This was my view from the Microsoft E3 Press Conference this past Monday in Los Angeles. I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced something as cool as what Microsoft did for me last week. The road to the show wasn’t without it’s own issues although. From having a ticket, to not having a ticket, to the entire trip being in jeopardy; it all worked out pretty well in the end. Let’s start from the top.
Every year, the E3 Electronics Expo comes to L.A to showcase the video gaming technology. This is the first year that E3 has allowed the public to buy tickets to the show as in previous years, only media have been allowed entry. I jumped at the chance to experience my first E3. I was able to secure tickets the minute they went on sale. Microsoft announced their own separate event called “Xbox Fan Fest”. This is something that they have done for a few years now for die-hard Xbox fans. They give gamer’s a chance to experience their newest games away from the massive lines on the show floor. Only 400 tickets were available through an online ticket system and I was one of the lucky few. That is until Microsoft sent a second email out stating that the system let more than the allotted amount in and all tickets had t be voided. Despite the frustration, I tried again on the rescheduled date and received a page time-out error. Even more frustrated, I emailed Xbox support and they rewarded me with a ticket to FanFest!
A lot of gamer’s missed out during the second go round. This is the one issue with social media is that issues bring loads of added attention and the pool became a lot bigger than it was initially. Information was few and far between leading up to the date. It wasn’t until the week of the event that I received my code and information email. With anticipation building, Fan Fest was just around the corner. Since I was a young kid, I’ve watched the major game companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have these really cool press conferences with live music, entertainment and most importantly great games. Going into everything, I wondered if my first experience would be everything I hoped it would. The morning of the event, I took my first Uber ride into downtown L.A and I stood in my first of many long lines of the week. I made it to the Fan Fest.
Microsoft greeted everyone with a pre-party. We were given an early lunch, custom t-shirts to wear with our Fan Fest lanyards. We were then carried over to the Gallin Center on Microsoft’s expense. The picture above is exactly what I saw when I walked into the arena. From the television to my eyes, the set looked utterly amazing! I couldn’t believe my eyes let alone how close I was to the stage. The entire event was very organized and calm. The fans were enthusiastic about Xbox and so was I. On a huge 4K screen I was one of the first people witness the Xbox One X in person. Following the press conference, we were taken back to the pre-party location that had been transformed into an after-party. Full service open bar, custom hat making, free food, free games and more. At the end of the night I walked away with a backpack full of Xbox goodies and they weren’t cheap either.
The following night we were treated to a preview of all of the upcoming show floor games. We got to play them all before they went public the next morning. Once again a full open bar, food, snacks, games, and personal time with developers, and the people that made it all happen. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for creating an unmatched experience that I don’t think anyone could imagine. They even provided the unlucky folks that weren’t able to score tickets from the first round free 3-day expo passes. No one truly lost as an Xbox fan this year.
In conclusion, I have to show a new respect for Microsoft and people that run the show. Not only did they create magic, but they set the bar really high. This is an experience that I will never ever forget. Despite all of the trouble to get there, in the end it was well worth it. Thank you Microsoft and Xbox for all of the hard work you put forth.