Thursday, June 25, 2009

PCGA Members at E3 2009: Windows 7 Gaming Lounge

By Corey Rosemond from Microsoft

The Windows 7 E3 Video Blogger Lounge and Windows 7 Cocktail Reception was held at the J Restaurant and Lounge about 4 blocks from the LA convention center on June 3rd and June 4th and was designed to draw the most buzz and attendance for the Windows 7 Cocktail Reception on the evening of June 3rd.

The Windows 7 Video Blogger Lounge contained 6 gaming laptops and 2 desktops outfitted with some of the most popular PC games including Wolverine Origins, Plants vs. Zombies, Left 4 Dead, Battlefield Pacific, Call of Duty: World at War and Crysis. By showcasing these PC titles, and providing Windows subject matter experts to answer any questions influencers posed, we could showcase how seamlessly Windows 7 integrates into a gaming lifestyle.

The lounge also featured a video blogger area that encouraged influential attendees to record their own E3 coverage using Windows branding as a backdrop, while also sharing their thoughts about Windows 7 gaming for Microsoft highlight channel videos which were distributed to YouTube throughout the day.

In addition to the activities at the J Lounge, we had a camera crew cover interesting PC Gaming stories from exhibitors and attendees on the E3 show floor. These stories were captured for use in the daily YouTube videos, as well as a final Windows 7 Gaming mini-documentary.

Windows 7 Video Blogger Lounge Critical Reception
The overall response to Windows 7 Video Blogger Lounge was extremely positive. While almost all of the Lounge attendees had PC experience, some had not gamed on the PC, or had lapsed in their PC gaming. Although some of the attendees had recently moved to the Macintosh platform, and expressed that their lack of gaming on the computer helped make that decision, they did state that they would likely use boot-camp to dual-boot in order to install Windows 7 to play PC games.

Most attendees stated they liked the speed, and responsiveness of Windows 7, and were very surprised that the laptops we had in the lounge were running games like Wolverine and Call of Duty: World at War with excellent framerates.

There was a rush of influencers the first several hours of the Video Blogger lounge which created a slight backup in the video interview and editing process. One or two influencers were unable to record a video due to prior appointments, but everyone understood the process.

PCGA Members at E3 2009: Alien Invasion

By John Blain from Dell/Alienware

Just as E3 began this year, agents dressed in black wearing mirrored sunglasses and earpieces began making appearances in hotel lobbies across downtown Los Angeles, all sporting locked silver briefcases handcuffed to their wrists. “Today at 1pm, at the convention center”, was the only information these mysterious messengers would import to curious bystanders. The display caused a stir on many occasions, and several times these agents were politely asked to leave by members of various hotels’ security.

At the prescribed time these agents filed into black Suburbans and took the act to the entrance of E3, successfully setting the tone for what was to follow. I was able to catch the display on camera with the help of a few friends

With the ceremonies out of the way, E3 attendees were unleashed upon the brand new M17x laptops waiting inside the Alienware booth. The wait was finally over. The ‘World’s Most Powerful 17-inch laptop’ was finally here.

I spent most of the second day at E3 following these agents around as they escorted VIPs to the Alienware booth for press interviews. Their subdued secret-agent style was a stark contrast to the glitter and glam most exhibitors at the event chose to showcase, but was rewarded with the curiosity of the gawking crowd. “I wonder who they’re escorting,” I often heard as our lead agent cleared a safe path through the masses. Thanks to the M17x, I now have had a taste of what it might be like to be an important dignitary being escorted through public places by the secret service. It’s surely an experience I’ll never forget.

On the third day I finally got a chance to check out all the great games being previewed at the event. After the excitement from the previous days, I was almost too tired to enjoy them. ALMOST. You can read the rundown of the games that impressed me most here.

With over 41,000 attendees, this year’s E3 was bigger than ever, and was an experience I wouldn’t have missed for the world.