E for All Expo opens early for VIPs

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IDG World Expo’s inaugural E for All Expo game show opened to VIPs at 11:00 AM on Thursday. The event, which runs through Sunday, is a consumer-oriented game show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

VIPs who pre-registered were allowed on the show floor early; the general public wasn’t allowed in until 3:00 p.m. The VIP lines stretched out the door as they assembled into the convention center’s South Hall to see the more than 70 exhibitors on the show floor.

Inside, gamers got their hands on hot up-and-coming titles from Nintendo, Konami, EA, THQ, 2K Games, and other vendors. In particular, lines wrapped around the Nintendo and Konami booths—Nintendo was giving away free t-shirts and Konami was giving gamers their first look at Metal Gear Solid 4, the final game in the action/stealth series to feature Solid Snake.

Macs were entirely absent from the show floor, even in new Mac game publisher EA’s booth—little surprise, given that the majority of the focus of game vendors was in pushing more high-volume titles aimed at console owners. Exhibitor Intel instead showed off PC laptops and desktop systems meant for gaming. Apple, a past exhibitor at E3 Expo events, was nowhere to be found.

Some industry veterans who arrived on Thursday were a bit disappointed by what they saw. E3 veterans are accustomed to seeing every square inch of the mammoth convention center overflowing with game content. That’s not the case with the new E for All show, as it only occupies the center’s still-cavernous South Hall. But still, visitors were upbeat about getting their hands on the latest games and gaming technology, and vendors were anxiously anticipating a steadily increasing stream of foot traffic throughout the next few days.

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