E3: Final Fantasy VII Remake, New GPUs, and Nostalgia Galore
E3: Final Fantasy VII Remake, New GPUs, and Nostalgia Galore
E3 has been chock full of great announcements. Read on to see some of the latest!
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After a less-than-excepted E3 weekend, Monday seemed to be heading in the same direction until Square Enix took the stage at night and stole the show with Final Fantasy VII Remake. Square also put Marvel's Avengers on display and made some surprising announcements, including a shadow drop. Although not as impactful, Ubisoft also took the stage on Monday, showcasing Watch Dogs Legends, other known titles, and a new and interesting mythology-inspired game. Limited Run Games also had its presentation, dropping a ton of Star Wars titles and finishing out its PlayStation (PS) Vita collection. Apart from game announcements, AMD also announced new graphics cards intended to compete with NVIDIA's RTX 2070 and 2060 line of cards.
Final Fantasy VII Remake. If there is one title to remember from Square Enix's presentation on Monday night, it's this one. Square secured its position as the top presentation of the day—and possibly E3 2019 depending on how Nintendo's Tuesday Direct goes—with its 20-minute feature of Final Fantasy VII Remake, most of which was gameplay. The game was originally announced in 2015, but since then, fans have patiently waited, hoping that the years of anticipation were worth it. It is safe to say that most were not disappointed with the footage shown at Square's presentation (image from Slash Gear).
The trailer showcased early game progression and an intense battle scene with a Scorpion Sentinal. First impressions seem to be excellent, with some even questioning how the game looked so well on current-generation hardware. Apart from gameplay footage, Square reconfirmed the release date to be Mar. 3, 2020, exclusively for the PS4. Square also announced two special editions of the game available for pre-order:
- 1st Class Edition ($329.99): Includes the game, Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife & Hardy Daytona, artbook, mini-Soundtrack, steelbook, Cactuar Summon Materia DLC, and Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC.
- Deluxe Edition ($79.99): Includes the game, artbook, mini-Soundtrack, steelbook, Cactuar Summon Materia DLC, and Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC.
For those strictly looking for the game, pre-orders are also available for $59.99. There is no doubt that this will be one of the major highlights of E3, regardless of the presentations still to come, and a best-seller when the game releases in 2020.
Apart from Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square also presented numerous other games, including:
- Marvel's Avengers: A-Day: This long-awaited title finally received extended in-engine gameplay footage as well as a release. The Marvel-inspired title will release on May 15, 2020, for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia, but a beta will available for PS4 players who pre-order the game. For more information, see Polygon and PCGamer.
- Final Fantasy VIII Remaster: After years of lost hope—due to the loss of the original Final Fantasy VIII source code—Square shocked the gaming community with the announcement that it would be remastering Final Fantasy VIII. This remaster will be available in 2019 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam.
- Romancing SaGa 3 & SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS: The classic franchise is finally leaving Japan and coming west. No release date was announced—apart from Coming soon—but SaGa 3 will be coming to Xbox One, PS4, PSVita, Nintendo Switch, Steam, Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Microsoft App Store, while SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS will be coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, Steam, Apple App Store, and Google Play Store.
- Outriders: Square announced this new co-op shooter from the creators of Gears of War: Judgment which will be available in the summer of 2020 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
- The Last Remnant Remastered: Square shadow dropped this cult-classic for the Nintendo Switch, which has previously been released on the PS4.
Square also reiterated its announcement of new DLC for Kingdom Hearts III, although details were lacking and the trailer left some unimpressed. For more information on Square Enix's Monday-night presentation, see the following:
- Everything Square Enix Announced at E3 2019
- The 7 biggest announcements from Square Enix’s E3 2019 press conference
- Square Enix at E3 2019: trailers, news, and announcements
Amidst the torrent of game announcements over the last few days, AMD took the stage on Monday and changed gears for its Next Horizon Gaming conference. During its presentation, AMD announced a new line of consumer gaming graphics cards: The Radeon RX 5700 series. These new cards will utilize AMD's Navi architecture and will launch on Jul. 7 in a choice of three tiers (image from The Verge):
- Radeon RX 5700: $379
- Radeon RX 5700 XT: $449
- Radeon RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition: $499
The specifications for each of these cards are listed below:
|CARD||COMPUTE UNITS||STREAM PROCESSORS||MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE||MEMORY||BOOST CLOCK||GAME CLOCK||BASE CLOCK|
|Radeon RX 5700||36||2304||7.95 TFLOPS||8 GB GDDR6||1725 MHz||1625 MHz||1465 MHz|
|Radeon RX 5700 XT||40||2560||9.75 TFLOPS||8 GB GDDR6||1905 MHz||1755 MHz||1605 MHz|
|Radeon RX 5700 XT (50th Ann.)||40||2560||10.14 TFLOPS||8 GB GDDR 6||1980 MHz||1830 MHz||1680 MHz|
These cards appear to be an answer to the NVIDIA RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 cards. During the presentation, AMD stressed the point that its new 5700 cards outperformed the RTX line in most games sampled. With the 5700 XT coming in at $50 cheaper than the RTX 2070, AMD is looking to challenge the RTX 2070 for top-dog in the mid-to-high-end graphics card competition.
