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ARTICLE

Weekender: March on E3

I'm finishing the last edit of this while downing a Cappuccino the size of Mount Olympus.

My heart's already hammering from the caffeine. My system's battling both it and mild stirrings of jet-lag with all the vigour of Henry Rollins wrestling a crocodile, unaccustomed to the smart play of letting the two duke it out themselves.

And I still haven't breached America. Aside from a brief chat with a US customs officer who regaled me with tales of conversing with/mildly interrogating Microsoft and Sony PR corps (and a wilder story of director Guillermo Del Toro that I hope's true: its too wild to be a lie) Los Angeles, and E3, lie somewhere over the horizon. Leg two of the journey is still to begin.

While you read this the heavens will be heavy with winged tin cans filled to the brim with journalists globe-trotting to L.A and towards the industry's finest show of the year. For these 48 hours of weekend, the entire industry is airborne.

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It's reportedly 31 degrees on the street in L.A. God knows how high that goes in the confines of E3. For us filming we're employing an old news anchor trick; smarts on top, air-con friendly shorts and sandals below. But no matter how hard you attempt custom convection, the heaving masses, that throng of bodies, will generate enough heat to dry the throat and soak the brow.

I've until now been a distant observer of E3. Typing and collating copy from a news desk on the other side of the world. Yet the excitement drips through digital transmissions, and seven years on, the excitement is still there.

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In a short missive on our social sites I asked you whether E3 had become stale: the reply was it lacked surprise. For us reporting on it, we know ahead of time what's there - else planning appointments would be impossible - and if it's not a console reveal year, guesswork functions just fine to fill in what gaps there are.

But I still think there's surprise, even if it comes with an air of expectation. The Microsoft tap. A Butler cameo. Whatever garb Miyamoto is going to jump out in. With a lot of the reveals done before kickoff (yesterday's net was awash with trailers, screens and info for various titles) it's left to the conferences to dazzle us with new familiarity.

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Which is why sitting sweltering in Exhibition centres or gazing at a video feed on laptops somewhere in the world, the excitement is palpable. Every year there's memorable moments. And in a year were hardware creators could show us their vision of the future - and that no longer's limited to "just" games and a complete unknown from tradition - there's even more reason to expect the unexpected.

In a few hours our feet will be on the tarmac of E3's host city, and we'll be here all week. You can keep abridged of developments, impressions, hands-on, GRTV interviews and more on the site and on our Apps. I hope you'll join me in feeling the thrill of what's to come: much better than a caffeine heart attack.

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