I wrote about last year's experience, and back then I wondered if E3 would ever be the same or even return again. The recurring concern for any industry trade show is how an annual gathering benefits the participating companies and attendees. Over the years, E3 was becoming so big and so filled with parties and, frankly, so overwhelming that it was difficult for some people within the respective businesses and organizing body, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), to see the value. Not to mention that key players like ActiVision started pulling out in 2008 and created a bit of a domino effect.
But this year, like a hero in a video game sequel, E3 is back with a vengeance. More companies, more attendees. And I'll be returning (for my 7th or 8th E3 -- I've lost track), along with my colleague Natali Del Conte, senior editor at CNET and CBS contributor. Plus we'll tap into the resources of GameSpot.com, which is also owned by CBS. So in this tough economy will a high-profile/colorful E3 turn out to be clever marketing ploy or a crippling image mistake?
Check out GameSpot.com, CNET.com and CBSNews.com for daily updates on E3, and watch the CBS Early Show on Wednesday morning and the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric on Wednesday night for more in-depth stories on the hottest trends and titles, plus a look at how video games are affecting the overall economy. We'll get going tomorrow as the Microsoft press conference (unofficially) kicks it all off (maybe something about a 3-D motion sensor), and plenty more to follow including news about an expected new Sony PSP and new uses for the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus. But that's just the beginning. As for games, I'm eager to see "Mass Effect 2" and "BioShock 2" among others.
In the meantime, stay connected.