Hello Los Angeles! Pictures from the frontline, plus a timetable of the week ahead

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Hello Los Angeles! Pictures from the frontline, plus a timetable of the week ahead

The E3 schedule: Console conference mania

A gloomy, grey sky for Monday morning as the crews set up at E3

E3 2006 is upon us, and although the show floor won’t open to even the press until Wednesday morning the fun is essentially in full swing from the get go with backdoor meetings and glitzy press conferences filling out our schedules.

Monday afternoon at 4 pm PST, 7 pm EST we have the Sony press conference. Hosted at the Sony Pictures Studios in Culver city we’re expecting (rather obviously) a lot of PlayStation 3 news. Will it be marketing hype backed by no substance? Will they once again an apology for a high price, or will Sony be coming out with guns blazing towards Microsoft and Nintendo? And what’s up with Blu-ray?

Bald is beautiful in Midway’s upcoming upgrade to the Tournament of the Unreal

Tuesday morning will be kicked off by Nintendo, who will be hosting their conference at a venue no less than the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, home to the Oscars. Their conference will kick off early morning 9:30 am PST/12:30 pm EST and will serve as something of a breather between the two big rivals (we hope) and perhaps even a Wii bit of comic relief.

Apart from odd name choices we might just get a release date for the Nintendo Wii (though perhaps at this point not even Nintendo will know quite what that is until after the Sony crowd have exited their stage Monday evening).

Two blood elves oversee the setup process, as forklifts bring in new carpeting

Tuesday afternoon will see Microsoft roll out their conference just down the road from Nintendo at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. It may seem a little odd that Nintendo gets the Oscars and Microsoft gets the takeaway jokes, but then Microsoft doesn’t have as great a PR leg to stand on as the other two: Sony and Nintendo can promise the world about both their hardware and their games, Microsoft can only do so about their games.

However, Microsoft is obviously in quite an advantageous position, and like Nintendo we may be able to expect one or two release dates, including Halo 3, to coincide quite miraculously with Sony’s expected PS3 release date.

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The E3 schedule, Continued
Conan’s looking less and less like the governor of California these days

Tuesday evening will be almost as jam packed as Tuesday morning, and we have back to back interviews and interesting events to attend. Executives from multiple game publishers are staging the evening in which they will be demonstrating how the idea of a game title takes shape; how marketing starts, how money is spent, how progress is monitored, in a panel session that has them managing a fictitious company.

Later that evening we’ve got the Efocus off-show event featuring spotlighted game publishers at the California Market Centre.

The Nokia crew is setting up one of the few hardware-related displays at E3 Monday morning. It’s for the N-Gage handset, which mixes communications, gaming, and personal applications. In the distance, a falling condensed mist acts as an iridescent display device for Nokia’s demos, which can just barely be seen in the distance. Now, if only the phone had a display like that, it’d be really cool

Wednesday morning will be marked by the opening of the show itself, with a special press-only preview on the show floor. This will be our first chance to get ground pounding to see games and technologies showcased, have our hearing damaged and determine if the much talked about booth-babe ban will actually be enforced.

Apart from the obvious titles, which one would hope to see this is our chance to find those hidden gems and reveal never before seen ones. Expect plenty of loud, up front coverage and dodgy backroom showcasing to ensue.

While Activision was setting up its booth Monday morning, the big screen showed off the first look at Marvel Ultimate Alliance, a next-gen console game featuring the heroes from the Marvel universe, including Spider-Man and Captain America in full battle regalia

We’ll also be spending a lot of time with Microsoft on Wednesday, with a look at everything from casual games to technology and game demos, and we’re also hoping that they’ll tell us a little more about Games for Vista. The Games for Windows logo was unveiled a while back and touted as Microsoft’s reinvigorating of the PC Game market from its console slump.

The E3 schedule, Continued 2

In this shot, which manages to capture some of the breathtaking slo-mo (some of which is known as “glare”), Capt. America, Spidey, and members of the Fantastic Four commence battle in one of those conveniently placed dungeons where superheroes do battle.

The “end” of the week on Thursday and Friday will, presuming we can still walk, see us ground pounding around the show floor, catching interviews and attending various round tables and conferences.

In between all of this you can expect screenshots of the videogames, pictures of the show floor and even moving pictures. Stay tuned!

Join our discussion on E3 2006

There’s more: Read all E3 2006 stories on TG Daily