E3 2008 Exposed!

The E3 Media & Business Summit kicks off today in Los Angeles. We expose the good, bad and ugly about what could be E3’s final breath of air.

Although E3 may be back at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), the show is far from what it used to be. Gone are the massive booth and glitzy displays, and here are utilitarian game displays.

As with the scaled-down E3 from 2007, the press definitely have better access to games and developers. There’s no need to wait in line just for a glimpse of a game, now the exhibition booths are more available for demos. Developers now have dedicated meeting rooms for private looks at games.

Overall, it’s a better venue to demonstrate upcoming games to the media, but it is still completely devoid of the spirit that made E3 so good. The downsizing of E3 is even more apparent this year with it behind held at the LA Convention Center, showing what a shell it is of it’s former form.

It’s with this that the realization comes that E3 was never about showing off games to the media. E3 was loud, obnoxious, excessive, but it was the world’s biggest celebration of the art form.

This week will be filled with game news, impression and previews, but here at the E3 show floor the excitement that used to fill the atmosphere is gone. There has never been a better time to be a gamer, but it’s certainly not as fun as it used to be for an attendee.

We browsed through the main show floor at the LACC - if you can even call it that - and what we saw were small booths that were the size of no-name developers that use to be in the basement of E3 from year’s ago. In fact, Microsoft’s area from E3 2006 was larger than the entire booths area of this year’s expo.

Despite the depressing show floor, many of the larger developers chose to old private events and meetings inside the suites allocated throughout the LACC venue. Thanks to its smaller size, we’re able to bring you quicker updates from the show.

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Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.