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The E3 video game trade show ended today after five days of events that drew more than 45,000 attendees. The show blends the traditional marketing of “booth babes” and “booth dudes” targeting young gamers as well as the nouveau style of marketing that Microsoft used with its Cirque du Soleil performance in introducing its Kinect motion control system. The result is a visual feast and a cacaphony of sounds on the show floor. Check out the following photo gallery depicting the scene. Our top picture shows the dancers from Cirque du Soleil outside the launch of the Kinect motion-sensing system for the Xbox 360.

Now, if you don’t have a great game or technology to show off, there are other ways of getting attention at E3. One way is through big burly soldiers, like this Helghast soldier from Killzone 3.

And another way is to hire a couple of Playboy bunnies to pose for photos with attendee dudes. Here, these two Playmates are posing as dolls from Take-Two Interactive’s upcoming Mafia II game.


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Nintendo had great technology in the 3DS handheld game player. But it also chose to show it off through lots of pretty models, one vs. 100 style.

The 3DS was clearly the biggest wow-maker at the show. It lets you watch 3D movies and play 3D games without glasses. But you do have to stay in the sweet spot to view it correctly. Fans lined up to see this one.

Microsoft came up with a slimmer Xbox 360 to combat Sony’s PS 3 Slim. It had a bunch of cool features such as quiet operation and built-in 802.11n wireless networking.

Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing control system will keep you huffing and puffing as you play games. The company’s best bet is to market this experience as the Wii times 10.

Cute kid. Cute little tiger. Microsoft is encroaching on Nintendo’s territory. That’s not fighting fair, but it’s the best way to sell Kinect to a broader family audience. The game Kinectimals may be the best bet Microsoft has in appealing to families.

Don Mattrick, head of Microsoft’s game business, led the company’s press conference. He promised the best year in Xbox history.

This game producer at MTV, which is making Dance Central for Microsoft Kinect, was actually an extremely talented dancer.

While Kinect got center stage, Microsoft didn’t ignore its core audience. It promised Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360 in the fall. No Kinect needed.

The Xbox briefing’s stage turned blood red to welcome Cliff Blezinski, design director at Epic Games, as he showed off Gears of War 3, the next big game where blood will run like rivers.

Electronic Arts once again chose the historic Orpheum theater to show off its line-up of games.
Nintendo’s top game designer Shigeru Miyamoto appeared on stage to show off the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, coming to the Wii in 2011. His demo didn’t go too well, since there was wireless interference from all of the Wi-Fi users in the audience. But, later on, I found that the sword play in the game was quite good.
Satoru Iwata, chief executive of Nintendo, showed off the 3DS on stage. Translation of his Japanese: Haha, Microsoft and Sony, you don’t have one of these.

Behold, the Los Angeles convention center. It was crowded, but it wasn’t as big a zoo as in past years.

E3 is all about the parties. This fellow lasted just a couple of seconds on the bull at the Saddle Ranch in Hollywood, where Bethesda Softworks threw its party. The good thing for Bethesda, its sister company id Software had the best game at the show: Rage.

Richard Branson exited gaming in the 1990s. But he came back in this week with an investment in Worldgaming.com, which is being renamed Virgin Gaming and is focused on tournament online games.

E3 isn’t just for the console companies. Korea’s Nexon showed off its free-to-play online games at the show. Here, Nexon executive Min Kim introduces fantasy action games such as Vindictus.

Vince Zampella, the co-founder of Infinity Ward and now co-head of Respawn Entertainment, showed up at Electronic Arts’ press conference. Activision Blizzard fired Zampella and his partner, but that’s going to be EA’s gain, as it has agreed to finance the new company.

And Zampella was accompanied by his partner, Jason West. Both West and Zampella got a lot of applause.

But EA isn’t fighting Activision Blizzard with Respawn alone. Here, it showed off its new Medal of Honor game, being played by 24 players at once.

There were 4,500 members of the press at E3. Gamespot was one of a number of outlets that had its own newsroom on the show floor.

Digital distribution is here. OnLive, which launched today, had a big booth on the show floor.

Dave Taylor, a longtime game industry developer, threw a fine party up in the Hollywood hills at the home of a generous friend. There was a who’s who mix of game and Hollywood veterans.

Jack Tretton, head of Sony’s game business in the U.S., didn’t show up with a PlayStation Portable 2. But in his company’s two-hour press conference, he showed off the Sony Move motion controller and a bunch of exclusive games.

Cevat Yerli, head of Crytek, came from Germany to present his company’s marquee game, Crysis 2. Crytek is in the EA Partners program, which seeks to distribute games from the best independent game developers.

Gabe Newell, chief executive of Valve, has been a critic of the difficult-to-program PlayStation 3. But he appeared on stage at Sony’s event to promote Portal 2, which will appear on the PS 3 next year, as well as other platforms. He praised Sony’s openness.

Kazunori Yamauchi is one of Sony’s big guns. He’s the man heading the creation of Gran Turismo 5, which arrives on the PS 3 in November.

EA’s CEO John Riccitiello spent very little time on stage at his own press conference, other than to introduce the company’s star developers and their games.

One of the selling points of Microsoft’s Kinect is live video chat. This one took place live on stage at the Microsoft press briefing.

I guess you could call this guy, who is carrying a huge amount of computer gear, a real live blogger.

It’s not just an American thing. China’s Perfect World has also figured out how to market games.

THQ let fans climb up into the back of a huge mech warrior. Now that’s my idea of fun.

Sony showed off a lot of party games and hardcore shooters for the Sony Move controller. These two were playing Singstar and probably losing weight while they were shaking and dancing.

How’s that for cool? Disney Interactive Studio showed off its Tron light cycle at its booth, where it was showing off Tron Evolution the video game.

E3 isn’t E3 without EA Sports chief Peter Moore getting up on stage and showing off the might of EA’s sports games. He brought athletes such as Joe Montana up on stage to call plays in Madden NFL Football. EA’s push with the new Madden is to simplify it.

This guy is actually the hero of Namco Bandai’s Splatterhouse game.

Sony’s Move controller. Yours this fall for just $99.

Visitors to Sony’s Home virtual world on the PlayStation 3 got to see the complete layout of Sony’s E3 booth.


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