ECTS 2002 started today at Earls Court in London, with an extra early 5am start meaning a long tiring day was inevitable.


Generally the show seems better than last year, although it's clear that the trade hall maybe wasn't as good as it may have been - a number of last years exhibitors are not at this years event, and many of the big name's only having small booths, and conducting business behind closed doors to invited guests only.

There were however a good number of companies showing their forthcoming titles, such as Ubi Soft, Acclaim, Rage, Konami, and Midway, along with numerous smaller companies who had new titles playable, and the PlayStation Experience was particularly impressive, with a good range of titles on show from both Sony and third party publishers.

PlayStation Experience at ECTS 2002, Earls Court, London [Photo copyright GamesPaper]

Highlights of the PlayStation Experience were The Getaway which seems to be similar to GTA3, but obviously set in London, with plenty of recognisable London features such as red busses, transit vans, taxi's, phone boxes, zebra crossings, and an involving underworld crime feel to it. Colin McRae Rally 3 was also extreemly popular and looks stunning, with impressive visuals both during the racing and on the cut scenes before and after each stage.

The only other downers to the show was the fact that Earls Court doesn't really seem fully suitable, despite it said to be more favoured by both exhibitors and visitors - you have to que outside the building before entering the hall, signage to conference suites is nearly non existant, and there seems to be a distinct lack of toilets (or at least signs too them - much like the criticism of ExCeL last year), which although maybe not a major aspect of the show, must play a part in how visitors and exhibitors go away from the show feeling.

We're back at ECTS again tomorrow for day 2 of the show, to see other bits of the show that we didn't get to see (mainly due to feeling worn out after waking so early!), and we'll have a full rundown of the biggest titles on each of the main exhibitors stands, and news of the major announcements, during the coming days.