May 17, 2006
The SimHQ E3Expo Team
give their personal impressions of the weeks hits and misses.
thirty nine, seat delta. At least it's an Isle seat. We're
bumping along at flight level three seven zero somewhere over
northern Texas or southern Oklahoma. Cruising along the upper
stratosphere my mind is wandering though the latest experiences
of another E3. This is my third trip to the whacky, loud,
and wonderful world of the Electronic Entertainment Exposition.
Each year seems to have it's own character, but at the same
time, the overall experience is always familiar and exciting.
This year was a bit different than
previous years. It was a snap to register, things were laid
out logically, and there were less crowds than in past E3's
I've attended. I think it was the best one I have seen. They
do need more folks working the registers in the food courts
though. The lines were excruciatingly long!
The Staples Center in LA comes alive
with throngs of people who make their living selling games
and gadgets to the world. I don't know the numbers but I think
many would be surprised at the sea of humanity which descends
on South, West, and Kentia Halls in the sprawl that is the
L.A. Convention Center. For those who don't know what E3 is,
it's difficult to explain. It's kind of like a roller coaster
ride. You're not too sure about it before you try it for the
first time, but once you've ridden, you can't wait to get
on it again. E3 is a lot like that. Anyone who is even remotely
connected or interested in PC and console gaming considers
this almost a yearly pilgrimage. The industry shows up in
force. The latest technology from all corners of the gaming
world bursts onto the floors of the convention center halls.
All of the big players are here. Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft,
Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Namco, Konami, the list goes on
and on. All bring their latest wares in hard and soft versions.
It's place to showcase the future both near and far. For gamers,
it's nirvana. This years E3 while still dominated by
the aura of Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo consoles
had a good showing for the PC gaming crowd.
E3 is a feast for the senses as much
as it is for the mind. Sound and light pound you from all
sides while in the main halls. Nary a moment goes by that
does not find you invaded by noise, light, and bodies. This
year seemed a bit less crowded to me which is a great thing.
More control on who gets in the door saves us the crushing
lines and crowds when attempting to get anywhere. I know in
years passed this was a problem, so kudos to the planners
on this aspect of the convention.
This year I think I am taking away
a few things from E3 which are a bit different than in the
past. My main areas of interest includes shooters and flight
simulations. This year I find myself mildly optimistic that
things are finally turning around with regard to flight simulations.
Microsoft has finally announced the release of it's potential
mega hit Flight Simulator X. It's been three years in development,
a bit longer than the normal cycle, but it's nice to finally
see and fly the sim after the hiatus. Oleg Maddox debuted
his new project in the form of Storm of War: The Battle of
Britain, and believe me, no one is going to be disappointed.
I'll be happy with those two titles alone sometime around
the end of this year. There are a few other things which made
me drool, but I can't tell you what they are, or I will have
to kill you! Suffice it to say, we are all going to be pleasantly,
if not dramatically surprised about what is coming next year.
One other area I'd like to comment
on before I settle down for a neck breaking nap. I'm a bit
of a budding RTS fan and what I saw at this years E3 has me
positively salivating. Two new titles really captured my attention.
World in Conflict and Company of Heroes. They both finally
bridge the gap between old fashion RTS games and modern state-of-the-art
kick ass graphics 3D shooters. It finally looks like a real
world you fight in, not some flat 2D pixilated mess. For me,
it's what matters and it makes the game so much more immersive
and real it's hard to describe. I'm really looking forward
to these titles and all the graphical goodness they will bring.
World in Conflict had a demo running and I watched the most
realistic depiction of a tactical nuclear device I have ever
seen. It's going to be very good.
One of the best things about E3 is
the synergy of putting publishers, developers, artists, and
sales people all in the same arena. It means more and better
titles and platforms for us. One thing you take away from
here is the concept that the games push the hardware. As each
reaches new heights we get to see the benefits. For us at
SimHQ this melding of the minds is beneficial to all. We get
to see what's coming, but at the same time, with a bit of
credibility, we get to hopefully have a bit of influence on
the developers and publishers. They do listen and this makes
it all really worthwhile. SimHQ definitely has a niche with
most of the developers who work on the games we like. It's
really rewarding to know they are listening in.
- What am I looking forward
to? Wow, that's a difficult question but I'll give it a
- I'm really jazzed about physics
in games, both hardware and software. This is the next big
thing in my opinion.
- All of the latest RTS titles which
don't look like RTS games.
- FSX is going to knock our socks
off in the flight simming world.
- Oleg Maddox's Battle of Britain
is looking phenomenal and I patiently await this latest
- The CPU developments just over
- Lead Pursuit's next big project.
- Crysis, man what a cool looking
game and storyline!
- Battlefield 2142, who can say no
to Battlefield with Mechs?
The final thought I have about this
year I could sum up in one basic concept. This is the first
time I have come away from E3 marveling at ALL the games graphical
capabilities. Not just a few here and their. Everywhere you
look now you find CGI type quality and photo realistic terrain,
sky, and water. Physical calculations bring us more realistic
damage effects, explosions, and things which directly affect
the realism in all our games and sims. Characters move in
realistic fashion and humans finally really look like humans.
Our games now have the hardware to run this goodness and the
developers are taking full advantage. It's a great time to
be a gamer, and E3 is the Mecca for all of us. If you get
the chance to attend this wonderful phenomenon, I highly recommend
it. It opens your mind to the possibilities of our gaming
We're somewhere over central Louisiana
at the moment, and before my battery dies I want to publicly
thank some of the finest guys around. Guod, Chunx, and 20mm.
They tirelessly worked around the clock to bring you the best
coverage of this event you'll ever see. I consider it an honor
to be associated with these guys and I had a great time, despite
the walking, the hunger, the typing, and the dearth of booth
babes (NOT!). Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to work
alongside you fine gentleman!
I look forward to next year. E3 2007
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