It’s June and if you’re a lucky member of the interactive gaming industry, that means it’s E3 time! E3 is the Electronic Entertainment Expo and takes place every June in sunny Los Angeles. It’s a time when game publishers and developers come together to show off what they’re working on and all the cool new things we can all look forward to in the coming months and years. While Jam City didn’t have a booth on the show floor this year, I still took a day to see the sights and check out what E3 had to offer. Here are the top 3 things I took away from E3 2016!
Old Franchises, New Experiences
Much like Hollywood movies, game franchises are big business. Even if you don’t play many games, you’ve probably heard of Activision’s war shooter series Call of Duty, or if casual puzzle games are more your style, King’s Saga games. This year saw the return of several big name franchises, but the trend seemed to be to breath new life into them by giving players something completely different than what they had become accustomed to from previous entries. New entries in the God of War, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, and Legend of Zelda series all veered away from the traditional to give what looked like brand new and exciting experiences.
Virtual Reality (VR) is finally here and it looks like it’s here to stay. From the recent launches of premium VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and Vive to entry level fare like the Google Cardboard, everyone wants to get in on the VR pie. At E3, VR was on the show floor in force. Samsung is not traditionally at E3, but they arrived this year with a sizeable booth, showing off a couple the Gear VR experiences. One virtual roller coaster and one virtual skateboard – both had guests strap the VR headset on and played a video while a peripheral was synced to said video and created a feeling of actually being there. I tried out the skateboarding demo and it really felt like I was flying down a hill on a skateboard. I nearly fell a few times even though in reality, I was barely moving!
360 Degrees of Viewing Freedom
VR wasn’t the only kind of fully immersive technology being shown, though. Fulldome.Pro had an impressive setup that projected video onto a huge dome above the viewer, giving them the feeling of being inside the video. The demos they showed using this were all very impressive and I definitely want one installed on the ceiling of my room now!
Don’t be fooled into thinking these three things were the only things I enjoyed. Far from it! I saw literally hundreds amazing games, technology, and experiences that have me so excited to be part of this wonderful industry and chomping at the bit to experience them when they are released.