E3 2021: Schedule, How to Watch Live and What to Expect

This year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (aka E3) is almost upon us, and the trade show's schedule is filling up quickly.

As always, gamers will get to see the likes of Xbox, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. and Square Enix hosting their own presentations but what is different this year is that they will crucially be far more accessible to the public. This is because the entire exhibition is taking place virtually for the first time ever, allowing anybody to tune in for free, regardless of where they are based. It's an exciting move, especially after 2020's conference was sadly cancelled due to the global pandemic.

How To Watch E3 2021

Viewing the individual showcases should prove to be relatively straightforward, as you will be able to watch along via YouTube or Twitch. Each developer will be streaming presentations live through their official channels and Xbox usually broadcasts directly onto their consoles as well.

If you want to watch it all in one place, E3's organizers, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), will be streaming the whole conference on YouTube and Twitch.

For a more comprehensive overview of the 4-day event, you can also sign-up to the E3 portal using either a browser or a dedicated mobile app. Currently open to fan registration, this platform will enable users to watch conferences live, build a customisable calendar of things that specifically interest them, and access exclusive content that cannot be found elsewhere.

What To Expect: Saturday 12 June

After some smaller pre-shows, which commence at 11 a.m. ET, the expo begins in earnest with Ubisoft's conference at 2 p.m. ET. The French publisher will have a two-hour slot to give updates on already released games, like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion, and is also expected to preview the upcoming Far Cry 6 and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction.

Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment will also have a presentation on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET, which will be delivered by the company's CEO, Randy Pitchford.

What To Expect: Sunday 13 June

Sunday opens with a general preshow at 11:45 a.m. ET, which will then be followed by what is likely to be the busiest presentation of the entire expo: the Xbox and Bethesda showcase. Starting at 1 p.m. ET, this will be the first time that the two publishers have hosted a joint conference since Microsoft acquired Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax, last September.

As such, fans are hoping to see plenty of updates for Bethesda's Starfield, Deathloop, and maybe even a little tease of The Elder Scrolls VI, alongside the guaranteed presence of Xbox Series X poster child Halo Infinite.

The Xbox and Bethesda showcase is expected to wrap up at around 2:30 p.m. ET, after which there will be a brief intermission. Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix will then take the floor at 3:15 p.m. ET for a shorter presentation, reportedly clocking in at just 45 minutes. Rumours persist that they might be announcing Eidos-Montréal's Guardians of the Galaxy title, in which case it will still be worth checking out.

The day will then conclude with a 30 minute presentation from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, about their upcoming multiplayer shooter, Back 4 Blood at 5 p.m. ET. This will then be followed by the PC Gaming Show at 5:30 p.m. ET.

What To Expect: Monday 14 June

Monday will be a little quieter in terms of major AAA presentations but will feature appearances from Take-Two Interactive, Freedom Games, and Mythical Games in some capacity. At the time of writing, it is unclear if any of these presentations will include major revelations or big announcements, as they are all quite short.

Meanwhile, Capcom will be hosting their showcase at 6:30 p.m. ET, so expect new information of what is next for Resident Evil Village and Monster Hunter Rise in terms of ongoing support. The only other confirmed slot for Monday is Razer's 6 p.m. Keynote presentation, which is said to focus on developments in PC hardware.

What To Expect: Tuesday 15 June

Tuesday 14 June will consist of almost 4 hours of Nintendo content, as the publisher is due to host its ''direct'' presentation, followed by a ''treehouse'' event that will offer a more in-depth look at their upcoming releases. The direct will start at 12 p.m ET and will lead immediately into the treehouse section, where we will hopefully get to see the long-awaited sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in action.

Several sources have reported that Nintendo may be showing off a new Donkey Kong Country installment for the Switch as well, which is rumoured to be developed by The Super Mario Odyssey team. Speaking of Nintendo's console, there is always a chance that we might finally get a glimpse of the upgraded Switch Pro as well, seeing as that project has been in gestation for such a long time.

Schedule For Main E3 Presentations

  • Saturday June 12, 1 p.m. ET: E3 pre-show
  • Saturday June 12, 2 p.m. ET: Ubisoft forward pre-show
  • Saturday June 12, 3 p.m. ET: Ubisoft forward
  • Saturday June 12, 5 p.m. ET: Gearbox Entertainment presentation
  • Sunday June 13, 11:45 a.m. ET: E3 pre-show
  • Sunday June 13, 1 p.m. ET: Xbox and Bethesda Games showcase
  • Sunday June 13, 3:15 p.m. ET: Square Enix presentation
  • Sunday June 13, 5 p.m. ET: Warner Bros. Games' Back 4 Blood
  • Sunday June 13, 5:30 p.m. ET: The PC Gaming Show
  • Monday June 14, 1:15 p.m. ET: Take Two Panel Discussion
  • Monday June 14, 6 p.m. ET: Razer Keynote
  • Monday June 14, 6:30 p.m. ET: Capcom Presentation
  • Tuesday June 15, 12 p.m. ET: Nintendo Direct
  • Tuesday June 15, TBD: Nintendo Treehouse
  • Tuesday June 15, 5:25 p.m. ET: Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.
Gamers Attend the 2018 E3 Expo
Picture shows gamers attending the 24th E3 Expo in Los Angeles, California on June 13, 2018. While previous conferences were held in convention centres, this year's event is online only. FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty Images