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What's New in the Basement?

I have a couple of high-profile meetings this morning -- my first one is with LucasArts. But then I plan to spend the rest of the day in Kentia Hall.

The Convention Center is set up with two big halls -- the West and the South -- but there's another one, kind of in a basement on the South Hall. It's generally where start-up companies and smaller up-and-coming firms are located.

A lot of people tend to look down on Kentia Hall, because these are very small 10-by-10 booths mostly (although tere are a couple big ones down there). But I find that Kentia Hall is where most of the innovation is coming from. i also find a lot of trends and a lot of new products that don't otherwise get any press play. Jay Wilbur (a key figure on some of Id's and Epic's huge hits) once said that the heart and soul of the video game industry is two guys working in total obscurity in their basement.

While there's no basement at E3, Kentia Hall is about the closest thing we have. It does happen to be the only hall that's underground.

I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of innovative products are being shown this year by new people who may not have a lot of money, but might have a lot of imagination.

By Bob Greiner  |  May 11, 2006; 11:30 AM ET  | Category:  E3: Dispatches
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