Anticipation for the U.S.-based E3 conference/show/shindig this year is at an all-time low within 'the industry'. Despite repeated assurances from the organisers at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that the show is set to be a leaner, meaner business and media machine instead of its previous incarnation as an over-bloated three-day funfair/rave.
However, we have to admit that the fact that the ESA has just released the first schedule of conferences for the event has piqued our interest just a teeny bit. As usual, the three main events of the week are set to be the Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo conferences, closely followed by the bigger third party publishers EA, Activition, Midway, Konami, THQ, Ubisoft, Namco Bandai, Disney, SEGA, Square Enix,
Capcom and more.
Microsoft is set to kick off the week’s conference run on the evening of July 10th, followed by Nintendo bright and breezy the following morning at 9am on July 11th. With Sony following closely behind at 11.30am on July 11th.
As ever, SPOnG will be there bringing you the fully detailed news and all the gossip as it happens directly from the conference floors (and, usually far more interestingly, from the lunchtime bar following Sony’s showing, when the assembled hacks begin to try to make sense of what the big three have said and done).
The conference venues for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have still to be confirmed.
On the afternoon of Weds 11th July its time for the third-parties to step up to the conference rostrums with Electronic Arts (2pm), Activision (3.15pm), Midway (4.30pm) and Konami (5.45pm) appearing at the Starlight Ballroom in the Fairmont Hotel.
On Thursday July 12, Take-Two kick off proceedings alarmingly early with a press conference at 8am, closely followed by THQ (9.15am), Ubisoft (10.30am), Namco Bandai (1pm) and Disney Interactive (3.30pm).
Outside of the air-conditioned nightmare that is the conference circuit, companies will be making use of meeting suites in all the major Santa Monica hotels 9am - 5.30pm and games will be on show in the Barker Hangar from 1pm - 6.30pm.
On Friday July 13 (*shudder*) the meeting suites and the Barker Hangar are both set to close up early by 3.30pm to allow all attendees to retire to Ye Olde Kings Head and get right royally slaughtered.
So, to recap. Here’s what we’ll be telling you all about from La La Land in just over six weeks time. How exciting! Or is it?
E3 Conference Schedule:
Tuesday, July 10th
8:30 - 9:30pm - Microsoft Corporation
Wednesday, July 11th[/b]
9:00 - 10:00am - Nintendo
11:30am - 12:30pm - Sony
2:00 - 3:00pm - EA
3:15 - 4:15pm - Activision
4:30 - 5:30pm - Midway
5:45 - 6:45pm - Konami
Thursday July 12th
8:00 - 9:00am - Take Two Interactive
9:15 - 10:15am - THQ
10:30 - 11:30am - Ubisoft
1:00 - 2:00pm - Namco Bandai
3:30 - 4:30pm - Disney Interactive