03:34 - Source: CNN Business
Gaming's paradox: Free games are big money makers
CNN —  

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short, will kick off next week in Los Angeles.

The event will see some of the biggest gaming companies come together to unveil new technology and show off the fun things they’ve been working on.

Gamers across the world are going to want to tune in. Here’s what you need to know:

Where is E3?

The Los Angeles Convention Center. It runs from June 11-13.

Can I go?

It is open to the public, and a gamer badge — for three days’ worth of access — will run you around $250. If you’re in the gaming industry, you can get an Industry Pro Badge for $695, which gives you extended, industry-only hours to check out the show floor or attend meetings.

But you need to act fast. Those prices will only be available until midnight PT on Saturday, and the gamer badges are only available until they sell out. After that, you’ll have to hit up the convention center and dig a little deeper in your pocket, because those badges will cost $995.

I want to watch

So, you just really want to watch the press conferences leading up to E3, when all the companies announce their big plans. We get that.

Most companies will live stream their own press conferences, and many have dedicated their own websites to stream, like Nintendo and Microsoft’s Xbox. Electronic Arts (EA) won’t be doing a traditional press conference. Instead, it will host its own show called EA PLAY, and will stream all its content on its YouTube and Twitch channels.

What should I be looking out for?

There is some speculation that a new Xbox may be on its way. The rumors of Xbox Scarlett, the next-generation of Xbox consoles, are rampant, but there’s no telling if the company will be ready to reveal an actual console. Be on the lookout for more details, though.

Nintendo has already released information about the new Pokemon Sword and Shield games coming later this year. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa told reporters that no new hardware will be revealed at E3, according to Bloomberg. That could mean the company’s presentation will focus more on games. (Animal Crossing, anyone?)

One unlikely face that will be at E3 is Netflix, which will appear at a panel. The streaming company is expected to discuss turning its hit show “Stranger Things” into a game.