The immediate impression in Los Angeles next week will likely be that E3 is, once again, in its big and brash form.
We're promised the usual string of bolshy opening press conferences, new products revealed and others teased further, maybe some price cuts. But really, it doesn't matter if GTA V is there, whether Xbox 720 gets a mention or if Iwata's going to opt for the leather blazer this time.
The facts are irrelevant at this point in time.
What's the mood going to be like? Right now, we all know the industry is feeling a fair bit of pressure. So the show's actual industry attendees might be more coy and quiet than usual.
Uncertainty hangs in the air more than ever. People take a sharper intake of breath than usual when you ask them how they're doing. A mix of circumstances have collided to erase the wonder you'd usually see in the eyes of industry attendees at a show like E3… to replace it with fear.
So perhaps the question is: can E3 renew collective confidence?
With newcomers Zynga and GREE stalking the halls alongside the incumbents, and acres of research now proving exactly what the balance is between New and Old World, we're starting to get a clearer picture of what the real future of games looks like.
Hopefully, the big show next week will put some big smiles on people's faces. Or at least stop them frowning.