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Arnold’s Press Pause and Rewind: May 6th

The All New Bite Sized E3 So this past week, the ESA revealed the floor plan for
this year's E3. To be blunt, it was greeted with laughter. And
expectations for the show have dwindled some more. The laughter
largely came due to the size of each exhibit. The largest booths
were no bigger than some of the smaller booths from previous E3s.
In fact, every major publisher has a booth that is 20×20. And
20×20 is about the size of your average living room. Try to put
that into perspective once more: 20 feet is about two

But I still have some hope. Surely, now that E3 is all about the
media, and not attention whoring, that 20×20 space will actually
feature what it's supposed to, right? Without enormous PR desks,
without huge billboards, walls, towering columns, wrestling
rings, plastic couches, and the lot…that just leaves space for
the games. Each kiosk measures about two feet in width, and there
are 80 feet to play with. Utilizing all of that 80 feet will
allow Sony to fit 40 kiosks.

But this year, Sony will only be showing off their games, and no
3rd party titles (unlike the past). Still, factor in space
between each kiosk, and an open space to walk in and out of the
booth…and we could be looking at a potential to fit 25-30
standing kiosks, which is quite a bit. But Sony will only be
displaying 7-10 consoles games (which require a standing kiosk)
and another 5-7 games for the PSP, which don't require a standing
kiosk. And instead of having three-to-five kiosks per game, there'll likely be one-to-three (depending on how high profile the game is).

Publishers like Namco will probably have less than 10 games to
show off, so they'll have quite a bit of space to utilize.
Really, if you consider the size, you can still fit quite a bit
with it. All we need for the show is kiosks standing against
walls, and enough games to make this 3000+ mile trip worth my
time. After E3 2005, I practically swore off videogames for good,
so I hope that this E3 goes smoothly and publishers do show up
with their best on display.

Wii Will Keep It Going

I was doing a bit of work earlier today, and I came across new
screenshots of Manhunt 2 inside Take-Two's/Rockstar's press site.
It slipped my mind for a second that the game is also in
development for the Nintendo Wii. And that made me think, could
the Wii actually continue to keep the PlayStation 2 alive? So
long as a newly released, fledging console like the Wii exists,
it'd allow developers to port games to and from the system.

We're already seeing examples of this coming to fruition, with
not just Manhunt 2, but also Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam. It's a
quick and easy pay off for developers to develop something for
the Nintendo Wii, and if it's successful enough, then port it
over to a userbase consisting of over 100-million.

Nintendo proved that people are still willing to embrace previous
generations with the long going success of the GameBoy Advance
and its software. Likewise, the Nintendo DS is yet another
Nintendo product that is, at its core, based on 10 year old
hardware and yet it performs phenomenally in sales. If anything,
it was Sony that proved that hardware isn't the most important
aspect of a console; what with the PlayStation being less
powerful than the Nintendo 64, and the PlayStation 2 being the
weakest among the GameCube and Xbox.

And clearly Nintendo has succeeded immensely with the Ninendo Wii
and its Virtual Console (an online network that lets you buy
downloadable old-school titles for your Wii). Perhaps the
industry will soon split into two, one that'll push the envelope
of technology, and another that'll keep gaming simplified and
accessible to all. We shall see…

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