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E3: Day Zero

Welcome to sunny Los Angeles. Thunderbolt Games is here for E3, baby. Lovely girls and terrifying homeless fill the streets. The smell of burritos permeates through the air. We’ve made the pilgrimage to L.A. to attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo. We registered for the event yesterday and made attempts to explore the convention center early but we were (politely) thrown out.

This is our first trip to the conference. Yes, we sadly missed out on the days of 50,000 sweaty patrons filing through the gates to gawk at booth babes and attempt to touch Shigeru Miyamoto. E3 as it is now is supposed to be strictly business, so we have a lot of work on our plates over the next couple of days.

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While there were a few conferences today, most of our real work begins tomorrow with Nintendo’s Hollywood press conference at the historic Kodak Theatre. I’ve already received text messages from Nintendo telling me to be prepared to see their new Wii MotionPlus accessory, so I imagine that that we’ll get a good glimpse of that in action. I just hope that I don’t start getting drunken text messages from Nintendo reps.

Following our Nintendo meeting, we have a sit-down meeting with the makers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Skies. Once we’re done, we’ll then rush over to meet with Warner Bros. to play a bit of Project Origin and Lego: Batman. After we get some lunch (cheap burritos on the street, most likely), we’ve been invited to attend Ubisoft and Capcom’s press conferences. Although Activision has left the ESA, they’re still in Los Angeles to put on a show and a cocktail reception, both of which we’ll be attending.

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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Skies
We’ll be spending most of Wednesday covering some smaller companies that you might not otherwise hear about. We’ll also be meeting with representatives from Sega and Atari throughout the day, plus browsing the show floor. We hope to hit up every booth and hand out our Thunderbolt business cards. They look real nice.

Thursday morning will be eventful as we wake up early to play the new Tomb Raider game. After spending another couple of hours on the show floor, we head back upstairs to sit down and play some of Fallout 3. Our final meeting on Thursday is one we’re eagerly anticipating with Gamecock. We hear that they’re quite zany over there.

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Tomb Raider: Underworld
Today was busy with major announcements. Final Fantasy XIII is headed to the Xbox 360, which surprised everyone. Additionally, Microsoft has worked out a deal with Netflix to stream videos to the console. Hopefully the service is more robust than the meager offerings that PC users have. There was new Gears of War II and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts footage to be watched. Gears of War II looks a lot more open and less-restrictive than the previous game and Banjo-Kazooie heavily emphasizes user creation.

EA announced a new micro-transaction system for Sims 2 in another effort to cash-in on their award-winning franchise. A trailer was shown off for The Sims 3. We also got some new pics of Crysis: Warhead and DeadSpace, both included below. And of course, the talk of the conference was Spore. While user creations were celebrated, no real mention was made of the many phallic-shaped creations. There were also shots and fact sheets released on all of their staple franchises, but no real major shocks, except Bill Walton, legendary L.A. Lakers star showing up. And a sexy female golfer. We aren’t sure who, but she was sexy.

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Crysis: Warhead
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DeadSpace
The real E3 begins tomorrow and we’ll be there. Be sure to check back with us continuously throughout the conference to get all the news you’ll need. Meanwhile, we’ll be busy with the LA lifestyle and reporting on all the games we see. Until next time….

Anthony Karge contributed to this feature.

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in February 2003.

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