The Entertainment Software Association’s Electronic Entertainment Expo ran this week in Los Angeles, CA. It’s an annual computer and videogame expo for developers, publishers, programmers and other industry types. Since it’s become invitation only, a event for the public — Entertainment for All— takes place October 3-5, 2008.

What happens at E-3? It’s a like a trade show. Console companies and game publishers hold press conferences and parties to announce and celebrate new developments and products and show off game demos. The video game television network offers near complete coverage, including televised press conferences. Microsoft’s was on Monday night, and their big announcements were:

  • $50 price drop on the Xbox 360 Premium edition, good news for libraries considering this as a purchase
  • Netflix partnership to stream movies direct to your XBox360; don’t forget both Microsoft & Sony consoles double as a DVD player, so with a public performance license for films or anime, you can get a lot of programming mileage out of a console
  • Highly anticipated titles your gamers will want: Final Fantasy XIII!

Nintendo’s press conference stressed they want to  break down the psychological barriers between gamers & non-gamers, and they are committed to content creation and community building. Their top announcements:

Sony declared 2008 to be the year of the PS3! Other announcements:

  • Little Big Planet will allow gamers to create games, combining social networking, user-created content & gaming in one title
  • A number of PS3 best sellers will be dropping to $29.99 (titles include Need for Speed, Rainbow 6 Vegas, Assassins Creed, Elder Scrolls, and Ninja Gaiden, to name a few; this is GREAT news for collection development!
  • Another 130 titles will be released for the PS2 before the end of the year – the PS2 isn’t dead yet! At just $129 new for a slimline PS2, it’s a great bargain for budget conscious libraries.
  • Playstation Home is still in the works – to combine games, film, music & more
  • Highly anticipated new releases: DC Universe Online, Resistance 2, God of War 3
  • More games available through Sony Online Entertainment (Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty, Crash Commando, PAIN Amusement Park, Flower, Siren: Blood Curse, Rag Doll Kung-Fu: Fists of Plastic) means libraries may want to consider subscriptions to SOE.

Further press coverage is online from G4TV, Joystiq, and Gamasutra, among other sites.