E3 2006: The final word

But while the show was undoubtedly dominated by the new consoles, PC gamers also enjoyed an incredibly strong line-up with appearances from Crysis, Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

Handhelds had mixed success, with enthusiasm for PSP being somewhat subdued. Announced, but only present at the show in trailer form, were Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Silent Hill: Origins, while Killzone: Liberation, LocoRoco and Gangs of London were all flying the flag in playable form.

Like Wii, Nintendo's DS area was constantly busy, with snaking queues building up for a chance to poke a stylus at The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and Star Fox DS.

In terms of current-gen entertainment, PS2 was the only console with any significant presence at the show and boasted a pretty decent line-up to boot. PS2 exclusives God of War II and Guitar Hero II shone, while multi-platform titles Lego Star Wars II and Destroy All Humans! 2 should reassure console owners unable to make the jump to next-gen that they won't be completely abandoned. Yet.

Microsoft did treat a handful of original Xbox consoles to an airing - although they were pretty anonymous in the grand scheme of the show - while Nintendo didn't bother to hook up any GameCubes whatsoever, so there was no opportunity to see the newly announced Super Paper Mario.

Other big games absent from the show that we were hoping would put in an appearance were Resident Evil 5, Devil May Cry 4 and Killzone.

The biggest talking point at the show was, without a doubt, Sony's failure to roll out its PS3 with any real conviction and the disappointing lack of wow-factor games for the new machine. Let's hope Sony works some magic before PS3 is launched in November.

Wii, in comparison, was on everyone's lips for the right reasons, leaving those lucky enough to play it feeling enthused and excited about Nintendo's new console.

So, that was E3 2006 in an 800 word nutshell. Completely mental, but absolutely, positively the brain-searing highlight of our year - we wouldn't miss it for the world.