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By 6 June 2014 | Categories: feature articles

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Pippa will be following this year’s E3 gaming expo closely, but from the comfort of her desk.

With E3 (10-12 June) fast approaching, the sense of anticipation that always rears its head at this time is at its absolute pinnacle. Interestingly, I’m not (too) sad that I’m not attending this year. I managed to attend an absolute epic E3 in 2013, with new consoles on show and announcements flying back and forth like there was no tomorrow. It was exhausting and exhilarating, and exhausting and… did I mention exhausting? This is not to say that I wasn’t excited about attending - E3 is the kind of experience that every games journalist should have at least once in their lifetime, especially if they belong to foreign media, because one thing that can be said for Americans – they know how to put on a show!

In-your-face

That said, there’s a very in-your-face quality about it that is, by the end of the third day, utterly overwhelming and the thought of being bombarded by yet another stage show is honestly quite off-putting. The queues to play the games on show (remember this is a trade show, journalists only, not members of the public) are insanely long, and even if you’re lucky enough (as I was) to have a series of one-on-one interviews lined-up with developers, you’ll still find that their answers are mostly stock standard PR talk. By contrast the indie developer corner of the floor was a hub of open, friendly people who couldn’t wait to show off all the aspects of their game, talk about the problems they had getting things to work and hand out their business cards.

And now for 2014

Although I don’t think E3 2014 has quite the same air of anticipation about it (last year was about hardware, this year there’s a software focus), there are still some big announcements, and of course the usual predictions floating around that many of us are looking forward to. Microsoft for example has some big ground to cover in the race to match Sony and the PS4. Sales of the Xbox One, not yet even released in South Africa, aren’t doing nearly as well as they anticipated, and Sony is sitting with a comfortable lead in that regard. No doubt Sony will be showing off plenty of pretty PS4 titles, and the big question is whether Microsoft will be able to present anything that is likely to draw gamers towards them.

Nintendo isn’t even holding a press conference this year and rumours are flying thick and fast as to what this means for the brand. Will they work on improving the experience of their existing market? Or are they finally admitting they need to undergo significant changes in order to be able to compete? If so what will those changes be? There are projections that Zelda Wii U will be making its debut, but again, we work only on conjecture.

All this combined with a whole host of titles from EA (more Dragon Age Inquisition I hope!) and Ubisoft, Bethesda, Activision… the list goes on. No I’m not going, but I’ll be keeping an eye on my news feeds from the comfort of my desk.

By: Pippa Tshabalala

Picture: Adriaan Louw from we-are-awesome.com

Makeup artist: Natasha Carstens.

Article first appeared in TechSmart 129, June 2014.

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