: Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: May 6th

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Arnold's Press Pause and Rewind: May 6th

The All New Bite Sized E3

So this past week, the ESA revealed the floor plan for this year's E3. To be blunt, it was greeted with laughter. And expectations for the show have dwindled some more. The laughter largely came due to the size of each exhibit. The largest booths were no bigger than some of the smaller booths from previous E3s. In fact, every major publisher has a booth that is 20x20. And 20x20 is about the size of your average living room. Try to put that into perspective once more: 20 feet is about two car-lengths.

But I still have some hope. Surely, now that E3 is all about the media, and not attention whoring, that 20x20 space will actually feature what it's supposed to, right? Without enormous PR desks, without huge billboards, walls, towering columns, wrestling rings, plastic couches, and the lot...that just leaves space for the games. Each kiosk measures about two feet in width, and there are 80 feet to play with. Utilizing all of that 80 feet will allow Sony to fit 40 kiosks.

But this year, Sony will only be showing off their games, and no 3rd party titles (unlike the past). Still, factor in space between each kiosk, and an open space to walk in and out of the booth...and we could be looking at a potential to fit 25-30 standing kiosks, which is quite a bit. But Sony will only be displaying 7-10 consoles games (which require a standing kiosk) and another 5-7 games for the PSP, which don't require a standing kiosk. And instead of having three-to-five kiosks per game, there'll likely be one-to-three (depending on how high profile the game is).

Publishers like Namco will probably have less than 10 games to show off, so they'll have quite a bit of space to utilize. Really, if you consider the size, you can still fit quite a bit with it. All we need for the show is kiosks standing against walls, and enough games to make this 3000+ mile trip worth my time. After E3 2005, I practically swore off videogames for good, so I hope that this E3 goes smoothly and publishers do show up with their best on display.

Wii Will Keep It Going

I was doing a bit of work earlier today, and I came across new screenshots of Manhunt 2 inside Take-Two's/Rockstar's press site. It slipped my mind for a second that the game is also in development for the Nintendo Wii. And that made me think, could the Wii actually continue to keep the PlayStation 2 alive? So long as a newly released, fledging console like the Wii exists, it'd allow developers to port games to and from the system.

We're already seeing examples of this coming to fruition, with not just Manhunt 2, but also Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam. It's a quick and easy pay off for developers to develop something for the Nintendo Wii, and if it's successful enough, then port it over to a userbase consisting of over 100-million.

Nintendo proved that people are still willing to embrace previous generations with the long going success of the GameBoy Advance and its software. Likewise, the Nintendo DS is yet another Nintendo product that is, at its core, based on 10 year old hardware and yet it performs phenomenally in sales. If anything, it was Sony that proved that hardware isn't the most important aspect of a console; what with the PlayStation being less powerful than the Nintendo 64, and the PlayStation 2 being the weakest among the GameCube and Xbox.

And clearly Nintendo has succeeded immensely with the Ninendo Wii and its Virtual Console (an online network that lets you buy downloadable old-school titles for your Wii). Perhaps the industry will soon split into two, one that'll push the envelope of technology, and another that'll keep gaming simplified and accessible to all. We shall see...

5/6/2007 Arnold Katayev

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