At E3 2018, PC gamers feel like they need their own show

The PC Gaming Show returns for its fourth year as an offsite alternative to E3.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read
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Despite being the biggest event of the year devoted to video games of all styles and genres, PC gaming still feels like a bit of an outsider inside the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center. 

Even Microsoft , the company with the OS that powers the vast majority of computer gaming, gave PC games only a passing mention during its E3 press event, and even then, only in the context of games like Halo Ultimate and Gears of War 5 getting PC ports alongside the Xbox One versions. 

That's why I trekked across town to the historic Wiltern Theater, an art deco LA landmark. Despite being a good 15-minute drive away from E3 show, the 1,800-seat theater was about two-thirds full, impressive considering in previous years The PC Gaming Show was just a few blocks from the Convention Center. 

Highlights included cool-looking indie games like Neo Cab, as well as a 1,000-player battle royale game called Mavericks Proving Ground


Neo Cab tells a futuristic story through dialogue. 

Chance Agency

Some classic franchises made appearances, like Star Control, Killing Floor and other fan favorites that are unlikely to get any stage time from the big E3 press conferences.

One of my favorite developers of engaging narrative games (like the Sherlock Holmes series and the new Vampyr) showed off a game not seen anywhere else. Frogware's The Sinking City sends players searching for clues amid a very Lovecraftian spooky town.  


Get your Cthulhu on in The Sinking City. 


The surprise crowd favorite was Man Eater, an "open-world shark RPG," where you play a human-chomping shark, with upgradable abilities such as bigger teeth. 

And that's why I'll continue to venture over to the PC Gaming Show year after year. It's been open to fans far longer than the main E3 show (and for free), and it's a great place to see both new indie games and classic gaming companies that would easily get lost in the massive hit-driven halls of E3. 

Biggest games of E3 2018

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E3 2018: Everything you need to know

E3 2018 coverage at CNET: All of our E3 2018 coverage in one place.

Watch this: E3 2018 preview

E3 2018 coverage at GameSpot: Wall-to-wall coverage of the show from our sister site, GameSpot.

E3 2018 coverage at Giant Bomb: Still more commentary and news from E3, from our colleagues at Giant Bomb.