May is here again, and with the arrival of allergy season comes the mother of all video game shows, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Now in its ninth year, E3 will be taking place in lavish Los Angeles at the L.A. Convention Center, from May 14th to 16th. Everyone who's anyone in the world of video games will descend upon the City of Angels to show off the games that we're going to be playing over the next year and beyond, and RPGamer will be on site to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on impressions you could possibly ask for.
The video game industry is in a rather different situation compared to last year, with each of the three major consoles having reached maturity, with a sizeable installed base. This is likely the time that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are thinking about hardware price cuts, to draw in the gamers out there that have yet to take the plunge. Most of the big name developers have put out some of their next-gen games, though we are still awaiting the debut of several long-standing RPG franchises. We are also faced with an oncoming wave of sequels to series both new and old.
On the PC side of things, many publishers are readying MMORPGs, which are going to have to vie for the limited number of willing subscribers, while others are making sure that the single player experience lives on. This year will also probably see the announcement of several cell phone games, which will attempt to shoulder in on the handheld market currently dominated by the Game Boy Advance. Nintendo's palm-sized powerhouse is the fastest selling console to date, and it is proving to be a haven for quality RPGs.
Unfortunately, E3 is a trade show, which means that the public is cruelly excluded. To remedy this, a number of staffers will be keeping journals of their experiences, allowing you to savor the sensory overload through our eyes and ears. It might not be possible for everyone to attend the show (even though the halls sometimes feel like they are all there), but hopefully this will be the next best thing. We will be posting plenty of images from the expo, showing off the games themselves and also the mayhem contained within the capacious halls.
While there are still just under two weeks to go until the official start of the expo, we already have our dedicated E3 page up and running, which you can find right here.
Below is a list of RPGs that have been confirmed to appear at this year's E3. The list is not yet complete, as several publishers have yet to finalize their line-ups, so we'll be adding to it regularly as the show approaches.