In this special edition of Mark Raby's weekly feature, Mark takes a look at the huge news of the announcement of a hugely scaled down version of the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
It all started with rumors that sparked over the weekend, and it was made official in record time. E3, the trade show that probably holds the record for the most obsessive public interest will no longer have the multi-million dollar glitz and glamour that everyone has come to know and love.
There were some people who were not surprised by this announcement. A lot probably saw this move as a long time in coming, but the millions of cyber attendees from 2005 and before were caught completely off guard and all the under-18 gamers who had ambitions of some day being a part of the sensory overload now have had their dreams crushed.But there's no doubt about it. From a business standpoint, this move just had to come. Let's compare now to the year that E3 started, in 1995. In 1995, home consoles were still relatively new. The absolutely colossol coverage of video games that we're now familiar with was just beginning to blossom. So it made sense to create a mega-show for the entire industry.
However, now, video games have gained such cred that virtually all major companies can now afford to fly out members of the press and hold their own shows, most of which gain them more individual coverage than E3 ever would. This is especially true for the non-hardware companies (e.g. those who aren't Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft). So to have just a small event that brings this individual attention to companies is more ideal.
That's not even mentioning the fact that, with the explosion of the Internet, networking is a much more convenient and easy thing to accomplish. So retailers don't really need to fly out to Los Angeles and get ran over by fanboys just to place their holiday orders. The media no longer needs a huge expo as an excuse to talk about video games.
Regardless of how you personally feel about E3 (and we all feel a little bit depressed), the one thing we can take home in solace is the fact that the show went out with a bang. The PS3 and (especiall) the Wii made E3 2006 the most closely watched and covered E3 ever. Speaking of the Wii, Nintendo will now always be known as the company that stole the show of the final E3. And besides, before we get too bummed out about the radical changes to the show, we'll have to see how the E3 Media Festival 2007 is put together. Something tells me that event will still be something to talk about.
Feature Published by: Mark Raby
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