If the battle between the big-three console makers is a heavyweight title fight, and the fight between upper-level publishers is a middleweight boxing match, then the scrapping by up-and-coming companies in Kentia Hall is akin to the hoi polloi thumb-wrestling.
We're kidding, of course. For those who have never been to E3, there's more than just the latest and greatest from familiar companies--people from all over the world represent themselves throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center. The West and South Halls are the centers of attention, hosting the major players in the business. The Concourse Hall, which lies between the two bigger halls, houses some well-known publishers and tech companies. Even the sterile smaller offices upstairs are home to important business meetings.
But deep down in the bowels of the LACC, just below South Hall, is Kentia Hall. In contrast to the dim South and West Halls, Kentia hall is bright--think high-school gymnasium bright. The flash and pizzazz from the big names upstairs stays upstairs. Kentia Hall is all about economy. And it's here that the unusual, absurd, and unknown reside. It's no wonder that it's the only hall with a full bar.
Over the years, Kentia has seen its share of innovative products, as much of the wares on display would fit right in on late-night TV infomercials--gaming done by Ron Popiel.
The Buttkicker, a motor that responds to deep frequency and thumps the bottoms of couches during a burst of fire from an SMG in Halo 2. The Pyramat, a foldable mat with a speaker imbedded in the headrest for ultimate comfort and audio immersion. It's products like these that turn heads and tempt the wallet. The Rotato is a great idea, but is it necessary?
This year's batch of products in Kentia didn't disappoint. A gun/mouse for first-person shooters, tons of old-school schwag, ping-pong simulators... It was all there. And we have the photos to prove it.