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E3 2002 Retrospective
May 28, 2002 | Sean Smith
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South Hall Lobby
Apple's Presence

Apple didn't have a booth on the show floor, but they did have a large, comfortable room directly across the hall from the E3 Media Center. It was an enviable location, as no journalist covering the show could avoid walking by Apple's door, plainly marked by the famous monochrome Apple logo.

Some have taken Apple to task for not having a booth on the show floor. Paying the fantastic expense of an E3 booth in an attempt to grab some of the media spotlight from the newest games coming from the big PC publishers and the even bigger console publishers would have been a fool's errand. Making connections, lobbying publishers and developers, and doing deals: that's what Apple could usefully do at the Expo, and to that purpose their presence at the show was ideally suited.

Walking past the 23" Apple HD Cinema Display in the entrance, which seemed to be looping an updated version of the Mac gaming video familiar to visitors to the Mac OS X Gaming Pavilion at this year's Macworld Expo San Francisco, I found a couple of private meeting rooms (always in use), a number of comfortable couches, refreshment, and a bank of networked dual-800 MHz Power Mac G4s. Often in use, the G4s were equipped with a selection of new and upcoming Mac OS X games, including Return to Castle Wolfenstein (team games seemed to be very popular) and Max Payne, both of which were buttery smooth, even on the stock GeForce2 MX, to my very pleasant surprise.

Speaking of Mac presence, across the hall in the Media Center was a large number of computers, always occupied, for the use of those members of the press who didn't have their own notebooks and who needed to file stories or check e-mail. If they wanted to use a PC to do so, however, they had to walk past the first two banks of computers, which were solidly, and very conspicuously, Power Mac G4s.

MacSoft

MacSoft's Al Schilling was at the Expo (along with folks from publishers Aspyr, Destineer, and MacPlay, on whom we reported earlier, and developer Contraband), and he was so busy with meetings all day Thursday that we didn't get a chance to meet with him. I caught up with him on the show floor on Friday and confirmed that he had nothing new he could tell us since the hour-long interview with him that Andy Largent and I conducted on The Gamesome Mac, the weekly Mac gaming radio show, only four days earlier.

Al didn't announce anything during that interview either (E3 week is not a good time for Mac gaming announcements, as they would simply get drowned out by all the PC and console gaming news), but he waxed very enthusiastic about Max Payne, calling it the most compelling and exciting computer computer game he's ever played.

For more information on the Mac publishers at E3, check out Lucian Fong's report on IMG of our meetings with Aspyr, Destineer, and MacPlay, and the broadcast archive of The Gamesome Mac with Al Schilling.



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