The Mad Gamer
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Game has changed at E3

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E3, the gaming industry's major annual event kicks off in Santa Monica this week - but the game has changed.
A backlash over the massive Electronic Entertainment Expo began last year.
Major publishers decided the huge money needed to showcase their wares to impress thousands of gaming journalists and industry people wasn't worth it - much like the cut-backs in costs for movie producers now getting their scripts from comic books.
It was too big, too noisy and too hard to get the message out above the cacophony.
There is a much smaller industry-event this year with announcements from the major console makers and only a handful of publishers.
The others are staying away.
But that hasn't stopped the usual flurry of wild rumours of what gamers might get their hands on.
There are a lot of interesting, and widely speculated topics being thrown about.
- Console price drops (Sony denied a PS3 drop but rumours persist)
- A handheld xBox will be displayed, along the lines of Microsoft's iPod rival, the Zune.
- PS3 debuts its Second Life-type online gaming platform called Home and announces a public beta is being launched
- PSP gets a redesign
- The Wii gets a proper hard drive storage solutionSo the rumours go.
PS3 and Xbox Live will let gamers see what they've announced by posting stuff including game trailers to their online networks for console fans to peruse.
And as the third-generation consoles are a reality this year - unlike last E3's unveiling of the then-up-and-coming Wii and PS3 - the biggest excitement will be about games instead.
Will that excitement be more trailers of Xbox 360'd Halo 3 or Sony's Killzone 2 for the PS3?
Will we be swamped with trailers for new PS3 games showing off the console's potential?
Will there be more shown of the next Gran Turismo, the next Grand Theft Auto, or an eagerly awaited Metal Gear Solid 4?
And no doubt lots of Mario for Wii!
Will Microsoft announce the popular Gears of War for PC/Vista?
Also anticipated is the arrival of Call of Duty 4 and you can already see E3's HD trailer.

For more previews of some of the hot ones, there is Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed, EA's Burnout Paradise, and a new Simpsons game.
Desperately awaited are confirmed dates for the release of EA's Spore, created by Sims founder Will Wright and Mass Effect, presently scheduled for the end of this year.
What game sequels would you like to see? Are you hoping for changes to the consoles in design or price?

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