Spike Invades E3 2009!

June 3, 2009

A few moments after I stepped through the double doors of the South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center, I paused for a moment to respond to a friend's text message who was wondering what E3 was like. I thought for a second, and responded, "You know those sensory deprivation tanks, where you're isolated from all outside stimulus? E3 is exactly the opposite of that."

Never before in my life have I had so many huge, bright, thunderous, and awesome things jockeying for my attention simultaneously. If I found myself growing restless at one booth, I could just move about three feet in one direction or another and end up in a completely different world.


Would this world be helmed by sexy nurses, or giant robots? Would they be slaying demons with electric guitars, or driving a V-spec Nissan GTR down the backstretch of Laguna Seca? Only one way to find out.

It appears the war of one-upsmanship between companies isn't going anywhere any time soon, and every time I thought a "booth" couldn't get any more outlandish or "spectacular", I stumbled upon a 800-inch screen showcasing cinematics so crisp that it wasn't immediately clear if I was watching a Sin City-style movie or a cut scene from a new game. And you could just as easily turn another corner and run into something like Sony's multi-floored installation, complete with VIP lounge, dance floor, cocktail bar and conference room -- essentially a building within a building.


So I soaked in as much as possible, taking note of the noteworthy, lingering just a little too long at the booths for games like God of War III, Brutal Legend, Uncharted 2, and Need for Speed: Shift (of course, the fact that EA was running a contest for a new BMW M3 based on the leaderboards for lap times at the booth probably contributed to that).


This year's E3, though perhaps more low key in nature than previous years, shows quite a bit of promise for the upcoming months. I think we'd all agree that the jury is still out on the usefullness and/or "fun factor" when it comes to the new motion control devices presented by both Sony and Microsoft.

Regardless of whether or not these new devices in particular end up garnering real merit, it's good to see innovations spurred from competition from companies with out-of-the-box thinking.

A heart meter though? That might be a tough sell.