E3: Day 2- The Expo begins

The second day of E3 also marks the first day of the exhibit floor. Here is a summary of the sessions that I went to and what was on the floor's three concourses along with what I expect to be going back to on the third day.

Conference sessions

This year's show isn't as compelling as last year. First, I'm not sure I'll bother to attend the conference sessions next year. GDC is a much more informative conference for developers and marketers in comparison, although it's still nice to see "Lord British", who is much harder to find at the developer's conference.

I attended three conference sessions, covering topics including MMOG trends, techniques in being and using freelancers, and wrapping up with an interview with John Carmack.

After the conference sessions, I hit the floor, which was, for the most part, a disappointment. Most of this years new stuff was previewing last year, or looked identical to what was being seen last year. I understand where the retailers and marketeers (at whom this show is really aimed) will be encouraged by the large group of new titles coming out, but for me, I find the repetitive nature of the games being shown to be a disappointment.

On the MMORPG front, I saw no fewer than five of them (all PC-based) that looked just like every other MMORPG that is currently on the market. As one example, I stopped by a booth showing a game called "Wish!". The guy pitching it was nice enough (although his rote style for the introduction was robotic), but when I asked him why the game was any different from anything else, he said "Well, it's truly massive, you can have over 10,000 players in the same world at the same time." To this, I thought back to a discussion at the GDC about human's ability to remember and communicate with other people being locked at about 150 and pondered if these guys will even make a launch.

Peripherals weren't very exciting either. There were lots of CD cleaning machines (presumedly aimed at folks doing games/DVD rentals or disk production), tons of companies making nearly-identical wireless controllers for XBox and PS/2.

All told, the only really exciting thing on the floor was a demo copy of America's Army, which looked very cool, and Doom 3, which will be awesome when it finally releases.

Off the floor, it was great to see Apple at the show. We couldn't find them last year, but this year they were here in force, and with sushi and give-away graphics cards.