E3 2011: A photographic history of the Electronic Entertainment Expo

Looking back at previous coverage of the annual Electronic Entertainment Exposition, I found several photo galleries of images cobbled together from as far back as 1999.

For the past few years I've largely left the photographic duties to our able staff photographers, who have done an excellent job of chronicling the show, but I thought it might be fun to round up some of the slideshows of personal pics that we've run previously.

Related links • E3 and the video game bubble • Dust-bunny ratings of E3 2010's high-profile game hardware • E3 2011: Our predictions • E3 2011: Complete coverageRead more

At E3, will Sony address the elephant in the room?

The E3 Expo is normally an ideal promotional event for the big three gaming hardware companies. Hordes of fans, the gaming press, and business partners hang on Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's every word at this show to hear about the new game console or game platform they'll be introducing.

But this year all that attention comes at a not-so-ideal time for Sony.

When Sony takes the stage at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Monday, it will only have been six weeks since 77 million customers of its PlayStation Network found out their personal information had been compromised … Read more

E3 2011: Our predictions

With the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo happening simultaneously with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference this year, those in the habit of making technology-announcement predictions have a big week ahead of them. We've put our collective heads together to make some forecasts, and you're welcome to play along at home and score us on how we do.

To be fair, many of these have been so reliably leaked or telegraphed that they're virtually sure bets. Others seem likely based on corroborating clues we've seen or historical precedent. We've also thrown in a final list of E3 … Read more

E3 buzz much louder this year, says Nielsen

According to media ratings and research company Nielsen, E3 is generating online buzz at a level 59 percent higher than last year. The key driver is interest in Nintendo's successor to the Wii console, which is expected to be revealed on Tuesday, June 7.

Related links • E3 and the video game bubble • Dust-bunny ratings of E3 2010's high-profile game hardware • E3 2011: Complete coverage

The buzz level was measured by counting the number of messages from blogs, Twitter, and message boards during April and May of 2010 and 2011, and Nielsen says that 22 percent of this year'… Read more

What's the dust-bunny rating of E3 2010's high-profile game hardware? (poll)

At E3 2010, we wrote that the show's usual software focus had been temporarily eclipsed by a flood of new hardware, from the Microsoft Kinect (which actually debuted a few months before at the Game Developers Conference), to the the PlayStation Move, to Nintendo's handheld 3DS console.

Since then, all three devices have been released commercially, each to great initial success and generally positive reviews. But, we've also noted, in anecdotally talking to people in and out of the industry, that a user's interest level in all three of these groundbreaking projects can drop off quickly in many cases.

Related links • E3 and the video game bubble • E3 2011: Complete coverage

Case in point: after moving to a new apartment a few months ago, neither my Kinect nor PlayStation Move have been permanently hooked up again yet (at least partially because of the logistical problems that come with using the Kinect in a small apartment). We've talked to many other gamers who also find that their hot hardware from E3 2010 is collecting dust.

The primary culprit seems to be a lack of must-play software. The number of new Kinect games slowed to a trickle almost immediately after the motion-sensing camera launched, and the same is true of the PlayStation Move (although that camera at least works with high-profile games such as Killzone 3 and SOCOM 4). The Nintendo 3DS, groundbreaking as it is, also suffers from a lack of killer apps. Big buzz games aren't here yet, nor are long-promised features, such as 3D video recording and streaming, although the built-in 3DS shop is set to go online next week.

So, our question here for you is: Of the big three hardware releases from E3 2010, the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo 3DS, which ones have you purchased but now rarely, if ever, use? … Read more

E3 retrospective: Where are they now?

The big three video game console manufacturers love to use E3 as a forum to brag, tease, and whet the appetites of gamers worldwide.

An entire year later, where do all of the promises, announcements, and hype from 2010's show stand? We've hand-picked each conference's spotlight moments and detailed the progress in a slideshow.

Evolution of the console: Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii

Six years. That's nearly how long it's been since the Xbox 360 first debuted back in the fall of 2005. The next year, the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3 followed.

Typically, new consoles emerge no later than five years after the debut of the last iteration. This generation seems to be the exception. Perhaps that's because of the ripples of a recession, but we can also credit the Wii, PS3, and 360 for being hardy, versatile consoles. In fact, looking back at what these systems were compared with what they are now, it's hard not to … Read more

E3 and the video game bubble

Even though it's supposedly an industry-only trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is an event of epic proportions for video game aficionados, as evidenced by the legions of fans who follow the show's daily announcements online, through blogs, news outlets, and (a more recent development) video feeds.

But despite its decade-plus place in the public consciousness (I've been attending since 1999), the E3 show has been to the brink of extinction more than once, and while it has pulled off a remarkable recovery over the past couple of years, there's still a chance history may repeat itself.

Related links • Rockstar Games debuts 'Pass' with L.A. Noire DLC • Nintendo DS Lite drops to $99 • E3 2011: Complete coverage

In brief, what happened was the trade show equivalent of a boom and bust cycle. Throughout the 2000s, game companies competed to outdo each other, with excessive budgets and outlandish displays, creating literal mini cities inside the Los Angeles Convention Center that easily trumped anything seen at the larger Consumer Electronics Show, which takes place in Las Vegas every January.

The trend peaked in 2006, after which the participants collectively realized that entirely too much money was being spent on the show, which had long since stopped being a place for retail buyers to make deals with publishers, and had become essentially a weeklong press conference. Simply put, the week's worth of media hits was judged to be simply not worth the investment.

At the time, the Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that runs the event, agreed to retrench, scaling down the 2007 version into what then-Entertainment Software Association President Douglas Lowenstein called a "more personal, efficient, and focused" show. E3 went from 60,000 attendees the previous year to about 4,000, and from 400 exhibiting companies to fewer than 40. E3 2008 was a similarly small affair, returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center, but keeping the small, low-cost format.… Read more

preGame 53: Call of Duty Elite; E3 2011 preview

On today's episode of preGame we'll be previewing the biggest gaming event of the year, E3! Join us along with special guest Scott Stein as we dive deep into E3 2011 predictions, anticipated games, and more previews than you can handle; from the Wii 2 to the NGP, and everything in between.

We'll also have an in-depth conversation about today's announcement from Activision regarding Call of Duty Elite. This brand-new premium service will enhance the online multiplayer experience by leaps and bounds. But is it worth a premium price?

All this and much more on this … Read more

Most-anticipated games from E3 2010

E3 is finished, wacky motion controllers and all, but the summer is just starting. In a few months, the holiday season will begin--and with it, companies will release an avalanche of games. While E3 presents a heck of a lot of glitz, promises, and hype, a handful of games always manage to emerge that excite us and give us hope for the gaming year ahead.

Could we have done with a lot fewer sequels? Most definitely. Do we wish Microsoft and Sony hadn't spent so much time hawking motion technology at the show? Undoubtedly. But we still found ourselves … Read more