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Name: Earl Lovings
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E3 - What Will They Do?

INSIDER ESPORTS – Earl Lovings talks about the upcoming E3 event at the L.A Convention Center.

 

Details of this year’s E3 started surfacing late last year; here is a recap of what went down and some of my thoughts.

 

Last year, G4's X-play broke the news on this year’s E3 event saying,

 

"We have exclusive breaking news about E3 2009. Even though they said it wouldn’t happen, the old E3 is making a comeback. X-play has learned that the show will be returning back to the L.A. Convention Center and with an earlier date. The show is going to kick off June 2nd and run through Thursday June 4th. But more importantly, expect attendance to explode into the tens of thousands. Next year’s E3 will not have the rigorous betting process that was instituted in 2006. This time around, a broader range of industry guests will be invited. While the event won’t be open to the public with ticket sales, this does mean that people will have more of a shot at attending, and yes I’m talking about you. We're going to have more news on E3 2009 tomorrow when the ESA makes their official announcement. And as for the booth babes there’s no official word on if they will make their return as well.”

 

Gamespot and G4 confirmed on October 21st – a few days after the initial announcement – that E3 will be going to the L.A Convention center in 2009. The ESA said that the reason they chose June 2-4 is because they don’t want to mess with game development dates and so that companies could make decisions for their holiday release calendar.  Also, they said they welcome all qualified computer and video game industry audiences, this including media, developers, analysts and retailers. This of course was only the beginning.

 

As if the move back to the L.A. Convention Center wasn't enough, we’ve been blessed us with the return of the one thing we all love… booth babes!  This was announced a few days before we came into the New Year on G4's “Attack of the Show” on their nightly feature, The Feed.

 

The Electronic Entertainment Expo was downsized and relocated in 2007. The newly named E3 Media and Business Expo was by invitation only and let about 5,000 media and press members in. After a horrible two years, the E3 convention announced it will move back to the L.A Center last year. Last year’s E3 drew a lot of heat from big names in the industry such as Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello and EA Sports President Peter Moore. Personally, I agree with what they said. The last two years of E3 have been rather bleak.

 

With the economy in the state that it is in, we may see some cut backs on some of the swag that E3 is used to dishing out. This could also make companies downsize their booths and flashy productions to grab gamers’ attention. As far as I know or have read, there are no companies pulling out of E3 as of now, but of course things could change in the coming months.

 

 

Last year, one of the two biggest announcements came at E3; Final Fantasy XIII is making the move to the Xbox 360 console and is due out sometime in 2010 for America, while Japan will see it sometime this year. The second announcement came at TGS with Tekken 6 moving from a Sony exclusive to a multi-platform setting in the 360.

 

Rumors are bound to swirl and one of the big rumors currently is that Sony releasing a new PSP. Sony has denied this rumor before, but as E3 approaches I'm sure we will have a better look on this rumor. Sony, however, may make another announcement; Fans and analysts are speculating that Sony may drop their PS3 system down $50 or even $100 in the spring. Sony reported their first losses in fourteen years and the PS3 is dead last in the “console war”, so it’s hard for them to not look into some kind of price cut. Also, God of War 3 might come out in late 2009 – hopefully boosting their sales.  No announcement has come from the Jaffe or Sony about God of War, however.

 

Sony needs to do three things, all three that many people agree with.  The economy is so low that they have to do at least two, if not all three of these things.

 

1.  Cut down the price of the PS3!  Sorry, but nobody can afford a $400 console.  If they don’t cut this down, they are doomed to fail until we see some kind of economic boost.

2.  Complete backwards compatibility. Some of the machines can do it, but not all of them.  Right now the PS2 still sells, adding backwards compatibility for all the PS3 systems will certainly boost their sales.

3.  Get some of their exclusives back, or find new ones.  Nobody wants to pay $400 for a PS3 when they already have a Wii or a Xbox 360.  They need to get some exclusives back or they are in some deep trouble.

 

There is also fan speculation that Nintendo is going to show a preview of their next generation system. Really, with the Wii selling to everyone and their grandma (quite literally), I don't think the Nintendo is going to announce anything about a new console.  I can’t see Nintendo surprising anyone, at least in any grand announcement. Right now, this is probably what we will here from start to finish: Sales through the roof here, Wii (enter something to do with the Wii here) coming out, more sales numbers; Diehard fans of Nintendo are getting rather pissed about their lack of big-time games. Here's what Nintendo should do, in my opinion:

 

1.  Bring out something that expands the Wii memory. Wii players have been dying for something to expand the memory and Nintendo needs to answer their plea.

2.  Give something back to the hardcore fans. New games or generation games, just something!

3.  Keep your casual audience. Nintendo does have a good audience in the casual market, and they can’t afford to flood themselves with one bad game after the next. Reports have shown that awful games keep coming to the Wii. Sever that!

4.  Exclusives and the usual stuff that keeps fans hungry.

 

Microsoft seems to be in a tough spot as well. They released a lot of their big name games last year with a few to come in the first half of this year. They are doing fairly well for themselves and I really have no suggestions for them.  One suggestion will be to get a blue-ray player instead of the HD player built into the system, but I’m not sure if that is possible. I have a few ideas of what they should do, however.

 

1.  Stick to the game plan that they have established.  They are doing okay for now, but

2.  Keep with your hardcore audience.  I know a lot of people who love Xbox and think they the best system by far.  Microsoft should keep them on their side.

3. Build up more exclusives.  Everyone could always use more exclusives!

 

Time will tell if the event will help build up these three giants, but if anything is certain, they need some help.

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