The Mall made it’s first trip to E3 in LA last week via the human form of our CEO, Eoghan O’ Sullivan. All in the name of business he got to spend some time in LA in the sun, hang out with Orcs and play with the coolest new games and VR experiences on planet Earth right now. Below is a summary of what he got up to and what he thinks the whole thing means for our existence!
First impressions – E3 is BIG! The whole show is housed in the LA Convention Center and a few surrounding buildings so there’s a lot of ground to cover between he expo halls and the E-Sports venues – which by the way was a huge theme. ESports are clearly where the next huge global sports boom is going to be.
And it needs to be, the stands are absolute off the charts big. Dragons abound, monsters are everywhere and luxury cars are stuffed into every tight corner. The big guys – Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo, as well as the big game publishers like Activision, Bethesda and Warner Brothers all had gigantic stands of their own to fit in. Who says throwing money at it doesn’t work?
The size and amount of stands didn’t do anything for queue times however. The place was a mecca for standing in line – never before have I seen so many people blissfully standing in line for hours on end to get a first play of a new game. Wasn’t for me!
I did get to see some pretty cool stuff however. There was the private demo of the new Xbox One X – which was pretty mind blowing. As someone who trained as a 3D animator I couldn’t believe how far we have come, to have real world lighting, shadows and volumetrics all rendering at an insane 60 FPS and a native 4K resolution. I am pretty sure that’s more than real life does in real time! There were some cool demos of the new Gears of War, Forza and Minecraft. That said even though the new design is nice and slim – i thought they might have tried something a little more revolutionary rather than evolutionary when it came to the new Xbox One X shape. For something that is such a huge technical jump, packaging it in the same package, just smaller, seems a little dull.
I also managed to get to see some weird purple guys doing some sort of insane breakdance routine in the midday heat, a pretty mental Jennifer Aniston lookalike dancing with a giant tomato and a selfie with an Orc and what looks like a human hand. Not bad for a couple of days work!
Conclusion. E3 is probably not going to save the world from over population, climate change, the dwindling of the Earth’s resources and the ever looming potential for nuclear conflict, in fact it very may well help to accelerate all of the above. What it does do is prove that we are going to have a hell of a lot of fun while all that happens, with computing power now getting to the stage where what you see on screen is starting to resemble what you see in the real world, where microchips are now emulating the real world physics that we operate in every day, making for environments that are incredibly realistic to interact with. I for one will be doing it all over again next year – sign me up for E3 ’18!!