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E3 2004 Opens!


First Day Line

This year I had the pleasure to attend the first day of "open exhibits" (that's a fancy name for, The-First-Time-People-Get-In-To-Play-With-Stuff) at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo. This year it was located at the LA Convention Center, which is a large venue boasting three huge halls and a grand foyer -- it is one of the larger centers that I've been to. The only time I've ever seen the convention center filled is during the LA International Auto Show and E3. Yeah, E3 is that large!!

Upon walking up one of the two main entrances, the first line I encountered was the baggage check line (thanks 9/11). After this line, I thought I was just going to cruise in.nope, that's when I hit the massively long line to get in the door that you see in the photo. Actually, the photo doesn't even do this mother-of-all-lines justice. The only good thing about this line is that I got to meet some people who where traveling in town from out of town. The main guy I met was the manager of a Toys-R-Us here in America. He turned out to be a cool guy and was kind enough to give me the lowdown on some industry inside information. He said he had attended Nintendo's unveiling of the DS (dual screen) the night before. It's reported that one of the screens is a touch screen and that it will launch in Japan first but be available in the States before the end of the year. On the day that I attended, Nintento had not unveiled it to the masses attending E3.


Sony's Huge "Booth"


Sony PSP

Sony on the other had had huge lines of people waiting for the chance to play with their PlayStation Portable. This funky little thing comes in a variety of colors and has the potential for wireless multiplayer action for games like Gran Turismo. Speaking of GT4, the PSP was playing it when I walked by.very, very nice! Anyone who is interested in buying a hand held gaming device might want to hold out until the end of the year to check the Nintendo and Sony machines out. They are going to sell for less than $200.


Gizmondo Booth


Gizmondo In Use

Speaking of handheld devices, why is Nokia still pushing that N-Gage? They had a huge booth at E3, but their games, graphics, and hardware looked second-rate compared to the Sony and Gizmondo.

Yeah, Gizmondo. What a name.another handheld gaming, music, video device this time originating from the UK . Their booth was interesting with a bunch of break dancers performing, DJs spinning records, MCs trying to rhyme, and booth babes passing out flyers. From the looks of the titles they have in development, their marketing seemed to focus squarely on the Urban Gamer which is cool.I'm just wondering who will survive these clone wars - er, I mean handheld wars. My money is on Sony & Nintendo - ones who have been committed to gaming for the longest who also have deepest pockets.


Leisure Suit Larry


EverQuest II

If there was one thing I noticed as a big trend in the software that was presented at E3 was that it seemed like the game developers were very conservative this year with the titles..Sure there was the Leisure Suit Larry game that looks hella funny, but for the most part, the tittles of the show seemed to be all sequels (and or movie tie-ins).

Everquest 2; Halo 2; Doom 3; Half-Life 2; Matrix On-line, Lord of the Rings: TT; The Sims sequel; Rollercoaster Tycoon 4; etc. I must say that all of these games looked visually stunning and will push the bounds of the newest video card, but I wanted to see more original titles like Leisure Suit Larry.

More:


Phantom Console?


Entrance

On another hardware note, we stopped by the Phantom booth to take a look at the phantom console..which isn't like your typical console, but more like a TV/Cable add-on. When we were there they were going through a canned E3 demo of how games are able to be downloaded and played. (Anyone else thinking of Hard|OCP's Article?)We asked what them specifically about their claim to being able to play "any" game and they simply said they "had a lot of partners". We shall see. I'm a bit skeptical about the whole thing and no one that I talked to actually saw a live demo of how a person chooses a game to download and play it on their set.


Matrix Online


Ready To RUMBLE!

Matrix Online: Due no later than November looked detailed and played extremely smooth (on an ATI, btw)

Ready to Rumble: Have no idea about anything about the game, but I woulda let the booth babes pin me in less time for Roy Jones to get knocked out.


Lord of the Rings?


I'm Scared

Lord of the Rings: Pretty good looking game play that is capped with bonus live video from the film every time you pass a major level.


Say Goodbye!


Leaving The Expo

That's it for our coverage of the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo! As always the crowd was huge and the level of enthusiasm was high on the opening day. We got to see all the latest titles and if all the games come out on time the last half of 2004 should be awesome for gamers of all genera goers. With all the vendors and exhibits present, it's almost impossible for one to spend time with all the developers so you have to pick and choose who you want to talk to.

I'm actually looking forward to going next year already!