E3 2008: Show floor show-and-tell

Publishers put their wares out for all to play in LACC's Concourse Hall; attendees flock to Resistance 2, Wii Music, and Fable II.

SIDEBAR: E3 2008 moved back to the Los Angeles Convention Center from Santa Monica this year, and it apparently brought the Barker Hangar show floor with it.

LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2 anchored Sony's booth.

As with last year's convention, show management imposed guidelines on participating publishers' displays. Each company's "booth" consisted of a handful of identical kiosks with simple signs and plain logo banners hanging overhead, and no publisher was allowed more than 20 feet by 20 feet of floor space.

Where last year's cavernous airplane hangar setting made the show floor seem emptier than it actually was, this year's exhibit space is set in the LACC's significantly cozier Concourse Hall. The room is made to appear even smaller by a series of partitions walling off about one-third of the show's participants into a narrow (and easily missed) corridor at the back of the hall.

Koji Igarashi, seen in the wild.

Even so, the show floor wasn't exactly crowded. There was very little waiting to play most of the games, and attendees generally had room to try out even the most energy-intensive of Wii games without fear of accidentally pummeling their fellow show-goers.

The first thing visitors saw upon entering the hall was Nintendo's booth, where gamers could go hands-on with Wii Music, Wii Sports Resort, and Animal Crossing: City Folk. While the focus of both Nintendo and the visitors to its booth was on that trio, a handful of DS games were also on display, including Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, and Rhythm Heaven.

That guy looks familiar...

Just to the left of the entrance, Sony likewise showed off some of its biggest games. Resistance 2, Killzone 2, and LittleBigPlanet were all playable, as were MotorStorm: Pacific Rift and the downloadable offering Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty. Rounding out the big three, Microsoft let gamers go hands-on with a few of its featured titles, including Fable II, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. However, Gears of War 2 was noticeably absent, and the Xbox Live dashboard update and avatar system were only present in video form.

Attendees typically didn't have to wait long to go hands-on.

The biggest Xbox 360 game of the show--the just-announced Final Fantasy XIII--was also nowhere to be found. The game wasn't at Square Enix's booth in any form either, although the role-playing game publisher did have playable versions of the upcoming Infinite Undiscovery for Xbox 360. RPG fans on the go could also check out DS remakes of Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy IV, and Chrono Trigger.

From the rest of the publishers, there were a few eyebrow-raising offerings. Akella had an early playable build of Postal III (complete with "badger saw" weapon), EA had Crytek's Crysis: Warhead and Pandemic's Lord of the Rings: Conquest out to try, and Sega showcased Gas Powered Games' Space Siege.

Partial representation wasn't uncommon.

Even with limited exhibit sizes, many exhibitors left kiosk space empty. While most major publishers opted for the full-size booths, a handful of big names like Capcom, Square Enix, and Take-Two Interactive were content with significantly smaller parcels of the floor.

For more from the show floor, check out GameSpot's extensive E3 coverage.

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Discussion

26 comments
Hungry_bunny
Hungry_bunny

It would have been awesome to be there in person even without all the craziness of 2006.

Pete5506
Pete5506

This year was a little smaller then last but it still had good info

Vulpis
Vulpis

It's easy to fit your display into the small space..if you don't really care that much about the show. Want to bet they'll be showing off a lot more stuff at other shows like PAX?

psp8976
psp8976

only 6? i got 7 of them

yaddy1
yaddy1

Only 6? I got 10!

Dill-Man
Dill-Man

Haha, I like that picture of Alex Navarro, super funny

trace5019
trace5019

That was one load of updates i just got O.o

Immortalsaiyan
Immortalsaiyan

@star777241 The same thing happened to me i got 6 updates all about this one acticle yet the games were only mentioned as being at the show nothing more

Galadreil782
Galadreil782

@Star77241 : I agree , I cam here expecting some Animal Crossing and Fable stuff, but it was mentioned once. Oh well, atleast we learned a little more about E3 ! :)

Fire_of_Contee
Fire_of_Contee

@wyzemann They won't wait a whole year. They will show FF XIII at TGS this year since it will be quite a bit further along then and the main audience for FF titles reside in Japan. It makes a lot more sense to do that.

wyzemann
wyzemann

No FFXIII because it's not yet fully "marketable" at the stage in the game. So, Square Enix will likely await next year's E3 for a proper hands-on/hype session. Until then continue salivating over loose rumors and played out FMV trailers kids.

cooldude03
cooldude03

It's really surprising on how much they can fit into this small regulated space.

itwiz90
itwiz90

I had my doubts at first, but I need something a little different and fun in my game library and I think I'll give it a try.

itwiz90
itwiz90

OK, so now what do we do, wait and see or pray and hope

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

That's Alex Navarro!!!!! It looks about the same size as last year, but I still wish that I was there. This E3 was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

aikimagicjedi
aikimagicjedi

@wonka: WTF did you download? There's no more than 10 decent games to get from the VC ? @star77241: Yes there's space! each page has 16 slots and there's 4 pages at least But indeed Nintendo's line up is dissapointing at this point - I am heading for a PS3.

grambyte
grambyte

Still silently hope it will change back to the old format.

star77241
star77241

I think GameSpot needs to revise what is considered an update. I got an update for this under Animal Crossing. It's mentioned once and no new info. I didn't need to read this. @wonka: You can't have 48 titles, other slots are taken up the disc channel and other default menu channels.

metalkid9
metalkid9

WE NEED MORE INFO ON POSTAL 3!

korpdawg
korpdawg

Wow, you guys sure have a great job. Nice work!

wwonka666
wwonka666

Wow, Show and Tell us how sucky the Wii's lineup is. One Wii for sale. Has 48 Virtual Console titles on it. Make an offer.