While we've taken a good hard look at what we expect from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony during E3 2008, we've not yet touched on the original gaming platform, the personal computer. Back during my first visit to E3 in 1998, PC gaming made up a relatively large portion of the show, with PC publishers large and small showing off everything from big-name titles to tiny indie games like Space Bunnies Must Die. The new E3 has changed that a great deal. Smaller companies who might have once brought their games to the Expo for exposure to retailers and publishers just can't justify the space to show off their wares...and why should they? In the age of high-speed internet, smaller companies can deliver a demo to the press in minutes, so the PC presence has definitely dwindled at the event.
Of course dwindled doesn't mean died, and there are still plenty of PC games on hand, particularly in the MMO department. As the most pirate-proof genre in the industry, we'll see no shortage of MMO titles at E3, but other than that particular genre we can expect PC exclusive titles to be few and far between.
On the MMO front we've got plenty to look forward to, with several major publishers showing off products. Sony Online Entertainment will be there showing off Free Realms, The Agency, and of course, DC Universe Online. EA and Mythic Entertainment will be marching Warhammer Online back and forth, and there's a good chance we'll see something from Codemasters as well. Even Maple Story and Combat Arms company Nexon will be on hand to add to the MMO domination.
Notable absences on the MMO front include Blizzard, who just finished revealing Diablo III at their own event, and NCSoft, who I suppose had more important things to do.
Other than the massively-multiplayer games, most of the big PC offerings at E3 are multiplatform titles like Bethesda's Fallout 3. You know...the games we keep seeing announced for PC and "next-gen" consoles.
There are exceptions, of course. BioWare's PC RPG Dragon Age: Origins should certainly cause a stir. Other EA PC titles to be seen include Spore and Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3. I also expect we might see a bit more of The Sims 3, though of course that game was absent from their line up press release.
Other notable PC titles include Left 4 Dead, Half-Life 2: Episode 3, Crysis: Warhead, Far Cry 2, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II, Operation Flashpoint II, Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization, Space Siege, and Empire: Total War.
A nice line up, certainly, but these are all games we know about. Hell, we've known about some of these for years. Will E3 hold any surprises for the PC gamer? Will LucasArts reveal the Star Wars MMO BioWare is working on? Will new technology be unveiled that will change the face of PC gaming forever? Can any PC news top Blizzard's announcement of Diablo III? PC gamers speak up! What do you want to see out of the PC at E3?