OK, so what’s cooler than Ayumi Hamasaki, Gackt, BoA and Hilary Duff combined??? You’re right, nothing; but, the annual E3 show held in Los Angeles, CA comes pretty darn close and in case you haven’t noticed it’s just around the bend. As many of you know, E3 is the biggest event for the video game industry each and every year. It’s a convention of astronomical proportion where attendees gather from all over the world and have just one thing on their collective mind: video games.

This year, I’m sad to say, I won’t be making the holy journey to LA with my CVG colleagues. So, what’s this editorial about? Well, a bit about this year’s show and a way for me to express my regret at not being able to attend. The thing about E3 is this: it has just about anything a gamer could want. It’s got the hottest games in development right now, tons and tons of dazzling neon lights, expensive yet subpar food, loud music, industry bigwigs and of course booth babes. What’s not to love? This year’s show promises to be one of the best in recent memory as we’ll get a glimpse of the next generation consoles and possibly a few sweet, sweet tidbits of video or gameplay from next gen titles. The Xbox 360 and PS 3 are sure to be at the show, even if behind closed doors. Nintendo may also surprise us, though I can’t say I’ve heard much in the way of what their plans are for unveiling their next console.

You can bet I’m looking forward to checking out all the next gen consoles, but let’s not be so hasty that we forget about the here and now. Plenty of amazing games will be coming out on the systems we currently have next to our televisions and we’d be fools to overlook them. What are some of the big titles hitting E3? Well, the PS 2 will most likely have Final Fantasy XII standing tall in its corner along with other sure-to-be hits like Soul Caliber 3, Phantasy Star Universe, The Suffering 2 and Sly 3. Oh, and let’s not forget a host of PSP titles as well. Should be a great show for Sony overall.

Of course, Microsoft and Nintendo aren’t just going to let Sony waltz in and claim the show; have you ever watched Sony attempt to waltz? It’s something like a massive stone golem tripping over roots and fairies, yes those little chaps with wings and wands. Microsoft should do well with their display of Fear Factor: Unleashed֨a ha, just joking; but honestly, it looks as though the big MS is focusing on showing off Xbox 360 and its titles more than anything else. Titles like the long-awaited Perfect Dark Zero and Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland should be enough to pull some of the spotlight off Sony. And as MS isn’t one to leave things to chance, I’m sure we’ll be getting a glimpse of the next generation of Xbox Live.

Nintendo will do what they do best and focus on first party software. Honestly, who can blame them when they will be showing off the new Legend of Zelda game for the GameCube. Let’s face it; that could very well be THE game to watch at this year’s convention. Other than that, Nintendo will probably put a strong emphasis on the DS and the ever-popular Game Boy.

The big third parties should have plenty of stuff to show off as well. You can expect EA’s usual slew of annual games to make an appearance including Madden NFL 06 (w00t!), NHL 2006 and even the next installment in the SSX series. Capcom, Namco and others should also have a nice showing with games for all platforms.

Yes sir, this year is shaping up to be a blast and we should all be looking forward to it. No matter how many predictions or assumptions you make, E3 always brings a surprise or two with it and I can’t wait to see what this year holds. Oh, and Kaleb, you are officially in charge of getting pictures of the Tecmo girls for this year as I am not going to be present to handle the duties myself. I saw that new camera you got, and you should make good use of it.

By Ryan Schaefer – 05/15/05

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