E3 Rolls into LA once again - to Showcase future Gaming

E3, which officially opens Today, is a three-day celebration of gaming featuring computer and video game companies, business partners and industry analysts from more than 100 countries.

Most of the focus will be on Nintendo's new console the Wii U ---- and a number of high-profile franchices Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Assassins Creed III and Halo 4.

"Whether you hate it or love it, there's no denying that this is one of the most talked-about gaming events of the year both on a national and international scale," said Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Arts and Interactive Sciences.

"The gaming community comes to E3 to be inspired," Rae said. "What is announced and shown can really shape what's next in the gaming industry." 

Despite rumors to the contrary, Microsoft and Sony have confirmed they will not be announcing new consoles at this year's show. Only Nintendo appears ready to show off its new console. The Wii U will feature a tablet-like game pad and a new social network ---- 'MiiVerse.' The last time Nintendo debuted a home console was in 2006 with the Wii, which jump-started a four-year increase in sales growth.

But the popularity of motion-controlled gaming has waned. According to IGN's "Great Gaming Survey," only 40 percent of the 62,000 respondents expressed interest in purchasing the Wii U. More than 60 percent admitted owning a Wii, but just 25 percent said they had used it in the last six months.

The shift to mobile and social gaming has forever altered the video game landscape. Electronic Arts, one of the largest video game publishers, showcased a number of social and mobile features during its pre-E3 news conference on Monday.

"It's notable that companies like Zynga and Gree will be (at E3) to show product and conduct business," Rae said. "Many, many deals are made at E3, and it's a testament to the rapid growth and the size of the social and mobile segments of the business that we will have these companies there in a big way."

Overall attendance at E3 is expected to be at or slightly higher than 2011's 46,800, which was up from 2010's 45,600. The numbers are down significantly from the show's peak of 70,000 in 2005. The expo is not open to the public.

The future of E3 in Los Angeles is up in the air, though. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Entertainment Software Association, which owns E3, is anxious about the proposed construction of Farmers Field.

Farmers Field is a sports and event stadium that is planned to be built in downtown Los Angeles. The project, spearheaded by Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke and former Los Angeles Avengers owner Casey Wasserman, is to be adjacent to the Staples Center.

"We're still in discussions with the city of Los Angeles," ESA President Michael Gallagher told the Times, "but we have a number of issues that still need to be resolved. If we can't resolve them, we are preparing to go elsewhere."