E3 is happening right now, well, it’s happening as I write this [actually, the dates are wrong – for a variety of reasons, this post has been backdated]. By the time I type it up and post it, E3 will be over and done with. Its repercussions will, however, still be . . . repurcussing. That’s what it’s for, after all.
E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo. It’s a videogame conference, or rather THE videogame conference, much like the Oscars is THE film awards show (except E3 happens before the games come out, not after, and the self-congratulatory backpatting is referred to as “marketing” instead of “awards”). This is where “electronic entertainment” companies wave their hands in the air, make fabulous promises (that many won’t keep, but which some will exceed), and in general try to woo the hearts, minds, and wallets of the gaming community. It is a time for big announcements. This one, in particular, has been much anticipated.
See, this is a nextgen year. The major console manufacturers have just put out their product (Microsoft’s Xbox360) or intend to do so before the year is up (Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii). This E3 has been our first real glimpse (as much as anything at E3 is ever “real”) at those last two. Both Sony and Nintendo are revealing secrets, abilities, and release details. Even Xbox, which has been out since November, had some new and exciting things to talk about.
Here are a few of the announcements that interested me:
Nintend Wii –Nintendo didn’t say as much as they could have (still no price and no specific release date), but what they did say was pretty cool. Here’s a quick link to their announcement, but my discussion of it will have to wait. This console deserves a post of its own for reasons even non-gamers may find personally relevant.
Why non-gamers should care: see future post
Halo 3 – If you don’t know what Halo is, I’m not going to be able to get you any more excited. For those of you who do know what I’m talking about: Bungie has produced the first teaser trailer for the final (yes, I said final) installment of the Halo series. The launch date has been revised from “probably in the future” to “2007.” That’s not very specific, but considering the studio was not willing to admit they were even working on the game until E3, it’s a good deal more specific than it has been.
Why non-gamers should care: The guys will be playing something new at beachweek next year.
World of Warcraft – The expansion race has been declared. I’m excited. People who are interested in the expansion pack are excited (and given WoW’s tremendous popularity, that’s a pretty big group), but that has very little relevance for non-gamers.
Why non-gamers should care: They probably shouldn’t care about that. But what might affect them are Blizzard’s plans to make a movie out of this universe. Non-gamers you may have to put up with that in the not too distant future (although they’re using the same studio that created Batman Begins, so here’s hoping they produce a piece of similar excellence).
PS3 – The 3rd generation of Playstation is going to cost way more than I’m willing to pay. While it’s not GOOD news, per se. It’s still relevant to me. One less console on my shelf.
Why non-gamers should care: this is not just a part of the console-wars, it’s also going to play a role in deciding the primary format for our next generation of DVD-players. Sony is using the PS3 as a way to get their chosen format (Blu-ray) out into the wild. In fact, the inclusion of a Blu-ray player in the PS3 is the very reason for the high price. This will affect you eventually in much the same way the betamax-VHS battles did.
There are, of course, many other announcements, booths, and exhibits going on throughout E3. Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are just the current industry giants – the 800 pound gorillas.
If you have any interest in videogames, take a look at some of the links. I you don’t, well, wait a week and I’ll talk about something else.
How about cooking? I’ll talk about that. (Did you know the Wii is going to have a cooking game? You use the motion-controller to cut vegetables, sautee the. . .)