This year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo is about to start and I don’t think I could be more excited. E3 could be my favorite week of the year.
Most of the people involved in AYB Online are gaming enthusiasts in one way or another. Some people are die-hard fans of a select few games, some are fans of specific genres, and some are fans of everything gaming whether indie, triple-A or anything in between. I don’t consider myself any of those. I consider myself a technology buff. I’ve always been more interested in the latest technologies behind the games, and the best graphics available. In fact, I haven’t even finished 90% of the games I own. Many of them may as well have been merely tech demos, as I may have put a couple hours into them.
This is why I love E3. It’s more about seeing what’s coming, what’s just on the horizon. I want to see developers one up each other with new innovations of all kinds, and I want to be one of the first people in the world to know about it. I make a point to catch the live broadcasts. I dream of being there one day to experience it all first hand.
Some of my colleagues have been saying that E3 has fallen behind PAX as the premiere gaming event but I would disagree with that argument wholeheartedly. It’s been nearly a decade since PC games have had any real presence at E3, but this year there is a PC-gaming-specific keynote. Such press conferences have only ever been reserved for Xbox, Playstation, Ubisoft, EA and Activision. Even Nintendo has backed out in the last couple years, but this year everyone is there, in addition to Oculus with the retail version of the Rift.
This is still the big event. It’s where almost everything coming out in the next year and more will be shown to the press. There’s so much there that the big announcements are scheduled throughout the days leading up the actual expo so that the days of the show can be spent actually showing things off. PAX is huge, and has been getting bigger and bigger. Many new announcements happen there, but nowhere near on the scale as E3. I think people tend to forget that because we’re PC gamers, and that’s what PAX is all about. E3 is about the gaming industry as a whole.
I truly believe that this year’s show will be one to remember. There have been many developments in technology recently that make me feel this way. For years, games have been hamstrung by the abilities of the older consoles. By the time the PS3 and Xbox 360 were replaced, they had both been on the market for nearly a decade, this coming November makes 10 years of Xbox 360.
The devide between the hardware capabilities of PCs and consoles created a stagnation in hardware development, particularly in PC graphics. AMD and Nvidia used to trade blows regularly and we’d see new GPU’s that had huge performance leaps come out every year. This innovation slowed dramatically when game makes stopped pushing graphics to the limit so they could easily release games for PC and console, or even worse, they’d stop developing for PC at all.
That all changed two years ago when XboxOne and PS4 were announced. Suddenly there was justification to push graphics to the next level, and we’ve seen the results of that start to trickle out. This year is the first time in longer than I can even remember that system requirements, not recommended specs, push beyond the capabilities of what just a year ago would be considered a low end gaming PC. Devs are finally OK with pushing the limits, and GPU makers have responded in kind. We now have more GPU power available than was even fathomable just a couple years ago.
DirectX 12 is coming out this summer with the release of Windows 10 and this will also be a huge step forward for gaming. The new API will be able to harness more ability (up to 7x the draw calls) from existing GPUs, and will be able to share resources of multi-GPU setups even more efficiently.
And then of course there’s VR. With Vive, Oculus and Morpheus all set with launch windows, and the consumer version of Rift finally shown to the world, I guarantee there will be a TON of news for this new medium. Virtual reality is will change the gaming world for ever, and E3 is where we’ll get to see our first really close up look at what the future holds.
With all this tech just available, you’d be a fool to think that it won’t be shown off next week. I truly believe that the things we’re about to see are going to leave a lasting impression. This is going to be the E3 to remember, I’m sure of it. The best E3s are always when new hardware is on the horizon, and we have no shortage of that this year.