E3 2011 Wrapup
Geoff Greenblatt, Mindshare
For the past 15 years, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has served as the video game industry’s gathering behemoth. Technology giants, production studios, hardware developers, advertisers, and boatloads of others converge on Los Angeles to be witness to the biggest announcements and unveilings that the industry has to offer. Sure, there are plenty of other gaming expos across the annual calendar showcasing highlights, but it is at the unparalleled E3 that the next year’s future of video games is seen for the first time. When it comes to technology, even more so than CES (where revelations can be quite predictable), the expo is seen as historical in many regards, and for anyone involved in the gaming industry, no matter who they are or in what area their expertise resides, E3 is an absolute necessity.
E3 2011 was no different. With a slight increase in attendance from 2010 (46,800; up 1,200 people), and with over 200 exhibitors coupled with 120 retailers from over 18 countries, the CEO of the event’s sponsor (the ESA – Entertainment Software Association) was correct in saying "This year's E3 propelled video games to the pinnacle of the entertainment world. The industry's innovation, creativity, and excitement combined to show the world the ultimate entertainment experience."Overview
With E3 2009 marking the world’s first look at Microsoft’s Kinect, E3 2010 was all about the accessory’s first games. Kinect’s dance/sports/workout/general-fun-for-the-family type titles were fun to see and try, but gamers knew that year one would only be the beginning. Additionally, Sony and Nintendo only made secondary-type splashes that year while also crisscrossing each other in some senses: Sony displayed its Move accessory, an enhanced version of the Wii, while Nintendo unveiled its Nintendo 3DS, a modified version of 3D gaming that Sony helped create. Suffice to say, there was a heightened sense of expectation for 2011’s E3 from all three console producers:
- What would be the next evolution of Kinect and would anything appeal directly to core gamers? What new content partnerships would XBox LIVE reveal?
- Would Nintendo finally announce the second coming of the Wii, and if so, what advancements would be made? Would it somehow utilize the 3DS technology? Would a controller really have a touchscreen built into it? What new games would be announced for the 3DS, up until now a solid, yet unspectacular, seller (especially stateside, with just 700K handhelds being purchased)? Would Mario be involved?
- Would Sony address the recent problems it had with its network and what, exactly, would it be revealing?
For the first time in a couple of years, there was uncertainty clouding what to expect at E3, shielding the obvious and creating a haze of excited questioning amongst those not in-the-know.
However, when the curtain was pulled back, what gave way was a horizon of opportunity:
- Tech advancements of the current consoles and new devices
- New platform alignments from publishers extending out into social and mobile spaces (complete with E3 conference announcements – an absolute first!)
- All of the long-awaited sequels, spinoffs, sagas, content, characters, hardware, software, downloadables, sneaks, peeks, previews, reviews, and everything in-between
Excitement didn’t just seep, but oozed, from the Los Angeles Convention Center.
With its moral highs (GI Joes Vs. Pros gaming competitions to raise money for troops and their families) offsetting its degrading lows (for the first time, a true oversaturation of scantily clad girls, finally crossing the line from being a part of the show to demeaning it) and all of the gaming-related entertainment one could possibly desire residing in-between, E3 2011 was, hands-down, one of the expo’s most successful years yet.To read the complete article, download E3 2011 Wrapup
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