Just wanted to point to Kotaku again really quickly. Their excellent E3 coverage helped me out a lot. If I fell behind while watching a conference, a quick live blog check got me back on track (or filled in what I missed). They also helped me put some names to some faces, since the only people I really recognized were Reggie, Peter Molyneux, and Will Wright. And of course a scan of their live blogs of the conferences not televised let me sum up the other announced titles.
Is E3 dead? I don't think so. I'm sure there will be one next year at least, even if it's as bad as this year's. But I don't think it will continue on after that if they don't change things next time.
E3 used to be held in May, not July, when most companies had not yet announced the games for the upcoming holiday season. By July, most of that news is out. This leads to almost no E3 surprises. The biggest and most talked about "reveal" of the week was the addition of FFXIII for the 360. This is a game everyone already knows about, has seen the trailer for, but is now going to be on 2 consoles instead of 1. It's a little sad that that's the biggest surprise of the week.
You could also say that Microsoft's reveal of the new 360 dashboard was a big event, unless you were actually watching the event, and noticed the pause of silence after the announcement before some awkward applause. Which I suppose could be credited to live bloggers, but I prefer the lackluster announcement approach.
Nearly every game there was a game that the public already knew about. It's great that there were so many demos, which is a plus for having the convention a little later in the year, but there's just not much that's new.
And then there were the casual games; mounds and mounds of casual games. Everyone from Microsoft to Ubisoft drowned us in them. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto himself said that E3 will no longer be an event where they will announce "core" games. Maybe he misunderstands the people who actually pay attention to E3. We're the people who are more likely to pick up your next Zelda game than Wii Music. We want Prince of Persia, not Imagine Fashion Designer. The average "casual gamer" isn't going to pay attention to E3, so why is E3 catering to them instead of the rest of us? Unless CNN and Fox News are going to do big E3 news briefings, or local news channels do E3 specials, they probably won't even know there even was an E3. My mother has a DS, PSP and Wii, and I guarantee you the only reason she even knows E3 exists is because I had an opportunity to go a few years ago and she offered to fly me there. She'd never heard of it prior, and she probably doesn't remember about it now. And yet the whole conference (no offense mom) was aimed at people like her. Ubisoft, who brought us amazing games like Assassin's Creed, devoted at least half of their conference to games geared toward 13 year old girls. Even Microsoft, with their new dashboard complete with Mii60s, hit the casual gamer. G4's Morgan Webb and I can agree on at least one thing - the avatars bite.
So where can E3 go from here? It can go away, and I don't think many people would miss it. Especially since we still have TGS, E for All and PAX. It could be replaced with individual, private company conferences. Or they could work together and find a happy medium between the E3 of the past and the E3 of today. They complain when there's too much of a spectacle ("It's too expensive!"), and they complain when there's hardly any ("No one came!"), so maybe they can find a mix that will please everyone. The future of the ESA intertwines with this of course. Some companies have bailed from the organization (and consequently E3...sort of). Many have complained that the current president is not properly representing the industry (like how it did absolutely nothing when Fox News attacked Mass Effect (a perfect opportunity), though the actual gamers seemed to take care of it themselves). There is more than enough speculation on sites like Kotaku and Game Politics, as well as from people like the CEO of EA.
So I'll leave you with some amusingly accurate portrayals of this year's E3:
Penny Arcade - It's Just Like Being There
VGCats - Waiting
Joystiq - E3, then and now (if you want to cry a little inside)
Oh and again, sorry for the lack of anime previews. I'm uh...a little busy (finally) playing Assassin's Creed. But I'll get right on them, I (kinda) promise.