Is E3 still relevant in an evolving market?

As they open proceedings these days with their increasingly lengthy, increasingly hyped and increasingly pivotal press conferences, that’s not unfair.

But the more defining stories these days aren’t what the specialist press is obsessed with, but what’s going on amongst the third-party publishers. The increasingly platform agnostic publishers, that is.

This is a prevailing theme this year and in the years to come.

Because while the market arguably craves new games devices like whatever touchy-feely new approach Nintendo or the Playstation Vita will offer, the people that make games are spreading their bets.

The ‘big three’ of Activision, EA and Ubisoft have shown off the likes of Call of Duty Elite, EA Sports Football Club and Ghost Recon Online respectively this week, gaming-cum-services deliberately built to fortify a position independent from the console.

In fact gaming’s biggest growth engine in recent years isn’t even at E3. Instead Apple’s pitched its own World Wide Developer Conference in the same week as the LA event, 400 miles away in San Francisco.

That doesn’t diminish the power of E3, mind. But five or ten years ago people used to say that, given the show’s LA base, our industry should crack into Hollywood as the worlds of static movies and games were purportedly converging.

However today, with that white elephant slain, it’s clear the core games world is just one part of a wider tapestry of interactive entertainment across consoles, computers and phones.

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