Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

E3 – Phew!

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Phew, finally back from LA after a long day of travelling and walking around gawking at stuff. I can see now why people say it needs more than one day. First day should be looking around, taking pictures, picking up free crap. Second day you go back and make direct hits on the things that interest you. For those of you eager to see the pictures, take a look at my flickr photo set. In the unlikely event you want to read about my day, I’ll see you after the jump.

First impressions: not quite the mayhem I had expected. Definitely loud and busy but no different to regular commute time in NYC, keep your elbows out and you’ll be fine. Its amazing how many game companies there are, the exhibits go on and on. I thought I had done everything only to find a whole section of stuff I hadn’t even seen. Definitely could do with doing it over more than one day.

One of the biggest problems were the TV cameras, mobile camera operators and crew were everywhere and those things are big. And you feel bad about pushing past because they could be broadcasting live. The popular games were impossible to get to, I didn’t get near a Playstation 3 game.

I went to a games show in London when I was a teenager and remember coming back full of free stuff, and I had heard to expect the same here. Media people were getting bags of stuff from everyone but joe schmoe like me typically had to work for it: play these games, win a tournament, sit through a film presentation. So I didn’t come back with as much as I expected. I’ll post a tally in a future post if I think its worthwhile.

Babes. Yes, there were babes, I think less than previous years and not the skimpy bikinis of the past but there was a goodly amount. I caught a couple of “dance” shows (to put it modestly) that seemed somewhat, er, unconnected, to games but had the crowd happy. Another note for the future – take a friend so they can take pictures of you with the girls, otherwise most of the pics have some other ugly bastard in them.

New systems! Both the PS3 and the Wii had you queue up to get to the good stuff. The line for the PS3 said an hour but I figured I needed to see it and in the end it took 20 minutes. The queue for the Wii went on and on and on…. in fact I never found the end of it, and gave up at the “2 hours from here” mark. There were no Wii systems on display other than those hidden at the end of the line. I think this is a poor marketing idea, surely it would be better for everyone to see it and love it? The E3 daily press says there is a rumour that the Wii will retail for $149….. but I went from thinking I’d see and must have it to now not caring about it at all.

Games galore, of course. Its funny how so many of them look the same in the end. After a while Quake, Call of Duty, Rainbow Ops etc all blend in to one, same with the Warcraft type games. But there were some gems. In particular I fell in love with a horse racing game (you are the jockey) from some Australian company on the PS2. I didn’t get it’s name. Fifa World Soccer looked great, and so did Rainbow Spear Las Vegas. Gran Turismo 4 looked every bit as fabulous on PS3 in HD up close as it did on the internet broadcast.

EA had what looked like an amazing display but no matter how hard I tried I could not get into the room! The room wasn’t small – must have been 200 people in there – but the crush of people getting in and out was just to much. Anyway, they had a large circular screen (or screens) showng a montage of their games. Looked very cool from the outside. Despite most of their games being US sports I don’t much care for, I think they are one of my favourite companies of the day.

So… plenty of things to see and (want to) do. Next year I hope to return and get to go to the Sony party where I hear the entertainment just keeps on coming.

Written by admin

May 10th, 2006 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Gaming

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