The Electronic Entertainment Expo

Written by: Christopher Wood
The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took place two weeks ago on July 14-17. The E3 is a trade show and expo for the video game industry that has happened annually since 1995. It was the biggest show for the industry up until 2006. After that show The Electronic software association (ESA), the ones who put on the expo, said that they were going to restructure the expo to be a smaller invitation-only event. They also moved it from Los Angeles to Santa Monica for last year’s show. And they attached the redundant subtitle of “Business and Media summit.” After some objections to the new location, mainly by Nintendo, it was moved back to Los Angeles for this year’s expo. The smaller expo size restricts the amount of developers and publishers who can attend. Mainly the smaller setup of the new E3 benefits the larger companies who can afford the higher costs for floor space that limit the amount of companies that can attend. This directly benefits the console manufacturers and the various supporting developers and publishers. But enough doom and gloom about the expo, lets talk about games and the big 3 (Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) press conferences. Microsoft’s press conference went first and their announcements were mixed between features and games. The features side of their announcements included a deal with Netflix for their movies on demand service. Along with an increased partnership with NBC Universal for TV shows. An overhaul of the Xbox 360 Dashboard is planned with the inclusion of Nintendo Wii like Avatars. They will be the player’s character in some upcoming Microsoft titles as well as being used in some 3D chatting. The game announcements included a release window for Fable 2 in October. As well as exclusive downloadable content for the 360 and PC version of Fallout 3. But the biggest announcement was that Final Fantasy 13 was coming to the Xbox 360. Nintendo’s press conference had a little more swagger to the way they carried it out. Of course Nintendo, being the number one leader in sales among the three manufacturers, feels that they have a right to it. Their upcoming games may not appeal to hardcore gamers but will probably appeal to their new fan base, casual gamers and soccer moms. The big announcement was the Wii Motion Plus attachment for the Wiimote. What this will do is deliver the promise of what people have been expecting of the Wii since its unveiling, one to one motion tracking of the player. It will be released with Wii Sports Resort in 2009. A microphone is also coming out now, called Wii speak which will come out with the new Animal Crossing on November 16 of this year. The only other known game that is going to use the Wii speak is High Voltage Software’s FPS Conduit. Grand Theft Auto for the DS was announced along as a follow up for Guitar Hero: On Tour. Sony’s Press conference was not as earth shattering as the other two. They announced a similar video download service that the Xbox 360 has already has. It will include films and TV shows from major studios such as Fox Home Entertainment and Disney. They showcased an unnamed title promising large battles with up to 256 players. They trickled out some more details on Little Big Planet and showed a playable version of Resistance 2 to the lucky people who got to attend. And they announced God of War 3 for the PS3 and Resistance for the PSP. That was the E3 for 2008, look for more developments on these games in the coming months.