It's that time of year again. E3. Video game Christmas - the time of year when airports fill up with frustrated journalists scrambling to leave the country and Father Spencer and Santa Layden drop through the proverbial chimney in the dead of (UK) night to leave gifts for us all to argue over in the morning.
It easy to be cynical about huge flashy corporate events where multi-million dollar companies try to sell us on concepts we never thought we were interested in, like gritty reboots and bearded superhuman fathers, but it is also a very exciting thing. It's a celebration of gaming - something that we're all passionate about. We wouldn't all be here if we weren't.
So with that in mind, I asked the Eurogamer team for their predictions for this year's E3. Here's what they had to say:
Oli Welsh, Editor
Normally we look to the big three for E3 news, but it looks like the third-party publishers are going to dominate the agenda this year while the big boys make behind-the-scenes moves toward next gen. Sony has already said it's not going to announce any new titles, Nintendo will focus hard on Smash Bros, and in all honesty I don't think Microsoft has much to bring - but it might have one nice little surprise in store. (I reckon Halo is "resting", though I suppose a teaser isn't out of the question.)
But that doesn't mean there aren't some hugely exciting games getting their debuts, notably Cyberpunk 2077, Fallout 76, and probably the Avengers game by Crystal Dynamics. You have to believe Ubisoft has something up its sleeve beyond The Division 2 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey - it always does. But I imagine most of the week will be spent trying to figure out what the hell was going on in the Death Stranding trailer.
Johnny Chiodini, Video Team
E3 press conferences are, let's face it, pretty bizarre. In an exhaustingly brief window, all the major publishers scramble to show you absolutely everything there is to see at E3 so that, once the doors eventually open, it's hard to avoid the feeling the show has already happened.
My favourite part of this process is that, no matter how hard these publishers work to make their conferences stand out from the rest, they are supremely predictable. There's the YouTuber hired specifically to sabotage their own brief segment; an otherwise promising looking game is demoed on stage by actors delivering painfully scripted banter, then EA drastically overestimates how interesting people find minute details about sports.
Best of all though, there's always one thing that seems to be in every press conference, rendering all of that painstakingly scripted showmanship irrelevant in the face of a new and extremely specific meme - 2012 gave us the year of the bow, for instance, whereas last year it was all about murderous father figures. What will this year's be? It's almost impossible to guess, but it's going to be delicious whatever it is. If I had to put money on it, I'd say this is the year of the swashbuckle - I have a feeling we're going to see more sword fights than we do gunplay at E3 this year, and even the shooters won't be able to resist a showy melee kill or two. So, that's my prediction - the conferences are going to be loud and weird and awful and beautiful all at the same time, and somehow every single one is going to be soundtracked by the sound of clashing swords.
Paul Watson, Social Media Manager
I hope to be proven wrong, but I'm convinced that there'll be a few notably missing games this year - I don't think we'll see much, if any, of highly-anticipated titles like Final Fantasy 7's remake or Shenmue 3, for example. But do we really need to? We know that those games are quietly being worked on in the background. They'll be out when they're out.
No, the most interesting announcements - for me at least - are the games we've heard nothing about. The brand-new IPs or the shocking surprise sequels to our most-loved games. That's what I'm looking forward to most of all.
Oh, and can we PLEASE bring back Aisha Tylor for Ubi's conference? She's absolutely the best, most real thing about E3.
Christian Donlan, Features Editor
This is such an easy prediction I am almost embarrassed making it. My E3 prediction is that the true game of the show is not in a conference and won't be the lead attract thing on any of the stands. It will be stuck somewhere on the outskirts, with a single game pod or whatever they're called, and it will be weird and niche and a developer passion thing and the result of a publisher taking a punt.
I am thinking of Scribblenauts, mainly, which won E3 a few years back even though nobody announced it on stage and nobody told any attendees that they absolutely had to play it. It was just hidden on the floor somewhere and a few people played this crazy game where you typed in anything you could think of and the game seemed to know what it was. They told a few people, and they told a few people in turn.
Video games are about constancy and surprise, to borrow Jim Nelson's line about what makes a good magazine. E3 is extremely good at the constancy - we will continue making the things that already sell forever! - but even when nothing leaks, the surprises can be hard to come by at the big conferences, particularly recently when bigger fewer bets means that you'd better show of Days Gone again and buckle up for the Q4 financials.
The surprises are out there, though. They're often just hidden. And I hope, amidst all the leaks and the big bets we're going to see over the next week, they're still hidden this year.
Robert "Bertie" Purchese, Senior Staff Writer
I predict glimpses of a next generation. How terribly exciting. I don't expect to see the new consoles themselves, because we're in the awkward year before Sony and/or Microsoft can realistically be expected to say anything about them, but I expect to see flashes of a next generation through the games.
Think back to E3 2012. It's the only E3 I've been to - no one asked, Bertie. I'm not a massive fan, probably because it's not in Poland. Anyway, at E3 2012, I remember Watch Dogs being announced out of the blue (and not on Walmart Canada) and everyone whispering about how we were looking at a next generation game, which it turned out to be (well, cross-generation and the graphics noticeably changed, but shh don't go there). I also remember covert conversations in bars in the evening with people making games for the new machines. It was like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were flickering just out of view.
I believe E3 2018 will be the same. I believe PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two, or whatever the hell Microsoft is thinking of calling it, will be the hushed talk of the town. Whether studios have dev kits already I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if the biggest did. And remember: studios plan years ahead when making games, they have to, so if they believe new hardware will arrive during their timeframe, they'll naturally plan to make use of it. So keep your eyes on the games announced for 2020, or with no date at all, because you could be seeing a glimpse of the generation yet to come.
Tom Phillips, News Editor
I predict we won't see Animal Crossing Switch.
Matt Reynolds, Guides Editor
I predict we will see Animal Crossing Switch.
Martin Robinson, Features and Reviews Editor
Is there anything you're hoping to see at E3 this year? Or maybe something that you're POSITIVE we're going to get a glimpse of? Let us know below.