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These are pictures of my trip to the 2001 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which was held May 17-19, 2001, in Los Angeles, California. E3 is the game industry's annual tradeshow, where just about every company producing video games for just about every platform comes to strut their stuff. The show floor is open for three days, which might seem like a lot of time but with so many games to see and booths to visit, it goes by pretty quickly.

Click on an image for a higher-resolution version. If you'd like even higher-resolution images (they were shot at 2048x1536), drop me a line with the images you'd like and I'd be glad to mail them to you (be warned, they're each about 1MB in size).

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There are two main exhibition halls (South and West), and each of them has a rather large glass facade. It's always interesting to see who'll have their several-story high banners shrouded on the outside of these buildings. The winners this year were Sega and Sony. Sega graced the exterior of the South hall, while Sony landed the West hall.

 

Okay, so Microsoft did manage to hang an XBox banner on the outside of the building, this one being placed on the hall that connects to the two main halls. Technically the banner is for an XBox magazine and not the XBox itself, but I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft helped front the cost of the banner.

 

A picture taken in the South Lobby, just as you enter from the outside.

 

These are the stairs leading up to the South Hall entrance (where all the PC titles are displayed). Microsoft had XBox promotional material plastered all over the show, including these stairs (for those who don't know, nVidia is supplying the 3D chipset being used in the XBox).

 

To give you a feel of how well-attended E3 is, I took this shot opening day before the show opened. These throngs of people are waiting to ascend the stairs and escalators into the South conference hall. It's likely crowds of this size were also waiting to get into the West hall, but I couldn't be in two places at once, as much as I would have liked. Fortunately, I had an exhibitor badge, which allowed me to get into the show early and get shots like this.

 

The main entrance for the South Hall, where all the PC titles are displayed. Electronic Arts' booth is the first thing you see (and hear) as you walk through these doors.

 

This is close to the entrance for the West Hall, where all the console exhibitors (Sony, Sega, Nintendo, and third-parties) tout their wares.

 

Activision's booth. Activision had quite a few titles on display, but unfortunately they decided to erect a half-pipe in their booth for skateboarding demonstrations to tie in with their Tony Hawk titles (and he even made an appearance at the show). I say unfortunately because it was difficult to navigate around the booth since space was such a premium. And yes, that's a real helicopter they have suspended from the ceiling.

 

Part of the Return to Wolfenstein display in Activision's booth. Once the show opened this area was absolutely mobbed, and it was quite difficult to get a good look at the game itself because of the lack of space in this display.

 

This may also have had something to do with why the Return to Wolfenstein area was overrun with people.

 

I've been told that the guy on the right is the famous skateboarder Tony Hawk. I have absolutely no idea who the other guys are, but they must be reasonably well-known as they were also signing autographs. In the background you can see the half-pipe Activision installed in their booth.

 

Disney Interactive

 

Eidos' humble E3 booth. I say humble because in previous years Eidos has had a huge video wall and stage, where they'd occasionally trot out the leather-clad Eidos booth babes, along with appearances by Lara Croft, in as tight an outfit as possible without it being molecularly bonded to her skin. None of that was to be found at this year's show, and good riddance as far as I was concerned. For the first time in years, you could actually walk by the E3 booth without fear of some pop tune being blasted at 150 decibels in your direction.

 

Electronic Arts had the prime real estate in the hall where the PC titles were displayed. As soon as you walked in the entrance you were subjected to a sound system powerful enough to be used for a rock concert. I guess this somewhat makes up for the lack of loud music coming from Eidos' booth this year. Electronic Arts had a rather large booth, with a prominent video wall in the background displaying scenes from many of their featured titles.

 

The next James Bond game being displayed in the Electronic Arts booth.

 

Infogrames' sizable booth.

 

Here's a shot of an Atari water-bottle bar inside the Infogrames booth. Although Infogrames went through the trouble to create this display and give out hundreds (probably thousands) of bottles of Atari water, I found absolutely no signs of any Atari-related games inside their rather large booth. I just hope the water isn't from the early 1980s!

 

I believe this is the only picture I had taken with a "booth babe". How could I resist, she was giving away Atari water bottles!!

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