However, AMD did not mention that these cards included any type of Ray-Tracing (RT) technology, which means that the NVIDIA cards can produce similar performance and include an RT unit, but are still closely priced. Being that NVIDIA's cards include RT, AMD would have to either show a notable increase in conventional (non-RT) performance over the RTX cards or have a notable price reduction. Only time will tell whether AMD accomplished either of these goals and actually puts a dent in NVIDIA's dominance in the gaming graphics market.
For more information, see the following:
- AMD introduces its Radeon RX 5700 graphics cards at E3 2019
- AMD’s Radeon 5700 XT wants to put a dent in the world like the dent in its chassis
- AMD announces Radeon RX 5700 XT for $449 and RX 5700 for $379
- Radeon unveils RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition GPU
Apart from new graphics cards, AMD also announced a new third-generation Ryzen Central Processing Units (CPUs) that will launch on Jul. 7. This CPU line-up was much more diverse, with six tiers of independent CPUs and two levels of integrated CPUs (specifications from PCGamer and AMD):
|CPU||Price||Cores||Threads||Clock Frequency||Cache Size||Power|
|Ryzen 9 3950X||$749||16||32||3.5 GHz to 4.7 GHz||72 MB||105 W TDP|
|Ryzen 9 3900X||$499||12||24||3.8 GHz to 4.6 GHz||70 MB||105 W TDP|
|Ryzen 7 3800X||$399||8||16||3.9 GHz to 4.5 GHz||36 MB||105 W TDP|
|Ryzen 7 3700X||$329||8||16||3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz||36 MB||65 W TDP|
|Ryzen 5 3600X||$249||6||12||3.8 GHz to 4.4 GHz||35 MB||95 W TDP|
|Ryzen 5 3600||$199||6||12||3.6 GHz to 4.2 GHz||35 MB||65 W TDP|
|CPU||PRICE||CORES||THREADS||CLOCK FREQUENCY||CACHE SIZE||POWER||Graphics|
|Ryzen 5 3400G||$149||4||8||3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz||6 MB||65 W TDP||Vega 11
|Ryzen 3 3200G||$99||4||8||3.6 GHz to 4.0 GHz||6 MB||
65 W TDP
For more information on AMD's CPUs, see the following:
- AMD Reveals Leadership PC Platform for Gamers Worldwide at E3 2019
- AMD's 3rd-gen Ryzen CPUs will launch on July 7
Ubisoft came to its presentation with a vast array of titles, two motion picture announcements, and a new members-only game service. While the number of titles was not lacking, many of the titles had already been rumored or outright seen; many were hoping for at least one major surprise—like a new Splinter Cell—but none seem to come.
The list of games announced by the French company included:
- Gods & Monsters: This new franchise from the creators of Assassin's Creed Odessey follows in the mythological steps of many of Ubisoft's recent games and sends players into the world of Greek gods and heroes. This new series will launch on Feb. 25, 2020, for PS4, PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia (image from the Gods & Monsters premier trailer).
- Watch Dogs Legion: The third game in the popular series, Legion allows players to recruit countless Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) to join a rebellion forming in a dystopian London. Watch Dogs Legion will launch on Mar. 6, 2020 for PS4, PC, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. For more information, see Polygon's coverage of Watch Dogs Legion.
- Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Phantom Sight: Ubisoft announced the thirteenth season of its popular Rainbow Six Siege franchise, which will include two new characters: (1) an Attacker, Nøkk, and (2) a new Defender, Warden. For more information, see VentureBeat's coverage.
