LOS ANGELES – The most important video game conference in the world, the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019, kicked off in the United States on Tuesday with an eye on not only the current situation of this entertainment industry but on the ambitious possibilities and future of digital entertainment.
New streaming consoles, cloud technology, growth of mobile games or e-sports (electronic sports) – some already well established in the sector and others still taking their first steps – are the main focus of the E3 2019 conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
With more than 200 exhibitors and the challenge of exceeding the 69,200 attendees of last year’s E3, event organizer Entertainment Software Association (ESA) took advantage of opening day to showcase the strength of the video game industry.
“E3 is an incredible celebration of the central role that video games play in American culture and across the globe,” ESA Chief Executive Stanley Pierre-Louis said in a statement.
“The $134.9 billion global video game industry is fueled by 2.6 billion gamers who look forward every day to the incredible creativity, innovation, and ingenuity of game developers who continually strive to bring entertaining and inspirational experiences to market for everyone,” he added.
Right from the early hours of E3 2019 there were huge queues at the stands of “Cyberpunk 2077” and “Borderlands 3,” where fans could try out these long-awaited games before they go on sale.
There were also endless queues at the “Pokémon” station, challenging the patience and passion of even the most enthusiastic gamers.
The video games universe is a huge global business featured across all types of media, from large website teams and specialized magazines to YouTubers that cover the event as they walk through the conference.
In addition to indispensable accessories such as precise controllers or headphones for the best sound experience, the E3 brings together huge amounts of merchandise such as reclining chairs, character-inspired stuffed animals and even energy drinks and vitamins.
E3 2019 kicked off Tuesday after earlier presentations by companies such as Microsoft, Nintendo, Ubisoft, Bethesda and Square Enix which gave glimpses of what is to come at the conference.
The announcement of Project Scarlett, the new console from Microsoft expected to be “four times” more powerful than Xbox One X, raised the bar for the imminent battle for dominance of the next generation of high-end consoles, a dispute which will also see the successor to the PlayStation 4 being prepared by Sony.
The absence of Sony at E3 this year has left everyone shocked, but the brand still managed to make its presence felt in many circles and forums despite not attending.
Streaming is also a recurring theme at E3, where gaming giants have spent much time trying to come up with Netflix-type models adapted to their sector: an online broadcasting service that is technologically reliable and has quality, with an affordable subscription fee and containing a catalog of attractive titles for the general public.
Microsoft, with the cloud-based Project xCloud service that will be viewed with Google’s Stadia; Bethesda with Orion technologies to optimize games for streaming; and Ubisoft with the Uplay + PC subscription platform, are the latest with relevant and recent news.
Numerous E3 stands featured virtual reality glasses and accessories, a technology that continues trying to make its way without yet having taken off completely.
Much more consolidated is the field of e-sports, which attract millions of fans around the world and has a major presence at E3.
The event will also show the synergies that the industry is generating on many fronts, with Netflix holding a special conference on video games Wednesday, and entrepreneur Elon Musk participating in a debate.