The first sign, pun intended, of E3 are the giant billboards that wrap the entire convention center. The size and cost of every aspect of E3 is almost unimaginable.
For some it is the booth babes, but I never get tired of seeing the Star Wars characters roaming the show floor.
If you ever wanted to see 'real life' versions of your favorite virtual property, E3 is the place.
The show floor, covering two large halls, numerous off-floor meeting rooms, is packed from start to finish.
Sometimes you don't have to choose between booth babes and giant action figures!
This picture of the Xbox 360 press conference gives an idea of the scale of the presentations.
The events are star-studded affairs with lots of celebrities from the movies and here, during the EA press conference, superstars of sports.
After the show hours are over the (working) parties go into full gear. Some are relatively exclusive, like this Microsoft event. Others are ginourmous.
The after-hours events are an opportunity to feature some of the products that didn't get major space on the show floor such as Age of Empires On-Line at the Microsoft event.
The press conferences take place all over the city. Ubisoft and EA hold their conferences in grand movie picture palaces.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo frequently book big acts. This picture is from Microsoft's event with Jane's Addiction.
More of Jane's Addiction at the Microsoft Press Conference.
The press conferences are a fast, concentrated method for getting the high-points of the new year's products to the world. They are usually punctuated with trailers - like previews of coming attractions - and live demos, often featuring the designers and celebrities.
Most of the conferences try to tell a story, not just push specific products. For Microsoft it might be that the Xbox is the center of the family room. Sony often paints a picture of its global, all encompassing view of entertainment on every platform, wherever you are, whatever you're doing. Nintendo has generally focused on creative, new approaches to gaming, expanding the market, bringing in women and kids to the traditional hard-core fans. This year the industry faces new challenges from mobile platforms. How will the big three respond? We'll find out the first week in June in Los Angeles.