- Rainbow Six Quarantine: Following along with the Rainbow Six Siege additions, Ubisoft announced a new 3-player, Player-vs.-Enemy (PvE) tactical co-op game to launch in early 2020.
- Ghost Recon: Breakpoint: Ubisoft released a new trailer for its upcoming Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, featuring Jon Bernthal of Walking Dead fame. This title will release on Oct. 4 of this year, but a beta will be available on Sep. 5.
- Elite Squad: A new 5 vs. 5 mobile game that combines some of the most popular characters in the Ubisoft library—including Sam Fisher, a Ghost Recon gunner, and a The Division attacker. No release date was announced, but pre-registration is currently open. For more information, see Polygon's coverage.
- The Division 2: Three new episodes have been announced, starting with Episode One centering in Washington DC and releasing in July. Episodes Two and Three will focus on the Pentagon and the outskirts of New York City, respectively. Ubisoft also announced that The Divison 2 will be free to play from Jun. 13-16. For more information, see GameSpot's coverage.
- Roller Champions: The rumored title was finally announced and will launch in early 2020. According to the official Roller Champions page:
Advance through the ranks as you rise from street to stadium, winning matches and gaining fans on your way to Roller Champion fame. Feel the thrill of rushing down the track, weaving between opponents, and slamming goals in this electrifying derby-inspired game. The arena awaits you!
This title is available today as a free alpha on UPlay+ (see below) and will remain free until Jun. 14.
- Just Dance 2020: The latest installment in the classic dancing series will be available this November for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, Stadia, and the Wii—no that is not a joke, this game is actually releasing for the thirteen-year-old Nintendo Wii.
Apart from new titles, Ubisoft also announced that it is working on a new sitcom called Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, staring It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney, that follows a development studio in the process of bringing a game from concept to creation. This comedy will be launch this Fall and be available on Apple TV+. Ubisoft also announced a Division Netflix movie directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2) and featuring Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal. No release date is currently available, though.
Lastly, Ubisoft also announced its own subscription service: UPlay+. This service allows subscribers to easily download and play the games in their Ubisoft collection, receive promotions and membership benefits, and take part in special-access betas and pre-releases. UPlay+ will cost $14.99/mo but a free trial is available if gamers sign up before Aug. 15. The service will also be available on Google Stadia, further cementing the partnership between Ubisoft and Stadia.
For more information, see the following:
Limited Run Games
Nostalgia was on full display for Limited Run Games' presentation on Monday, which included the remainder of the company's PS Vita line-up, Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, and a glut of Star Wars games. The official list of announced games is as follows:
|Atari Flashback Classics||Vita|
|Blaster Master Zero||Switch|
|The Curse of Monkey Island™||PC|
|Damascus Gear Operation Osaka||Vita|
|Damascus Gear Operation Tokyo||Vita|
|Metal Slug 3||Vita|
|Monkey Island™ 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge||PC|
|Night in the Woods||Switch
|Pix the Cat||Vita|
|Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid||Switch
|Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken||Vita|
|Rocketbirds 2: Evolution||Vita|
|The Secret of Monkey Island™||PC|
|The Secret of Monkey Island™: Special Edition||PC|
|Shenmue III Collector’s Edition||PC
|Star Wars™: Bounty Hunter||PS4|
|Star Wars™: Dark Forces||PC|
|Star Wars™ Episode I: Racer||PC
|Star Wars™: The Empire Strikes Back||NES
|Star Wars™: Jedi Knight||PC|
|Star Wars™ Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast||PC|
|Star Wars™ Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy||PC|
|Star Wars™: Racer Revenge||PS4|
|Star Wars™: Rebel Assault||PC|
|Star Wars™: Shadows of the Empire||PC
|Star Wars™: TIE Fighter||PC|
|Star Wars™: X-Wing||PC|
|Super Meat Boy||PC
|Super Mutant Alien Assault||Vita|
|Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack||Vita|
|Turok 2: Seeds of Evil||
For more information, see the official Limited Run Games E3 2019 line-up blog post.
Still to Come
Even though the pre-E3 announcements are starting to wind down, there are still some important companies to hear from, including Nintendo, who will host its E3 Direct at noon ET on Tuesday and follow-up with its Treehouse Live event.
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