I Survived 2010’s E3

This week thousands of game industry insiders (and a few outsiders) met in Los Angeles, California for the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo. Running from June 15th through the 17th, it was three days full of giant convention displays filled by equally giant videogame companies showing off both their latest releases, as well as upcoming game titles and hardware.

I was there in the middle of the gaming chaos to help with coverage for this month’s online issue of Best Buy On. Helping to cover the show with photos and articles meant a lot of running around the convention floor, which can be a lot of work, but it also meant I was pretty much guaranteed to see just about every part of the show floor. I even had a number of opportunities to stop and talk with the smaller companies who came with hopes of attracting new fans to their products, as well as see some “unique” hardware accessories that were shown along with the big show stoppers.

Even though it was my first time at E3, I had a blast, and can’t wait until next year. In the meantime, check out the rest of the Best Buy On E3 coverage.

Gaming Like it’s 1999

There’s a thread going on the QuatertoThree games forum about “PC games that are a decade old this year.”

1999 was a strong year for PC games, as evidenced by this short list compiled in the thread:

  • Counterstrike
  • Everquest
  • Freespace 2
  • Jane’s F/A-18
  • Jane’s USAF
  • Planescape: Torment
  • Quake III
  • SWAT 3
  • Starfleet Command (I & II)
  • System Shock 2
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Tony Hawk
  • Unreal Tournament
  • X-Wing Alliance

There are plenty of memories for PC gamers in that list. Unreal Tournament was a personal favorite of mine, as it was something of an underdog before release. Most of the gaming community thought id Software’s Quake III Arena was going to completely dominate the online multiplayer FPS market that year, but Epic Games really surprised a lot of people by having so many unique (read: non-deathmatch) game types available for online play.

It was also a time where 3D graphics cards blossomed as Nvidia and ATI finally took the market from 3dfx. The Voodoo line of cards were eyeopeners when they first appeared, but the company just didn’t keep up with the changing demands of the industry. At the least, I was happy to see their proprietary Glide API lose ground to Direct3D and OpenGL.

Yes, it was a very good year for PC gamers.

Staying Home on a Friday Night

I had another Geek Squad blog entry posted today, based on the growing number of people who are spending more on their HDTVs and home theater systems in order to save money otherwise spent at the movie theater.

Doing some quick calculations in the back of my mind, I could easily see the claims from my friends about how a night out at the movies could easily cost a family of 4 nearly $75, and that’s not including the cost of industrial strength solvent you always end up needing to remove your shoes from the theater floor at the end of the movie.

You can read more about the The Geekonomics of Staying Home to Watch a Movie on the Geek Squad Blog.