But a clever game demo raises more questions than it answers, and this year's entries are instigating their share of of enigmas. For starters…
What's in that cube in Curiosity?
After leaving Microsoft, video game industry legend Peter Molyneux moved on to his independent venture 22 Cans. Yesterday, Molyneux announced 22 Cans first "experiment", a puzzle app called "Curiosity".
Basically, "Curiosity" has players chip away at a big black cube that's floating in a white room. There's a tactical element and something about words that appear as you progress, but details are thin. There's also a Matrix-green glow that appears just beneath the surface of the cube.
In an Interview with Spike TV, Molyneux hinted at a massively multiplayer component to "Curiosity".
"That's when you realize it's not just you tapping away at the cube…the whole world is tapping away…and one person in the world will find out what's inside…and what is inside is so unbelievably amazing and incredible."
Onlookers seem to be hooked.
How many of these E3 2012 games are next-gen?
As usual at E3, suspected next-gen entries are showing up all over the place.
Show-stealer Watch Dogs was eerily beautiful, ran on a beefed-up PC and looked way too impeccably rendered for a current console. The game takes place in an open-action world and riffs on cyberpunk themes like surveillance and hacking. No release date has been set.
Another next-gen candidate? Star Wars 1313. The game delivered on the hype, doing as good a job as any of reducing its fans to slavering fiends. But how long will they have to wait?
A telling moment came when Star Wars 1313 Creative Director Dominic Robilliard gave Spike TV a first-look at a clip from the game. It was an action sequence. It also would've been hard to tell it apart from the CGI in the actual Star Wars movies. And it wasn't strictly cinematic. Actual gameplay.
How Amazing is Microsoft's SmartGlass?
Microsoft's press conference hit a high note when they introduced SmartGlass, a device-integrating sharing app for games, videos and browsing. They also left a lot out.
The E3 crowd was especially keen to figure out how the game integration works. Will users be able to play simultaneously on PCs and consoles? How exactly will tablets and smartphones fit into it? In Microsoft's demo, a Halo 4 player looks at a map and accepts a multiplayer request, but that didn't tell us much.
So, what do we know?
We know that mobile devices will be used to control game consoles and other entertainment media with a tap. We also know that SmartGlass will give us the potential to turn smartphones and tablets into a controller for the Xbox 360. And that it'll be supported on Apple's iPad or iPhone in addition to Microsoft tablets and phones.