Good lord, we're already almost a month away from PAX East.... But man, I'm more than ready.
So every year, people voice their expectations or what they're looking forward to the most. I started offering up suggestions based on previous years for what newcomers would expect from the show, and with the recent shuffles and delays going on I figure there's no time like the present. Keep in mind attending developers noted below are subject to change and are solely based on previous attendance. We won't know for certain until the schedule comes out, presumably in a few weeks.
Below will outline some of the heavy hitters- what games are pretty much guaranteed, what might make an appearance, and ones that people should hold back expectations for. Alright, let's dive in.SonyDefinite:
The Last of Us Part II will be front and center, without question. Despite a delay to Spring, there have been demo builds for several months. So expect this to get a prominent showing. Iron Man VR is almost certain as well, especially with its recent delay opening the possibility of having a public showcase to drum up interest. Nioh 2 is also a good lock.Maybe:
Ghosts of Tsushima does have a summer release date, so there is a possibility this might have a presence in some capacity. If I had to guess, closed doors demo. These are increasingly rare in recent years, but not completely impossible. Final Fantasy VII is also possible, but I suspect this will be mostly restrained to the Square booth. Dreams also officially launches the week of PAX, so this may make an appearance. My only hesitation why it wouldn't was it was the other major showing at PAX last year, and most companies don't like to double dip.Not a Chance:
Sorry, but don't expect anything PS5. They may be skipping E3 this year to focus more on other convention appearances, but I'd put a PS5 display at PAX at 1%. Maybe a sizzle reel on a TV depending on when their NYC public event takes place that may or may not discuss the system.MicrosoftDefinite:
I have no earthly idea. This is the second year in a row with MS in a bit of limbo. Ori 2 is a definite since it will be releasing close to the event, but outside of that expect a lot of third party support here. Had Cyberpunk and Watch Dogs Legion not been delayed until September, I could see them coming to the show with the first public demo of the game. But now it's kind of up in the air. Speaking of which....Maybe:
a Cyberpunk demo that was shown to the media. If CD Projekt Red and Microsoft really wanted to make some noise, bringing this to the show front and center would be insane. Would I bet on it? Not really. Oh, and that massive multiplayer gathering they always love doing? Halo Reach Firefight. It just makes sense.Not a Chance:
So, like Sony, it would be foolish to expect the Series X at PAX. However, I would not put it past them to have the console physically at the show in a display case (likely a 3D prototype model, but still). Microsoft loves having displays of their limited edition systems and controllers, so this just feels like a perfect marriage. Still, don't get the hopes up.NintendoDefinite:
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, all day. With one month until launch, this is pretty much a slam dunk. It might be weird to demo (just tool around the island for 10 minutes?), but with scant information going into a March release a hands on is a must. Also expect Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX and a slew of indies. Sorry, "Nindies". And don't forgot our boy, Hollywood, who will be hosting tournaments and giveaways all weekend.Maybe:
This one is weird. Nintendo is notorious for announcing titles we didn't know existed months before they release, and with a February Direct almost certain I'm sure there will be some announcements that fit this slot. But for now, it's hard to say. No More Heroes III is a possibility. It also wouldn't shock me if another Smash Ultimate regional popped up. Although, their focus lately has been Mario Kart....Not a Chance:
There isn't much that comes to mind. Obviously, the rule of PAX is don't look for anything that is just a logo: Metroid Prime 4, Breath of the Wild 2, Bayonetta 3. I wouldn't count on Bravely Default 2 either. Again, they sorta just do their own thing. For all we know, they'll announce a Star Fox game coming in September and will have that playable at East (please?).Square-EnixDefinite:
I... cannot believe I'm finally saying this after five years, but Final mother-bleeping Fantasy VII Remake. Delayed only a month for last minute polish, this will be exploding out of their booth at all corners. Based on the preorder bonus on their store, it's safe to assume the free lanyard for signing up for the contest will also be FF7. FFXIV players will likely be met with the Trial Challenge of Ruby Weapon, since Patch 5.2 releases the week before PAX East. And Square's store has confirmed that a slew of new products coming in April will be available for early purchase in limited quantities at their merch booth.Maybe:
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles does have a demo build from media events, so despite its delay to the summer months there is a chance this makes its appearance. Also, don't be surprised if the free foam sword they give out this year is Cloud's Buster Sword (you know you want it). I'll also give a slim maybe to the Kingdom Hearts III DLC, but this may just be a video.Not a Chance:
So, I'm going to put The Avengers here. Partly due to its recent delay to September, partly due to a small lingering negativity behind its rough debut showing. Outside of that, there isn't much else that Square has or hasn't announced that would be farfetched to expect at their show. If Bravely Default 2 were to make an appearance, my guess is it would be at Nintendo's booth. But I still put it at a no chance.OthersDefinite:
Gearbox may announce another live panel with the reveal of Borderlands 3 DLC #2. Expect a vicious showdown for eSports space between Apex Legends and Fortnite. Capcom making a comeback to show off the Mega Man ZX Collection and Resident Evil 3 Remake wouldn't surprise me either. Also don't be surprised if Bethesda figuratively and literally punches you with death metal to promote Doom Eternal, since that's coming in March as well.Maybe:
Ubisoft is hit or miss with this show. If they were to attend, my guess would be to show off DLC for The Division 2 or Ghost Recon Breakpoint. Although, if they wanted to bring that aforementioned Watch Dogs Legion demo I wouldn't be too heartbroken.Not a Chance:
Diablo IV. Just go ahead and rip that band-aid off.
So, what are you most looking forward to? And not just video games, all games! Is there a tabletop vendor you can't wait to see or a new TCG expansion that is coming within weeks of the show? Let us know. PAX is for everyone and all things gaming, because that's what makes it so great!
Well, the Cookie Brigade helps too.