful Games. You can watch the main showcase on Twitch and YouTube on Friday, June 7th, at 5PM ET.

Day of the Devs: Summer Game Fest Edition 2024

Immediately following the Summer Game Fest presentation, iam8bit and Double Fine Productions are hosting the SGF edition of their Day of the Devs showcase. Day of the Devs is one of my favorite parts of Summer Game Fest since it always exposes me to games I’ve never heard of before that quickly become my favorites. In 2022, that’s how I heard about A Little to The Left, Escape Academy, and Desta: The Memories Between. It also was one of the first showcases that featured a little game called Animal Well — maybe you’ve heard of it. Make sure you tune in to the Day of the Devs showcase on June 7th at 7PM ET on Twitch and YouTube so you can find your next indie obsession.

Just a few days after the main Summer Game Fest showcase, Xbox will host its own event on Sunday, June 9th, starting at 1PM ET on Twitch and YouTube. Though Xbox just held an indie partner showcase in April, debuting a handful of interesting indie titles — including this one about Japanese mascots — this showcase promises to be much bigger. Xbox is incorporating all its studios, including the recently acquired Activision, so expect a bunch of heavy-hitter AAA games from the biggest studios in the world. After Sunday’s event, Xbox is also teasing a second showcase it’s dubbed a “[REDACTED] Direct.” Though the company is trying to be coy, it’s widely rumored that the [REDACTED] in question is the latest Call of Duty game. There’s also a chance Xbox will share more information on the report that this next Call of Duty will be added to Xbox Game Pass.

If the high-energy / high-action games featured in the bigger showcases aren’t your thing (and even if they are), then the Wholesome Direct may have what you’re looking for. The Wholesome Direct features games that are, according to the event’s curators, “incredibly hopeful, artistic, and creative.” Last year’s Wholesome Direct featured Venba, and the game’s creators credit (literally) being featured in the showcase as a major factor in their success. Watch the Wholesome Direct on Twitch or YouTube on Saturday, June 8th, at 12PM ET.

The PC Gaming Show, hosted by PC Gamer, is a showcase that was initially designed to address the lack of PC gaming representation during E3. Ten years after its debut, it’s still going strong with the showcase taking place June 9th at 4 PM ET on Twitch and YouTube.

Like the PC Gaming Show, Steam Next Fest is all about the games not on Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch. (Although some of the games featured during Next Fest might also be on those consoles, too.) Steam Next Fest does its presentation a bit differently, though. It lasts for a full week, giving gamers access to demos of forthcoming games, livestreamed developer interviews, and deep dives on the games featured. Next Fest starts June 10th at 1PM ET and lasts until June 17th, so you have plenty of time to check everything out.

Ubisoft Forward returns for Summer Game Fest 2024. Ubisoft will share updates on its games on June 10th at 3PM ET. We should expect more details about Assassin’s Creed Shadows, Star Wars Outlaws, the second season of Skull and Bones, and more.

Nintendo Direct

Buried in all the speculation regarding Nintendo’s next console and when it will be revealed was a message from Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa about the next Nintendo Direct. “We will be holding a Nintendo Direct this June regarding the Nintendo Switch software lineup for the latter half of 2024,” he said in a post on X. Though there’s no specific date attached to the Direct, we should probably expect it around the same time as all the Summer Game Fest activities since Nintendo likely won’t want to be left out of all the fun.

Rounding out this year’s summer of games is Gamescom 2024. The event is kinda like the European version of E3 and will feature its own showcase event similar to the keynote addresses of E3s past. Gamescom kicks off on Wednesday, August 21st (my birthday!), and lasts until August 25th, with the Opening Night Live showcase, hosted by Geoff Keighley, typically taking place during the week, time TBD.

Source link