Well, the best way to start the day is with good company, so I chose to kick my temporal lobes into action with the Timeshift girls. In case you haven't heard, TimeShift is an Xbox 360 FPS published by Atari that allows you to tweak the fabric of time like a wet burrito. TimeShift uses the Saber3D game engine, and looks very good while bending the shooter genre in the 4th dimension. Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean had an impressive booth, above looped the trailer for Dead Man's Chest on a 40 foot projection screen. Buena Vista Games had a preview of Turok, the short clips were mainly render outs, and did not show off the Unreal 3 license being used to develop the Dino hunter franchise.

Just to get a sense of the scale of E3, I snapped these pics of NCsoft and Blizzard's booths. The South Hall, the largest at the Los Angeles Convention Center, was only lit by displays, no other lighting was needed and the black ceiling melted above into the darkness. Everywhere music blurred and the announcers beckoned passer-by’s to view their wares like modern day techno hawkers. Several stages dotted the expo, complete with live bands and dancers. E3 is about advertising, and the top players in the industry didn't hold back any stops.

One of the most impressive single title displays was Vivendi Games Scarface. Even Al Pacino turned out to pimp the action title loosely based on the 1983 movie. Funny to think a "period game" would mean the 1970's... Not to be out done, I headed over to the West Hall to the Conan the Barbarian booth to try out my hand as the king of Aquilonia. No new news on the upcoming movie "Crown of Iron". Yet it hardly seems odd the involvement Hollywood is pushing into the game market. Topping over 44 Billion dollars last year is sales, games are competing with movies for entertainment dollars. Add the increasing use of CG in film, the line is becoming blurred at a rapid pace.

Both Sony and Nintendo had the dominant booths in the West Hall, each able to engulf a thousand people without bulging. Nintendo's booth was marked by a large sheer curtain with the Nintendo logo and animated projections. At the center of Nintendo's circular cosmos was the Wii display. Also lurking inside was Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokemon, looking very happy in his leopard skin hat.

I think it's only fitting to make some comments on the Wii, as many still have not seen it or gotten the chance to play with it. First, the exaggerated movements demonstrated or just that. It takes very little effort to manipulate the controller stick, and for the time being, unfortunately does not seem to be a real time motion capture device. Many games used the controller to trip animation sets, still with a noticeable lag factor. Second, negative comments on the graphics being showcased were not favorable. Considering the Wii is a next generation console, it doesn't appear to be living up to the challenge. On the bright side, the case is small and you only need one hand to play most games.

Not to be out done by their Nintendo neighbours, Sony built very tall purple neon walls supporting a second floor balcony with air-conditioned “living rooms” for play testing new PS3 titles. The center of the booth was a plethora of PS2 consoles featuring new and favorite titles for that incarnation. Good news is that the PS3 is fully backward compatible. Meaning the PS3 can run both PS2 and original PlayStation games in addition to the latest bleeding edge releases coming soon to a retailer near you.

Since we're talking consoles, it's only fair I mention Microsoft's XBox360. The Xbox booth was deceptively large, so wondering hordes found themselves in the midst of a multitude of lounge chairs, tubular couches, hoop stools all equipped with Xboxes. The number of titles on display was staggering. According to Mike Capps, former CEO of Scion Studios, now President at Epic Games, the Xbox360 was built for Gears of War, while other games are made to fit the target console. At the moment, the 360 is in the lead for graphics. PS3 rocks for games using heavy physics, while the Wii ends up as an expensive door stop after loosing the single stick.

Speaking of graphics, just before closing I contacted Spineblaze to snag his Media badge for Friday (Spiney flies home on day 3). Spiney was locked into a heavy fire fight in the nVidia booth BACK in the South Hall. Turns out, nVidia is using the choice Keyboard G15/G7 mouse combo on a few of their frag stations. Having played some Rainbow 6 in the Logitech booth, I recognized the hardware immediately. Unlike other keyboards, only the characters on the individual keys are lit, making for more pleasurable lights out computing. The G15 Keyboard retails for around seventy-five dollars, you can expect about the same for the G7 wireless mouse. The combo worked well for Spineblaze as he walked away with three victories in a row and a brand spankin new 7900 GT video card. Congrats Spiney, hope to see ya next year!

Spineblaze wasn't the only lucky guy in the nVidia booth. Karima Adebibe, the new Lara Croft, was present for photos. The nVidia shirts this year feature Tomb Raider on the back and were in good numbers forming a dense throng of fans of the movies, game and the graphics cards gamers love. Today's closing shot above is for my scrap book. I'm not a big enough pimp daddy to get close to Paris Hilton (yeah she was at E3 today), but really, who would you rather be with?