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ECTS Preview

An introduction to ECTS, Europe's biggest computer games trade show, and what you can expect from our live coverage of the event over the next three days!

It's that time of year again.... For three days the sun comes out, the temperature soars, and over 20,000 sweaty journalists pile into the Olympia exhibition center in the heart of London.

See! The games. Hear! The noise. Stare! At the booth babes.

ECTS - yeah, baby, yeah! The Good

ECTS is Europe's biggest computer games trade show, our answer to E3. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the very first ECTS, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Blizzard are promising to "change the world" here today. Luckily they're more likely to be announcing a new game than bringing an end to famine or promoting peace and goodwill to all men, but whatever happens we'll have all the information right here on EuroGamer!

There's also a big Unreal Tournament press party tonight at The Playing Fields, giving us a chance to try out the latest build of Epic's big multiplayer blastfest for ourselves, and chat with some of the game's developers. As soon as we recover from our hangovers (free beer - woohoo!) we'll bring you a full report.

Take 2 will be demoing the Gathering of Developer's line up to us, as well as Grand Theft Auto 2. TLC are showing off Prince of Persia 3D. And Virgin Interactive and Interplay have an impressive selection including Giants, MDK2 and Star Trek : New Worlds.

Perhaps most excitingly of all though, Hasbro are going to be revealing .. Thomas The Tank Engine! No, really. Prepare yourselves for a torrent of Fat Controller jokes...The Bad

It's not all good news though... EA are conspicuous by their absence, and although Westwood are here to unveil their new 3rd person shooter, C&C Renegade, they are only showing it behind closed doors and haven't returned our calls. We'll try and fight our way in, but it ain't looking good...

Eidos have decided not to show ANY games in public this year, and aren't even letting anyone into their private "back room" showings unless they work a print magazine. Someone give these guys a clue, please.

Whether their scaled down presence this year has anything to do with their recent slump in revenue remains uncertain, but interestingly they aren't showing any Ion Storm titles this year, not even in private. Ion Storm themselves only found this out a few days ago, so something strange is going on... If we find out more, you'll be the first to know.

Activision are also absent from ECTS, but luckily we know where they live. We should be dropping by their hotel tomorrow to check out all the latest on Quake III Arena, Battlezone 2, Star Trek : Elite Force and the rest of their line up. Conclusion

So, a bit of a mixed bag then. But you can be sure that if it's here, and if it's happening, we'll bring you all the latest on it between now and Tuesday!