What is E3? It is the Electronic Entertainment Expo (three E’s... Get it..?)
It is the largest annual games (traditional console) convention designed to be a launch pad and showcase of the newest upcoming games and hardware. It has a focus on investors and media with all the noise and lights you would expect from this industry (luckily they toned down the noise in recent years so you can hear yourself speak).
This year’s E3 has the title of 'Innovation Unveiled'. Well what could that be I hear you ask?
Will there really be new technology to breathe life in to the 'traditional' console/download market?
What will arrive to demonstrate the 'fight-back' against casual, mobile, and social gaming.
Should it even be a fight-back or is it that some companies need to show a little more fight?
The world of gaming and interactive entertainment has boomed in the last five years and many in the industry have never known a time quite like this with so much opportunity.
Just like many occasions in the past it is more about evolving than fighting and this industry as a whole, including its major hardware and software stakeholders have generally found themselves very adept at adapting to these lifecycles.
This current period naturally has the complexity of download at its heart but the principles are no different than before.
One thing that is different, however, is you now cannot rely on a piece of hardware to continually determine the lifecycles and transitions of games and gaming in somewhat of a 'controlled' process.
That may to some be a scary prospect, but to any licensor or indeed licensee, the access to the consumer has actually become a lot easier than it was with more options than before.
Over recent years the gaming systems available to distribute content to the masses have become so much more user friendly and more and more people are playing games. This will also improve further in the next 12 months.
We all know the marketplaces from iOS to Facebook and beyond but this show will focus on the Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo market and their suppliers and what they have in the mix as we approach this new dawn for the business, with suddenly the majority of the global population integrating with games and gaming.
So what should we expect to see?
Well in all honesty there is too much to cover in the words we have available. So here are some pointers:
Will Nintendo really be able to demonstrate the download meets retail concept it has been working on. Will we all 'get it'? We will certainly get the expanded Wii U demonstrations.
Will Sony deliver something outstanding that brings what should be a market leading position across TV and gaming to bear? It won’t be Playstation 4. It may just be Vita again.
Will Microsoft continue to demonstrate they are slightly one step ahead of their nearest rivals? It won’t be XBOX 720.
Will there be a partnership between Apple and one other major player in the market announced?
In all honesty, some people might be looking to the heavens and wondering what is happening. The risk is from a hardware tech perspective that there will not be anything 'new'. But don’t worry, that will be the people contemplating next year and the cloud concepts of this year.
For all you licensors and licensees out there, there will be plenty of games and creativity to benchmark new opportunities.
The audience is growing as is the accessibility, but remember creativity and distribution will ultimately be king again when it comes to your opportunities for branded content.
Amalgamating technical innovation, gameplay, branding, and distribution remains the holy grail in this marketplace. If you want long-term success it is worth putting long-term thought in to your digital gameplay offerings on a consistent basis.
Take the time to get it right and your game experiences for your brand will unveil your innovation.
E3 is ultimately the place to spot games, get hands on, sense trends and see where the opportunities might be.
Outside of that serious stuff it is an all out in your face event with everything you would expect. Big Booths, Big Press, Big Games, and Big Booty (yes lots of freebies flying around). You will see everything from t-shirts, to jackets, posters, games, toys, hardware, and of course food and drink (not too much alcohol of course).
That is E3. Fun. An intriguing mix of big business and big noise.