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How game companies brought E3 news to gamers' homes

Mark Milian
Sony last week offered a live stream of its E3 press conference and quick turnaround on footage of new games.
Sony last week offered a live stream of its E3 press conference and quick turnaround on footage of new games.
  • E3 is closed to the public, but game companies are bringing it straight to gamers
  • Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony are making video demos available more quickly
  • Direct delivery is especially important for the 3DS, which displays images in 3-D

(CNN) -- While 46,800 attendees spent the weekend recuperating from the video game industry's largest annual convention, diehard gamers were catching up on all the news from their couches.

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) show floor in Los Angeles is reserved for industry professionals and reporters, a much-lamented rule that prevents many gamers from seeing new products firsthand.

So the game companies have started taking their announcements directly to the fans.

Despite exhaustive coverage from blogs and news outlets -- including CNN -- game giants created their own online destinations for E3 news. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony each built E3 landing pages to show videos and information about upcoming games on display at the conference. They also dumped dozens of free clips and extras onto their systems' stores for download.

By offering a look at upcoming games on the consoles themselves, manufacturers are able to easily get these previews in front of their target audiences and control the message. Some of the people they're able to reach don't even have to search Google for info on new games -- they just click after getting a message on their consoles' dashboards.

"Just got done watching E3 on Xbox Live," wrote fan David Winkler on his Facebook page. "'Halo 4.' Gonna go nuts till 2012."

Sony produced daily episodes of its promotional programs from the show floor and provided live streaming video from the press conference to consoles. Viewers increased dramatically over last year, with more than a million watching the company's press conference, Sony said in an e-mailed statement.

Timothy DuBose, a PlayStation 3 owner, wrote: "Watched all of the Sony press conference from E3 today on PSN. Can't wait for some of the games."

For Sony, that direct communication with fans may help assuage disgruntled gamers after recent hacks crippled the PlayStation Network for weeks.

Representatives for the three major game companies could not be reached for comment this week. They are, according to spokespeople, still recovering from last week's marathon.

Getting these videos into gamers' hands on their own consoles is especially important for Nintendo and its new 3DS hand-held system. The gadget's games are, after all, designed to be viewed in 3-D, and that can't be accomplished on most computers.

"3DS owners," urged cartoonist Raven Perez on Twitter, "DO take time to download the E3 trailers. They are better in 3D on your 3DS!"


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