One of the frustrating things about E3 is the length of time until demo'd games are released to the public.
To date, most of the games we've seen aren't out until October at the earliest. Many, such as EA's Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (pictured below) will only be available in November or December. And some, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, won't be available for almost another whole year.
From the industry's perspective, it is simple. They want their expensively-produced games marketed as far in advance as possible. And when I say 'expensively-produced', we're talking up to $60 million.
The best way of understanding how the games industry operates now is to relate it to its closest sibling sector, the film industry. Films are marketed months in advance. Really big films often start their sales push a year away.
It all starts with 'exclusive' development reports and 'behind-the-scenes' photo essays of the title in production. Nine times out of ten, this content is soft marketing material, completely controlled by the developer and game publishing companies. The goal is that by the time the game becomes available -- and can therefore be independently tested and rated with no control -- the 'strengths' of the game will be imprinted on the public's mind.
We in the media do our bit to help this marketing process along, by breathless reports and soft interviews with the publishing companies. We do it because we think that you, the public, like to see pictures of games in development, even if you're being fed a marketing angle. (Think of property magazines: it's the same principle.) The developers know this and imply conditions to 'exclusives'. There's no solidarity in the media as to telling big corporations to shag off, either: no-one boycotted last week's Apple conference when Gizmodo was blackballed for its earlier iPhone scoop.
The key point here is the scale that the gaming sector has now reached as an entertainment industry. Films and music are facing a massive commercial drain, thanks to filesharing. But the world of console games faces no such money leak.So get used to longer and longer lead-in times for video games: it is the industry that publishers are moving into.