E3 was the arena that gave a glimpse of the future of gaming, from Sony's announcement of PlayStation at the first ever event in 1995 to being able to play PS3 and Wii for the first time at this year's show. Those days are more than likely over.
For 11 years, E3 was the centre of everyone's world. So what now? Microsoft told us, "We're supportive of the decision taken by the ESA. At this time we have no information to announce regarding Microsoft at E3." The response from Nintendo was slightly more positive: "Nintendo will be involved in the E3 expo next year. We are making no further comments at this time."
And, talking the Wall Street Journal this week, Electronic Arts spokesperson Tammy Schachter claims that "the industry has gotten to a place where we can afford to have more intimate or more private meetings in different types of settings".
So, no longer the high-action, booth-babe-stuffed light-fantastic we know and love (and loathe...), the new E3, tentatively titled the E3 Media Festival, will take place in two LA hotels in July 2007. And it will have a target audience of just 5,000, compared to the 70,000 people who attended E3 2005. We'll have more on the E3 debacle as it develops.