E3 2011 officially begins on Tuesday, June 7th, on Los Angeles, California, but as any eager gamer knows, that’s not the real start to the excitement and major announcements. Today, Monday, June 6th, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts and Sony will all be holding their E3 press conferences to unveil to the world what’s in store for the next year… and we’ll be there for all of it, reporting live.

In our first year of operation, we sent six Ranters to cover E3 2010 and wow, was it a learning experience. So, this year we’re sending 11 to ensure we cover as much as humanly possible for you. Read on for what to expect from this year’s E3 and our coverage.

To start, you’ll definitely want to check out our previews of the five major press conferences this year – most, if not all of our team will be at each to share thoughts live as it happens, but here’s what’s confirmed so far along with some rumors and predictions:

If you’re not there, don’t worry. This year’s E3 will be more accessible than ever and from the comfort of your home or your office, you can watch live as well. Check out our Where to Watch E3 2011 Press Conference Guide for more on that.

E3 2011 Live Coverage

Meet and follow Game Rant’s E3 2011 away team!

Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes): The best part of E3, the stuff that gets people talking, are the true surprise announcements. I’m hoping to see several reveals of major games, services or tech that no one expected or even thought could be at the event.

Anthony Taormina (@ANTaormina): I’m looking forward to finally being able to check out both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 and put to rest, at least for now, the issue of which FPS I am more excited to play this year.

Jason Weissman (@AtticusSays): The introduction of new hardware and the battle of military first-person shooters is certainly intriguing, but RPGs are my main focus this year. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim alone would make me a happy camper, but throw in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Dark Souls and the Xbox 360 version of The Witcher 2, and you have one hell of a showcase.

John Jacques (@Makelevi): The big three will be clashing heads in spectacular fashion again – Sony needs to regain fan trust, Nintendo needs its new console to wow gamers, and Microsoft needs to capture potential ground. There’s going to be a lot of big bangs to turns heads.

Jacob Siegal (@JacobSiegal): My favorite part of E3 has, and always will be, the console announcements. Now that the console cycle is beginning to extend, I cannot believe how lucky I am to see Project Cafe, Vita and even the 3DS, which still needs some serious first and third-party support, at my first E3. Long live new consoles, and here’s hoping Nintendo will finally impress the anxious core gaming community after all these years.

Riley Little (@GnarleySquid): I’ve been waiting to hear more information on Nintendo’s Project Café ever since news on the HD console leaked a few months ago, so that will obviously be the announcement I’m ogling over during the event. Aside from that, Gears of War 3 is going to be the software I’m most looking forward to, and with rumors of a new Halo on the horizon I can’t help but be excited for Microsoft’s press event.

Sebastian Gaweda (@Slayorious): I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Battlefield 3 to see if its even in the same class of shooter as the Call of Duty titles it hopes to dethrone. After botching opportunities for online play with its last two consoles, I’m cautiously optimistic about what Nintendo has in store for us with its Wii successor and hope I’m not disappointed.

Ben Kendrick (@benkendrick): While I always enjoy walking the show floor, this year I plan to embarrass myself with a marathon run of Kinect titles. On the more productive side of things, I’ll be live blogging all three console press conferences and offering a step by step report on my personal journey to give Kevin Butler a hug.

Christian Spicer (@spicer): I am most excited about seeing how many game demos and company booths all have shorter lines than the Starbucks cart at the Convention Center. What is the over-under on that again?

Andrew Dyce (@andrew_dyce): Electronic Arts has always had quite the showing at E3, but this year may be their best to date. Aside from the sports titles that always get fans excited, there’s Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, SSX, The Old Republic and a new Need for Speed title to cover. If a few of those end up giving good presentations, their press conference and demos could steal the show.

Ryan Blanchard (@ThatRyanB): While I’m extremely interested in seeing how Nintendo is going to approach the reveal of Project Cafe, I’m more interested in seeing what surprises Sony has in store to win back gamers’ love after the PSN outages.

tags: E3 2011