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E3 2021 leak suggests paywall, Nvidia streaming; ESA says it
发表时间:2021-04-23 11:09     阅读次数:

While we've heard rumblings for months that the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) will return in some form following its 2020 meltdown and cancellation, a leak has clarified what the online-only 2021 version could look like—and has prompted its creators to confirm some of the leak's details.

"E3's 2021 digital show is a free event for all attendees," the expo's official Twitter account posted on Thursday (and apparently not as an April Fool's prank). "We're excited to fill you in on all the real news for the event very soon."

Details about the leaked pitch document, obtained by Video Games Chronicle, were actually reposted by E3's Twitter account, suggesting they may very well be accurate. VGC reports that this pitch has been handed to game publishers by E3 organizer the Electronic Software Association to excite potential partners about biz-dev minutiae like "B2B, B2M, and B2C objectives"—but also to insist that "E3 2021 is not an in-person event turned virtual."

Even though, from the sound of it, the event is exactly that. According to the leak, the renamed Electronic Entertainment Experience (still "E3") could include keynote sessions, an awards show, a "preview night," and appointments for the usual attendees (business reps, journalists) to meet with game makers—only this time, all of that stuff would route through an official video-based app instead of a crowded convention hall in Los Angeles.

VGC claims that the ESA is interested in partnering with Nvidia in order to leverage the GeForce Now cloud-gaming service to stream exclusive, playable demos to E3's virtual attendees. VGC's language suggests no such deal has been finalized and that this plan isn't part of the leaked pitch document.

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There's some potential trickiness to this plan, however, especially in light of publishers yanking their software from GeForce Now shortly after its early 2020 launch. What makes them believe the same publishers would be fine with Nvidia getting exclusive stream-hosting rights to their E3 reveals? And how will the ESA handle that kind of political negotiation with so many game publishers, including ones like Microsoft who already operate their own streaming services? VGC doesn't suggest that the ESA has an answer there.

E3-to-play?

The ESA's tweet appears to soundly refute at least one suggestion from the leaked document: a possible paywall to access the virtual expo.

VGC cites "sources" in claiming that the ESA has considered bundling portions of E3 2021 into a "paid access pass," which could include access to cloud-streamed demos or "extra access" of some sort. But publishers have apparently pushed back on this part of the plan, and the ESA had already expressed willingness to back down from such a proposal during the planning phases.

The ESA's public statement may still offer some wiggle room for both extremes: "a free event" with certain aspects held behind paid, virtual velvet ropes. (You know, like many of the free-to-play games published by ESA members.)

Further ReadingPSA: This year’s confusing, virtual E3, condensed in a single handy siteThanks to the dissolution of E3 in 2020, which was already facing internal turmoil before succumbing to the realities of a pandemic, exactly how the ESA will spin its E3 wheels back up and get all of this organized—particularly the pitch for physical, filmed content in Los Angeles—remains unclear. Here's a gallery of E3 2019's oddest booths and products from the era when we went to physical expos. "Wow, how nice and COOL!" we're sure you are saying to yourself. Kyle Orland Thermoreal uses superconductors (?!) to simulate a cold or hot feeling in metal. The company integrated this tech into VR-compatible gloves and a VR headset. As the VR environment changes, so does the sensation of real-life temperature. Trippy! Kyle Orland This 1000 mAh battery pack for the Switch was heavy, but the harness made it pretty easy to slide on and off to use only when it's needed. Kyle Orland Some extremely generic-looking custom chip boards for use in mini-arcade devices and portable emulation devices. If anybody reading this has the rights to the Atari Jaguar Mini, look them up. Kyle Orland Why stream games to a smartphone with Google Stadia when the Smach Z packs an entire 1080p gaming PC with a 6-inch screen into a rather bulky portable package? Doom (2016) ran with judders, and the unit got noticeably hot in our test. But the fact that it works at all was impressive. Kyle Orland The Tactsuit haptic system jolts your body when playing compatible VR games and software. Kyle Orland The Vuvana system has something to do with using a new blockchain cryptocurrency to buy and "own" items in virtual reality, which you can view on a cell phone with this included viewer, apparently. Kyle Orland Oversized controllers were all the rage at E3 2019, but this one went to the trouble of building in a monitor for its game, Street Fighter 2. Kyle Orland Remember the iCade Mini? Someone sure does... Kyle Orland GameBoks is just like it sounds—a wooden box that houses a monitor, power supply, and a space to hold and connect your game console. Between this and the new Atari VCS, wood paneling is apparently the hot new retro-hardware trend. Kyle Orland Proximat is being sold as a "mousepad for your virtual reality feet." It gives VR players a physical indication of their play space's center point, complete with high-grade gel for foot comfort. Kyle Orland If this is a thing you're looking for (for some reason), E3 has you covered. Kyle Orland Amazingly, a product with "360 ONE X" in its name has nothing to do with Xbox (it's a 360-degree camera designed for VR). Kyle Orland Neither vinyl nor fidget spinners were dead at E3 2019. Kyle Orland I need some quick energy after seeing all of these amazing products. It's my lucky day! Kyle Orland How do you make money selling $100 worth of stuff for $40? It's an economic miracle! Kyle Orland This balance board is mainly meant for some easy exercise while at a standing desk, but its producers were marketing it to gamers with a Mortal Kombat 11 display. Kyle Orland And the award for "most dystopian sounding slogan at E3" goes to... Kyle Orland "In the 1989 Future" is a legitimately great tagline, we have to admit. Kyle Orland

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