E3 10: Observations from the show floor

June 17, 2010

We’ll need a few days to gather our thoughts and get you more coverage from E3 next week. In the meantime, here are a few things we noticed at this year’s show.

iPad gaming is going to be serious business. The presence this year wasn’t large, but it was coming from major publishers. EA is preparing some great games in big franchises. Sega’s second edition of Super Monkey Ball is going back to its roots, creating lots of multiplayer minigames based on classics like Warlords. Square Enix is putting RPGs on this thing. Unlike the iPhone, which is home to small, casual fare first and foremost, the iPad is much more of a device looking for a full gaming experience, and the industry noticed.

-Want a big line at your booth, but don’t have a magical new portable or motion control device with a game lineup? Give out a t-shirt. There were big lines to play the original Crazy Taxi, ModNation Racers, obscure online fantasy games and others. Of course, they also gave out shirts at the Zelda line, but that totally wasn’t necessary. (We’ll keep the shirt, though.)

-Even Nintendo wasn’t expecting the response they got to the 3DS. They haphazardly put together a big snaking line, going all around their booth, going up and down the middle multiple times, then veering over into the middle of the Zelda area for some reason before getting back to the entrance to the special demo area. It was really quite ridiculous.

Non-gaming companies are trying their best to be relevant here, but we’re not sure why they’re here at all. There are multiple car companies showing off hybrids and electric cars. There are phone companies. There’s a Quizno’s here this year…that seems strange.

-There’s less on the show floor, and more space for what’s here. Companies have moved downloadables and far-off titles out of the way to give people more access to the big fall titles. That’s fine, but we like the niche stuff.

We need to get a TV show. It’d be a lot easier getting around with PR reps at our beck and call. That seemed kind of cool. Anyone know where we can get one of those?