The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, is coming up next week in Los Angeles. It's the best place to get a handle on where game creation is heading and the state of play. For gamers, it's like Christmas in June. We're expecting big news from Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and other big publishers. Here are the major announcements we're looking for:

The biggest news: Microsoft will have new, full details about the console we know as “Project Scorpio.” The high-performance console was first teased at last year's E3, when Microsoft also announced incremental updates to Xbox One S. Scorpio is a full-on upgrade, with better support for native 4K gaming and VR headsets. Project Scorpio is expected to be Microsoft's answer to last year's PlayStation Pro, which has helped boost Sony console sales by 26 percent. It also puts a new console on the market just months after Nintendo's successful Switch launch.

Big games we know about: Of course, games are what most people watching E3 really care about. Microsoft is expected to show off a range of games to accompany its new console, with expectations for “Forza Motorsport 7" and a new action-adventure title, “Sea of Thieves.”

On the Sony PlayStation front, we're hoping to hear about titles teased in last year's conference, including the much anticipated “Last of Us” sequel, “Last of Us: Part II,” and the newest installment in the “Uncharted” series.

Nintendo seems primed to for its new, open-world Mario game, “Super Mario Odyssey,” which will give players free rein to move about the planet in the shoes of everyone's favorite plumber.

Many will also be looking at Activision's new “Call of Duty: WWII,” which takes the series back to its roots and may inject new life into the franchise by mining history — a strategy that has worked for the series's top competitor, “Battlefield.” Ubisoft has announced that it will give more details on a few games that it's been teasing, including “South Park: The Fractured But Whole” and “Far Cry 5.”

Big games we think we know about: Part of the great fun of E3 is seeing new titles. And there are a lot of fun rumors flying around. Ubisoft is expected to release a new title for its Assassin's Creed series, which leaks have indicated will be set in Egypt and called “Assassin's Creed: Origins.” Bethesda has kept its plans largely under wraps, letting speculation run wild about a new addition to the Wolfenstein series, a Fallout title using virtual reality, or some sort of update to its Elder Scolls franchise.

Microsoft confirmed that it will not announce “Halo 6" at E3, but did promise that there could still be a “little something” for fans of that franchise.

Checking in with VR: The industry group that runs the show said there will be 128 exhibitors showing off their VR work. That's a 130 percent increase from last year, said Entertainment Software Association chief executive Mike Gallagher. With 15,000 regular consumers joining the conference this year, it will be a good test for the industry to see how actual people feel about the virtual reality experiences on offer. Nielsen recently reported that awareness of VR devices has jumped from 28 percent in 2016 to 51 percent this year but that adoption of the devices hasn't followed.

What you can watch from home: The show technically starts on Tuesday, but companies tend to stream their news conferences before the show starts, for maximum hype generation. Electronic Arts kicks off Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. ET. Sunday will be a day to watch, with Microsoft setting the tone at 5 p.m., while Bethesda follows with its update starting at midnight — if you East Coast fans want to stay up.

Monday brings a news conference from Ubisoft at 4:00 p.m. ET, which you can watch on Twitch. And Sony will look to make its big splash that evening at 9 p.m., getting in the last word before the booths open.

What about Nintendo? The firm has opted out of holding news conferences at E3 for the past couple of years, but it will be live-streaming its announcements from its booth on Tuesday at noon.

A previous version of this post misstated the rumored title of an upcoming game. This version has been corrected.