There’s a misguided notion that whenever E3 rolls around, you can find the games industry’s journalists on the sandy beaches of Los Angeles, kicking back with the biggest games while tucking into free dinners and gulping down expensive cocktails.
Ask anyone who’s worked an event on the scale of E3 and they’ll paint a much different picture. Long days spent queuing, dashing from appointment to appointment, chasing up interviews, and rattling away at a keyboard into the early hour in a lonely hotel room.
Not that they’re complaining. We journalists love it because we love games and writing about the blummin’ things.
The fact of the matter is you – the gamer – have got the best seat in the house. From your desk chair, living room, wherever your biggest TV is, you can watch all the conferences as they happen without having to queue up under the scorching LA sun, or rushing round a convention centre overloaded with a countless of businessmen, tired journalists, and busty booth babes.
So don your comfy slippers, dressing gown, and smoking pipe and enjoy E3 the way it should be.
1: Have your streams at the ready and have a back-up
Don’t go to live-blogs, you’re not savages.
The big three have been live streaming their pressers for years now so there’s simply no point in reading the ramblings of some journalist complaining that their chair doesn’t accommodate their inflated ego.
There’s plenty of outlets to get your E3 live stream fix from – GameTrailers, IGN, and Gamespot just to name a few. Heck, Microsoft is streaming their presser through Xbox Live this year. You can even run most of them through your tablet or mobile.
It’s important to have a back-up. Streams get better every year but when the viewing numbers reach the hundreds of thousands, it’s easy to see why the quality might drip.
Better to be safe than miss out on that big reveal or hilarious mispronunciation.
2: Do your research, know the schedule
If you’re UK-based like us, Sony press conference starts at 2am. Yes, 2am in the morning.
Nintendo might have most of June 5th to itself but once Microsoft takes to the stage on Monday evening, you’re looking at almost 12 hours of wall-to-wall conferences going on until the early hours of Tuesday morning.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you’ve got each conference time noted down and make sure it’s correct to your own time zone (see below for the UK times for each conference).
Typically each conference lasts anywhere between 60 minutes to two hours long (don’t forget that Sony always starts notoriously late) so planning ahead will allow you to allocate downtime for eating, toilet breaks, and if you’re staying up for Sony, 40 winks.
Sounds like a lot of effort but how you feel if Sony was showing off The Last Guardian while you’re caught shortchanged?
3: Make the most of your set-up and stock up
Why enjoy E3 on a small monitor in a stuffy room when you can enjoy it on your wide-screen TV in your living room?
You’ve probably got the right cables around to hook up a laptop or another device to your TV and finding them in time for the show shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
In the likelihood that you run the whole hog then you may as well be as comfortable as possible. Get some snacks in, energy drinks if you happen to run on them and just slob out in front the big screen.
If you do plan to follow Step 4 then this is pretty much a dead cert.
4: It’s dangerous to go it alone: bring friends
Some men get together to watch sports and some women get together to watch award ceremonies. Us gamers get together to watch highly-paid businessmen babble on stage about sales and announce things that make our wallets weep.
If you’ve got the biggest TV out of your gaming pals, invite them over, enjoy a couple of drinks, and play some E3 bingo.
Ideally wall-to-wall press conferences aren’t the kind of thing you’ll want to endure on your own. If you can’t convince your pals that staying up till 2am is a brilliant idea, get on Twitter, join that forum you’ve been lurking around as a guest on for the last few months and discuss the highs and lows with like-minded gamers wherever you can.
And that about sums it up. If you have any tips for enjoying E3 from home share them in the comments.
If you miss a conference or want the latest news as it happens, keep your eyes on GamerZines as we’ll be posting news 24-hours a day throughout the week of E3.
As promised, all the UK times for the conferences can be found below:
Microsoft – 5:30pm
EA – 9:00pm
Ubisoft – 11:00pm
Sony – 2:00am
Nintendo – 5:30pm
Tags: E3 2012
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