Same again next year?
We don't think the future of E3 depends on whether we - the gaming press - get tired feet and scrambled brains, but rather on the exhibitors and their willingness to support the event. Was it really a coincidence that the major players effectively strong-armed the ESA into downsizing in the same year that Sony had a disastrous show that produced nothing but negative press for the PlayStation 3? If we see a similar situation arise at the first E3 Media & Business Summit, we don't expect the event to survive. Simple as that. However, as long as the Big Boys (Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Activision etc.) continue to support E3 in some capacity, there will always be a show.
Certainly the mission to make E3 a more intimate affair should succeed (at least if your definition of “intimate” is ten people in a small hotel room crowded around a single screen) and the general moans that accompanied the show in more recent years should be silenced, although this will only be a good thing if they aren't replaced with a long list of new gripes. Of course, another thing to consider in terms of relevance for all gaming events is the rise of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network - with such effective platforms to share demos far more inclusively than ever before amongst the gaming masses, there's less of an incentive for game makers to lavish oodles of cash on events and clamor for more attention than their rivals. In addition - and since the evolution of E3 was announced - we've already seen a significant increase in the number of showcase events being hosted by single publishers. And with the guaranteed coverage this kind of shindig provides, we expect that these focused events will become more commonplace in the future.
Of course, by the end of the week, we'll have a solid idea of whether the show really can go on. Rest assured that we'll bring you our opinion just as soon as we've had a sit down and a nice cup of tea.