Hello Los Angeles! Pictures from the frontline, plus a timetable of the week ahead

The E3 schedule: Console conference mania

A gloomy, grey sky for Monday morning as the crews set up at E3

E3 2006 is upon us, and although the show floor won't open to even the press until Wednesday morning the fun is essentially in full swing from the get go with backdoor meetings and glitzy press conferences filling out our schedules.

Monday afternoon at 4 pm PST, 7 pm EST we have the Sony press conference. Hosted at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver city we're expecting (rather obviously) a lot of PlayStation 3 news. Will it be marketing hype backed by no substance? Will they once again an apology for a high price, or will Sony be coming out with guns blazing towards Microsoft and Nintendo? And what's up with Blu-ray?

Bald is beautiful in Midway's upcoming upgrade to the Tournament of the Unreal

Tuesday morning will be kicked off by Nintendo, who will be hosting their conference at a venue no less than the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, home to the Oscars. Their conference will kick off early morning 9:30 am PST/12:30 pm EST and will serve as something of a breather between the two big rivals (we hope) and perhaps even a Wii bit of comic relief.

Apart from odd name choices we might just get a release date for the Nintendo Wii (though perhaps at this point not even Nintendo will know quite what that is until after the Sony crowd have exited their stage Monday evening).

Two blood elves oversee the setup process, as forklifts bring in new carpeting

Tuesday afternoon will see Microsoft roll out their conference just down the road from Nintendo at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. It may seem a little odd that Nintendo gets the Oscars and Microsoft gets the takeaway jokes, but then Microsoft doesn't have as great a PR leg to stand on as the other two: Sony and Nintendo can promise the world about both their hardware and their games, Microsoft can only do so about their games.

However, Microsoft is obviously in quite an advantageous position, and like Nintendo we may be able to expect one or two release dates, including Halo 3, to coincide quite miraculously with Sony's expected PS3 release date.

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