Tech Talk
New E3 Will Be Unveiled In Santa Monica
By Daniel Kuo
Jul 8, 2007 - 12:02:00 AM

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, and known as one of the world’s largest conventions in the video game industry, will begin on July 11 in Santa Monica.  The three-day trade show is widely anticipated every year, partly because it is an ideal platform for companies to preview and present their biggest products in a global industry now worth over $30 billion.  However, this year E3 has undergone some major changes, altering the schedule, the atmosphere, and even the location of the event.

In past years, E3 has been a massively crowded ordeal, complete with noisy presentations, endless booths, and celebrity appearances.  Upwards of 70,000 people were reported to attend the 2006 expo.  Following last year’s event; however, organizers announced that the event would be redeveloped and scaled down.  First, the convention was now by invitation only, changing the expected attendance to just 5,000 people.   It was also relocated from its former home at the Los Angeles Convention Center to Santa Monica, where it will take place within a number of hotels.  The schedule was also redesigned to feature more low-key, formal events, focusing the show more towards business and less towards mass appeal.

However, even if the changes affect the ambience of E3, it seems unlikely to affect the surplus of juicy entertainment news always present at the event.  Some companies prefer to stay quiet on which products they will present until the trade show arrives, but many games, such as the highly anticipated title Halo 3, are known or expected to be at the event.  In addition, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo ”“ the three juggernauts of video games ”“ may announce changes to their respective consoles, the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii.  Most expect at least some changes, not only because Microsoft and Sony are lagging badly behind the success of the Wii, but also because E3’s new format puts more emphasis on products over presentation than ever before.  “(Content) is of particular importance this year,” says David Riley, an analyst at a market research firm, the NPD group.  “2007 marks the first year without the traditional E3 craziness the industry has grown to know and customers have grown to love.”

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