his year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was certainly one of the most interesting and exciting in the conference's 10-plus years of history. The three biggest video game publishers continued their bitter struggle for supremacy, even as the technology powering games continues to improve at a shocking rate, making for a spectacular show. But despite all the moving and shaking among the game industry's key players, E3 2006 was still all about the games, and we're here to recognize the most impressive among them.
But first, a hearty thank-you to all of you who helped make GameSpot the number one source of E3 information in the world. During the course of the week, we brought you coverage of more than 1,000 different E3 games, producing approximately 700 stories and 700 videos, while also bringing you the first look at the Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft press conferences, plus more than 25 hours of exclusive live video broadcasts from the E3 show floor. As soon as we got back, we put our heads together to decide which games made the best showing. Our congratulations and best wishes go to the winners of our E3 Editors' Choice Awards, though we also wish to respectfully acknowledge all the finalists in each award category--in many cases, this was some of the fiercest competition we've ever seen.
About These Awards
Like a fashion or auto show, E3 is very much about immediate impact. Exhibitors tailor their demonstrations to quickly and forcefully get your attention. Considering the cacophony of noise in a convention center full of people, with music blasting at full volume, publishers have to structure their trailers and videos to be as flashy as possible. So what does this mean in the end? The games that present themselves well aren't necessarily the best games out there. We must also remember that most games shown off at E3 are in early stages of development. So in a nutshell, a Best of Show award from GameSpot is no guarantee on the final quality of the game. That said, it's quite an accomplishment to impress us in the midst of so many other games and distractions on the E3 show floor, and that's certainly worth the recognition of an award.
Games that are eligible for GameSpot E3 2006 Editors' Choice Awards must have been shown in some form of playable state. Developer-led demonstrations in which we never touched the controls ourselves were still eligible. Games that were present at the show only in the form of trailers or prerendered movies were generally not considered, except for specific award categories. We also tended to favor original, never-before-seen games. While the long development cycles of today's gaming industry means that many games are exhibited at E3 for two or even three years, it's only natural that we'd be more impressed by games that were completely new to us.
With all that out of the way, we've divided our E3 2006 Editors' Choice Awards into four primary categories:
Special Achievement Awards
This category is for recognizing games and trends that don't neatly fit into any genre categories. You'll also find our picks for the best videos, hardware highlights, and top news of the show in this category.
These awards recognize excellence within a particular genre. Note that some genres are inherently more competitive than others, and we do not subdivide our genre awards among platforms. In recognition of GameSpot's platform-agnostic stance, games across all platforms compete with one another for genre awards.
With the transition to the next generation of gaming hardware under way, we saw plenty of games both for up-and-coming game platforms as well as the venerable standards. However, this year's E3 clearly emphasized newer platforms, and as a result, the platform awards we selected are purposely aligned with the platforms that had the greatest impact at the show.
Game of the Show
This category is self-explanatory. We give you our take on the game that impressed us the most at E3 2006, and we also recognize nine worthy finalists.
E3 2006 Editors' Choice Awards
In this feature, the GameSpot staff brings its considerable amount of collective experience at covering E3 to bear, distilling all of our coverage down to its most important elements and showing you what the biggest names and events were at E3 2006.