E3 has annually drawn thousands of journalists, retailers, exhibitors and others -- not anymore

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, is the biggest and most popular convention designed specifically for video games.  It is the event where game publishers announce new products while new games and consoles are available for testing.  The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the organization that hosts E3, announced the convention will convert from a trade show with over 50,000 attendees to an "intimate event."  E3 2006, which took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in May had almost 60,000 attendees with 450 exhibitors.  Game demonstrations will still be present at future shows, but without the large, flashy booths that were present at the past E3 shows.  According to the official press release from the ESA:

“The world of interactive entertainment has changed since E3Expo was created 12 years ago.  At that time we were focused on establishing the industry and securing orders for the holiday season,” said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers and the owner of E3Expo.  “Over the years, it has become clear that we need a more intimate program, including higher quality, more personal dialogue with the worldwide media, developers, retailers and other key industry audiences.”

Microsoft, Sony, THQ, and Electronic Arts were among a handful of companies that wanted to see a change in the way E3 was presented.  Companies with larger booths spend millions to rent floor space, put together booths, and transport and house employees in Los Angeles for the event.

Although E3 2007 will remain in Los Angeles, it will move to a much smaller venue, with a hotel being a likely candidate.  The date of the event will also be changed from May to early July, so that exhibitors will be able to present better demonstrations.  Details about more modifications will be revealed in the next several months.  The new format is expected to lower costs for the companies that attend E3.  Next year's event will also be called the "E3 Media Festival."

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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