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E3: A first-timer's retrospective

Veronica's thoughts on E3

My time here in Santa Monica is coming to a close, and I'm still not sure how I feel about my first E3 experience. I knew that it wasn't going to be as over-the-top as years past, but I guess its reputation was still built up in my mind.

Apparently, going smaller also means going more spread out. I don't think I went to a meeting or a shoot in the same location twice! From the Fairmont Hotel (valet parking was full, I had to double-park blocks away to pick up my registration pass) to the Barker Hanger (which we found by following landing airplanes), getting there was always half the battle.

It was not a huge announcement year, even for the "Big Three" of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The Microsoft press conference (video clips here), at least, had a great live performance of the Halo theme to kick it off, and some hilarious moments with Peter Moore accidentally pausing Rock Band midsong. Hey, it happens to the best of us. Nintendo had a few new controllers to show off, as well as the promise of great games on the horizon (hooray for Mario Kart and Brain Age 2!), as well as the unveiling of Wii Fit! The most surprising moment for me came during that Nintendo briefing: they were showing a video montage of Web clips about the Wii and the Nintendo DS, and suddenly I appeared, 20 feet tall, babbling on about the DS in a Prizefight clip! Ironically, the DS lost that battle, but things were a lot different back then!

The winner of that episode, the Sony PSP, was the main topic of the Sony briefing yesterday. It's getting a slight redesign, and the ability to output high-quality video. Not bad, I guess, but definitely not Earth-shattering.

And that was truly the general feel at the conference this year--nothing too explosive, mostly upgrades to existing products, or confirmation of titles that we already knew were coming. But if you want to see the things that were pretty neat, check out my video wrap-up of the show here.

Also, a special thanks to Gamespot, who let me hang out at their headquarters on the Santa Monica pier (snacks and Wi-Fi rule!). And don't forget to check out all the great coverage and gaming previews on Crave.