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Summary Shots

This area provides a brief overview of each day at the show.

Day Zero, Tuesday, May 11, 2004

ChrisReid, JustinS, Ryo and Ryan attended E3 in 2004. We drove from Seattle in about eighteen hours, with quick stops for gas and food. Although everyone was exhausted by the drive, it made sense to go straight to the Los Angeles Convention Center and pick up our registration badges before the real crowds hit. It was also a great opportunity to see the expo in the construction phase. Most of the giant banners had all been hung when we arrived, but there was a lot of work left to do in actual booth construction. We were not allowed to enter the exhibition halls before the official beginning of the show, but we snuck a few pictures in. Everyone is very excited at this point. We spent most of the day checking up on the news posted online and downloading the new videos for just-announced games as they were posted online. Wednesday was the big day when everything officially began!

Day One, Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Today the 2004 Electronics Entertainment Expo kicked off. There were hundreds of different games and products being unveiled, so the entire day was taken up just moving from hall to hall and trying to absorb all the different booths. There is a lot of stuff coming at you from all angles, so it can be somewhat overwhelming. The new portable handhelds by Sony and Nintendo are major news, but it takes a long time to get access to them. Traffic was horrible. It took about an hour to drive fifteen miles and an additional forty-five minutes to find a parking space. But it was tons of fun and exhausting at the same time. Over the next few days we'll be planning out what specific games and items we want to actually play. There is lots of neat stuff to see and do. That's Gary Coleman in picture eleven below. I had some camera trouble today, so I don't have pictures for at least half the expo. We'll all be snapping more photos on Thursday. Everything is going very fast.

Day Two, Thursday, May 13, 2004

Traffic eased up this day, so getting to the convention center was slightly easier. Traffic is still a nightmare and everyone constantly honks in Los Angeles. The first day at the show is usually just getting a look at everything, and the second day gives you a chance to try some things. The Donkey Kong drum games were quite neat, and the Nintendo DS is a lot of fun. The biggest feature being hyped is the second screen, but equally impressive is the touch screen, voice recognition and wireless multiplayer. In just a few short demos they showed many innovative ways for a stylus to be used with many different games. Star Wars Galaxies was the first space sim I checked out, and it's shaping up quite nicely. The motion is fluid and things such as the engines light up nicely. Food inside the center is grossly expensive, but ladies sell hot dogs wrapped in bacon outside for $3 each. While I was spending some time in the EA booth, I literally ran into EA Chairman and CEO Larry Probst. He was in a hurry, so the picture of him didn't turn out the best. They have a large booth, but not much in the way of new stuff. Aside from some games they're publishing for other developers, most of what they have appears to be in the way of sequels to their established properties. The new Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth strategy game with the C&C Generals engine seems fairly innovative however. Every title they show off is destined to be a million-seller, and EA will make tons of money hand over fist. It's a difficult position from which to try something new. While they certainly have the resources to create many more games, they seem to mainly produce the guaranteed platinum selling titles. That's how they got as big as they got today, but it puts space sim fans in a sore spot when their favorite genre is not currently a sure bet. The market has been in constant change for many years though, so it's only a matter of time before someone invents a way to breathe new life into this segment of the market again.

Day Three, Friday, May 14, 2004

Day Three of E3 is a mixture of things. There are less people so it's a bit slow and laid back, but at the same time everyone realizes their time is running short and runs around trying to check out the things they missed. We tried to make another run through the Nintendo DS line today and failed miserably. I did get a good look at the Sony Playstation Portable however. Yesterday I mentioned that I was pleasantly surprised by how the Nintendo DS worked out. The PSP is also surprisingly slick. The screen has to be seen to believed. It's like a tiny HDTV. The games and movies playing on it look incredible, and the screen is even larger than the GBA's. While it lacks the quirky cool microphone jack, touch screen and dual screen layout, it will play music and movies and also incorporate wireless functions. What if they release the Wing Commander movie for the UMD PSP format? There is also an exciting Global Positioning Satellite attachment features in one picture I snapped. I really love GPS stuff. So far I prefer the DS games, but both systems have a hundred developers reading titles to be released in the twelve to eighteen months. We spent some more time working in the EA areas and found their cushy secret VIP room. Justin's official-looking GameSpot shirt also got us into a nice Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth screening that was fairly impressive. The game interface has been streamlined and made more efficient to handle the massive battles being carried out in the C&C Generals engine. Soldiers reactive intuitively to battle conditions (fear and excitement) and the scope of the conflict seems fun. The show is over now and it's been great. We'll have a few straggler images and a couple more interesting stories from the show tomorrow as well.

Day Four, Saturday, May 15, 2004

Commentary coming soon.

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