THE VERDICT IS IN ON E3’s 2009 EXPO
E3, the world’s biggest video game expo - held this year in Los Angeles - is history. And as the dust settles, all reports are that the premiere marketing and preview event for the video gaming industry was able to get back to its roots and regain some of its former glory. The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo opened its doors to over 40,000 attendees from 78 countries. On display were the latest video and computer games, as well as all the electronic gadgets needed to access this virtual digital wonderland. This year’s high-profile gathering, hosted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), was deemed a success by industry insiders following less than stellar reports in recent years when the expo was split into a consumer expo as well as an industry gathering and stodgy think-tank.
Taking advantage of rapidly growing interest in sub-compact computers and smart phones, as well as Nintendo’s phenomenally successful Wii franchise, those who were brave enough to trek through the crowed exhibition halls were treated to eye-popping displays and remarkable product innovations. The most unlikely event staged during E3 took place during Microsoft’s June 1 press conference when Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, the last surviving members of the The Beatles were trotted out during the company’s announcement of the September 9 release of THE BEATLES™ ROCK BAND™ video game for Microsoft’s XBOX 360. Also on hand for the kick off were Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono Lennon, the widows of George Harrison and John Lennon. The game, which features a broad selection of hits from The Beatles’ classic songbook, will also be available for Sony’s PLAYSTATION 3 and the Wii platforms.
Not to be left out of the party, Apple Computer’s latest cellphones - the IPhone and IPod Touch were also well represented at the expo. The relative success of video games and various apps that have been introduced for the IPhone in the short time since its launch did not go unnoticed by many key gaming industry leaders.
All things considered, the future looks bright for the video game industry as consumers are being offered a wide selection of video games as well as needed updates for game systems in an attempt by developers and manufacturers to find business opportunities in this very tight economic market environment.