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E3: a whiz-bang preview of next year's digital thrills


June 21, 1997
Web posted at: 5:26 p.m. EDT (2126 GMT)

From CNN Interactive Writer Donna Freydkin

ATLANTA -- Hazy gray smoke envelopes you as the deafening clamor of bullets and explosions fills the cavernous hall. Hordes of people shove you aside and push past you -- some sporting conservative suits straight out of the boardroom, others looking more like high school kids on a field trip.

This is the Electronic Entertainment Expo, an industry trade show devoted to software, video games and everything interactive. The show, which ran June 19-21 at the Georgia World Congress Center, is a spectacular, larger-than-life video game arcade where companies can hype their products and those interested can try them out.

E3 -- sensory overload!
movie icon 29 sec/1.3M QuickTime movie

players Glitz is king here, and it's little wonder, since big bucks are at stake in the video game and computer entertainment industry. According to the NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, New York, consumers spent $1.1 billion on entertainment software in 1996. That represents a 20.1 percent increase in dollar sales over the previous year.

And the bucks keep on rolling in. The research firm reported that during the first three months of 1997, 13.3 million units of video game software and 10.4 million units of computer entertainment software flew off the shelves.

With that kind of money at stake, it's no surprise that many companies pulled out all the technological stops for the show.

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