CEA today announced that it’s formed an advisory group to look into a “gaming and entertainment event” in the spring of 2007, making no bones about its desire to again serve as the focal point for the games industry. For all the success of CES, E3 is “the one that got away”; its split in 1994 left a wound in CEA’s side that’s never healed.
If the big videogame companies pulled out of E3, why would they join a trade show of similar scale hosted by CEA? For one thing, E3 has always had more of a circus environment than CES; the industry has grown up. Also, CES attracts more mainstream media, which is important for expanding the videogame space beyond the fanboy blogs. And while the Xbox and PlayStation groups are their own entities within Microsoft and Sony, both corporations are CES exhibitors as are Intel, nVidia and ATI, er, AMD.
On the other hand, while CEA has long been adept at making overtures to content companies, they haven’t quite cracked that nut to the extent necessary to create a true alternative to E3, where most of the large booths were from software publishers such as Sega, Activision, Atari, EA, Namco, Konami, Square Enix and NCSoft.