This year the LA Convention Center is once again the home of E3. After a disastrous outing last year in a series of hotels and an airport hangar in Santa Monica, the show moves to its familiar venue. However, all is not well with th show. Several key members of the ESA, the organization that runs E3, have left due to increased member costs. The majority of these publishers are just not showing up—while others like Activision—are throwing their own press conference outside of the ESA and E3. Still, despite a few setbacks from members leaving, the show does appear to be regaining its footing with the presence of industry giants like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, EA, Ubisoft, Konami, Sega, Capcom, and many more.
With the departures of ESA members like Activision, Blizzarrd, Vivendi, and LucasArts, many in the industry have been speculating that this could be the last year of E3. I, however, feel like E3 is a necessary event. True, while it may be an inconvenience to round up members of the press for a week long event, this has historically been the place where major announcements have been made, console generations were won, and new software was shown off. Would the Wii be as big of a hit if it was not for E3 two years ago? Would the industry have been buzzing about Bioshock during the same show? Would Microsoft have gained a foothold in this generation with the Xbox 360? Would the Dreamcast have been able to launch without E3's coverage? Would the industry be as large or influential without the past 13+ years of shows? I will be the first to admit that it is complete speculation on my part in saying that E3 made software and hardware successful. However, with no E3, there are no big press conferences. This by itself takes away from the magic of this great industry. I am always willing to accept changes within the structure of the show—but I feel like this year, E3 2008 will reach the press, inform the retail buyers, and give companies the exposure they need for a fraction of the cost that they used to pay.
E3 is especially difficult for me this year. Just over a year ago, the day before I left for E3 2007, my dad passed away. This was very sudden and unexpected and my life and world around me was forever changed. There is a void left in my heart from my dad's passing and while both me and my family have been able to continue our lives, I am still left with emptiness. Maybe I am being a bit selfish—but if E3 ever does go away, it will be like part of my dad will go away with it. This show is forever linked, in my memory, with him. We are dedicating our coverage this year to my dad.
Despite some bad memories from last year, we are ready to cover the show for you, our readers, once more. I am fully expecting there to be a ton of awesome games and announcements revealed from “the big three.” I also fully expect that this year we will see some incredible software being readied for the holiday buying season. This can only mean great things for owners of these platforms.
We will be at Microsoft and EA's Press Conferences on Monday and then covering the Press Conferences of Nintendo and Sony on Tuesday. After those events end on Tuesday, we will be right in the middle of our appointments with all of the companies at E3 2008. Be sure to continue checking the site for updates and keep reading as we continue our E3 coverage and Post E3 Coverage once the show concludes.