Not since 2005 has so much hinged on five days and nights in Los Angeles. E3 2013 will transform the pastimes of those who play games and the livelihoods of those who make them. It really is unmissable.
CVG has assembled its most talented and largest ever workforce to cover all the angles - expect world-first previews, high profile interviews, the latest videos and trailers, live blogs and video streams, analysis and reaction, and the fastest and most reliable news output around the clock.
When it comes to games, expect to be drowned in them. Expect to see something along the lines of one hundred games discussed, showcased and revealed. Aside from the unannounced, here is CVG's definitive list of major games you can expect to see more of next week.
Bohemia Interactive, PC
Arma 3 is the hardest of hardcore military sims, taking place in the 2030s during a conflict between NATO forces and 'Eastern armies' led by Iran. It's set on the Greek islands of Lemnos and Ai Stratis, which Bohemia is recreating using maps and reference photos. In fact, the studio's quest for realism resulted in two developers being arrested for espionage by the Greek government for taking photos of military bases. You'll not only control ground infantry, but air and land vehicles as well - all with authentic handling and physics. The enormous environment covers 270 square kilometeres, with over 50 towns to explore and crush under your tank treads.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Ubisoft, PS3 / 360 / Wii U / PS4 / Xbox One / PC
After the mild disappointment that was Assassin's Creed 3, Black Flag has moved into view with bigger promises. Though the focus is pirating, expect a great deal more than the 'Assassins of the Caribbean' tag with which internet wags initially dubbed it. Black Flag has you take on the role of Edward Kenway - Haytham's dad - in an open world full of buckle 'n swash. Mixed piratical metaphors aside, Ubisoft almost always follows up a drop in form with a resounding success. Here's hoping AC IV continues the trend.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Warner Bros PS3 / 360 / Wii U / PC
Arkham custodians Rocksteady may have passed over the mask and cape to Warner Bros Montreal, but that's not going to diminish anticipation for the next Batman game. Set as a prequel to the Asylum and City games, Arkham Origins features seven deadly assassins who head to the mean streets of Gotham on Christmas Eve with the Batman in their crosshairs. The first cover art confirms Deathstroke as one off those, but which other deadly foes will Batman face? We'll be keeping on eye on what's sure to be one of October's killer releases.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate
Warner Bros, 3DS / Vita
Developed by Armature Studio, the developer founded by several leads behind the Metroid Prime trilogy, Blackgate is described by Warner Bros as "a 2.5D exploration action game", which essentially means it's a Metroidvania type game. Fine by us! As a completely separate game that takes place after the events of Arkham Origins, Blackgate will be the same on handhelds, though the Vita version will have higher-res assets and the 3DS version will bemploy stereoscopic 3D.
Much of what Battlefield 4 will actually contain still remains a mystery (though we do know it'll have a DLC expansion called China Rising), but as with most successful sequels, it probably won't mess too much with the established formula.
Expect a beefed up single-player campaign with multiplayer retaining a mix of infantry, vehicular and airborne combat in a comprehensive variety of the world's most powerful military muscle and technology. See our Battlefield 4 preview for more details.
Nintendo / Platinum Games, Wii U
Bayonetta 2 may be a Wii U exclusive, but what's most important is that Platinum Games has retained development duties. The first game was arguably the best (and maddest) hack-and-slasher ever, and the project's in safe hands under Hideki Kamiya, whose influence can be seen on titles such as Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 2. Nothing's been revealed barring a short teaser video, but if the original is anything to go by, expect planet-sized bosses, jaw-dropping set-pieces and some of the finest fighting ever devised.
Beyond: Two Souls
Sony / Quantic Dream, PS3
Quantic Dream's follow-up to Heavy Rain spans fifteen years and stars Ellen Page as shaven-headed mystery girl Jodie Holmes, who's searching for the answer to life's most unanswerable question: what happens after we die? On her journey she's accompanied by invisible entity Aidan, who she can use as a kind of makeshift telekinetic power, knocking cups off table and, as she learns to understand it further, injure and kill.
Project lead David Cage kept his cards pretty close to his chest as he revealed Beyond: Two Souls to the world at E3 2012, but from the initial gameplay demo (and the shaky cam footage filmed on the showfloor), it was obvious that the game bore more than a passing resemblance to Heavy Rain. Even so, Cage promises the game will have "more exploration" than its predecessor, even though it will be similarly driven by story and QTEs.
Whatever the truth, it'll be one 2013's most intriguing, if divisive, games. And, if all else fails, you can always rely on Willem Dafoe to deliver the goods.
Bravely Default: Flying Fairy
Nintendo / Square Enix, 3DS
From Silicon Studio, the developer behind 3D Dot Game Heroes, Bravely Default is a JRPG that utilises the familiar turn-based battle system seen in Square Enix's Final Fantasy titles. It also makes use of the augmented reality features built into in the Nintendo 3DS. It's evident that Bravely Default is strongly linked to older Final Fantasy games, mostly because of its distinctive, gorgeous art style. This comes courtesy of the game's art director, Akihiko Yoshida, who's also worked on the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story.