E3 2014 schedule: What not to miss

If last year's E3 conference revolved around hardware, this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo is all about the games themselves.

E3 is the biggest event in the games industry calendar, an exclusive three day marathon in the heart of Los Angeles that bleeds games industry giants of all their secrets under the implacable gaze of the world's cameras.

In short, the only people who won't be watching E3 2014 will be the remote Kalaallit tribe of Greenland.

So what can we expect this year? 2013's event marked the genesis of next-generation gaming, introducing us to Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One that have spent the last year battling each other for market share. Now in 2014, it's time to look forward and find out about the games that will populate these consoles.

Read more: How to watch the "Big Five" E3 2014 press conferences live

Mirror's Edge 2

The sequel to 2008's single-player action-adventure platform game is set to be revealed at this year's E3 conference. Mirror's Edge redefined to what it meant to play first-person and sparked a worldwide obsession with free running just as other heavyweight titles like Assassin's Creed jumped on the vertigo-inducing bandwagon.

Few details are known about Mirror's Edge 2, except that it has been confirmed for next-gen systems and PC. However, the official Facebook page for Mirror's Edge has released a piece of concept art featuring the game's protagonist, Faith, and the tag #E32014. Further details are sure to be unveiled soon.

The Evil Within

We've been fairly starved of triple-A horror titles of late. Outlast and Amnesia have made waves in the charts, but enjoy more niche markets than popular titles in other genres. The Evil Within looks to change that.

A cross between Silent Hill and Resident Evil, scare legend Shinji Mikami's latest offering mixes survival horror with psychological terror, then drenches it in blood and guts. This could be the next horror game classic of this generation, and is well worth keeping an eye out for at this year's E3.

Alien: Isolation

Speaking of horror, Alien: Isolation should be high up on your "things-I-need-to-play" list. Developed by The Creative Assembly and published by Sega, Alien: Isolation is a first-person survival horror stealth game set in 2137, 15 years after the events of the first Alien movie. And it wants to make you wet your pants.

You are Ripley's daughter, Amanda, trapped alone in a space station with an Alien creature in a very similar set up to the first Alien movie. The catch is that the Alien hunting you on the station cannot be killed, instead you must use stealth tactics in order to survive.

The most terrifying element of the game is undoubtedly the Alien's AI. It has been programmed to actively hunt the player by sight, sound and smell with a complex set of behavioural designs that unlock as it encounters the player, learning from your actions and adjusting its strategy to hunt you down appropriately.

For example, if the Alien notices a door or locker that wasn't opened before it will immediately investigate to try and find who opened it. Probably you.

Sound good? More details (perhaps even a launch date) will be revealed at E3 2014.

Microsoft makeover

The only way is up for Microsoft, after a disastrous E3 conference last year. Last June saw the Xbox One beat down by its rival, the PlayStation 4, both in pricing and positive buzz. Microsoft's announcement that it would be restricting second-hand sales of games didn't sit well with fans; in fact it generated so much criticism that the plans were soon abandoned.

So this year Microsoft has a lot to prove. Rumours abound that it will do so by selling the Xbox One without Kinect, drastically dropping the price. It may also announce a software update that will unlock the currently unused potential of its graphics chip, thus quelling complaints that several Xbox One games are pushing lower frame rates and resolutions than their PS4 equivalents.

Sony

Sony, meanwhile, looks to have something big planned. Why else would it decide to live stream the event to 40 cinemas across the US?

It could be to build hype around upcoming titles like The Order: 1886, or to satisfy fans with previously unseen gameplay footage of Uncharted 4. Our money, however, is on the idea that Sony has big plans in the virtual reality space. Sony is indisputably dominating the console gaming market with the success of its PlayStation 4 console, but it has its sights set on VR gaming with its prototype Morpheus headset.

Could Sony's E3 conference be the time for it to unveil some big developments in the space? Perhaps some pricing and launch details for Project Morpheus? Tune in tonight to find out.

Nintendo

Nintendo is setting itself so far apart from its rivals, it's gone all out and thrown its press conference on another day entirely. Nintendo's E3 "Digital Event" will kick off on 10 June at 9am PDT (5pm BST) and promises a broad sweep of new products to titillate Wii U fans.

Most promisingly, we should be treated to footage from the brand new Mario Kart 8. The wacky racing series is the bread and butter of the Wii U console, a console that has been ailing in recent years. This week saw Nintendo console sales fall behind its Sony rival for the first time in eight years, so hopefully a big revelation of a new title could boost sales back up where they belong.

Keep your ears open as well for news on Super Smash Bros Wii U, Sonic Boom, Bayonetta 2 and last but not least the next instalment of the Legend of Zelda.

For the full details on each of the big conferences check out our list of what time they're running, when, and links of how to live stream them.