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E3's Red Carpet

The E3s of old were all about flash and sound over substance. But in this scaled-back version of the summit, less of that is taking place. An eclectic mix of Hollywood, however, is still making it into the show. Microsoft enlisted running back Reggie Bush to show up to promote Madden NFL 08 during its press conference. Sony went back a lot further in time and brought out Chewbacca to introduce the new Star Wars Entertainment Pack for PlayStation Portable that ships in September. (Darth Vader, who's on the front of the white slimmed-down PSP, must have been busy.) Nintendo opted to ask some real people to talk about its games.

Electronic Arts recently hired Steven Van Zandt to head up its music advisory board for the new game, Rock Band, so he was at the Fairmont Hotel to talk about some of the new music featured in the game. While he's not a gamer, Van Zandt (best known for being a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, prior to his Sopranos fame) was a good choice to talk about music and the importance of the new game in getting more kids interested in music today. He didn't look very comfortable in front of the packed crowd of more than 200 people, but he was by far the most effective celebrity I've seen at E3 this year.

Activision paid comedian Jamie Kennedy to play host for its press conference, which took place right after EA's in the same conference room. Kennedy, however, couldn't get the attention of those of us there. When he started interviewing game developers, one British developer got more laughs in a few minutes than Kennedy got all night. Tony Hawk, who is known for giving a great interview, also appeared during this press conference, but the interview that Kennedy did with him wasn't very good, and wasn't that funny.

-- John Gaudiosi

John is a freelance journalist covering interactive entertainment and the video game business for more than a decade for The Washington Post and other online and print publications.

By Editors  |  July 12, 2007; 9:04 AM ET  | Category:  E3 2007
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