For a number of years E3 was the definitive event in the gaming calendar, and it's still right up there at the top (or near the top, depending on your perspective). Nevertheless its dominance has come under question, with major publishers like EA and Activision opting out last year, while for a few years Nintendo has delivered 'events' catered to online streams as opposed to glitzy press conferences. After all, the way games companies promote their releases has evolved a great deal.

Likely as a reaction to its perceived diminishing role, E3 is shaking things up this year with 'Consumer Passes' - unlike the E3 Live fan events of last year, these passes will give members of the public access to the same exhibitors, panels and events as media attendees.

Tickets will go on sale on 13th February and will get purchasers into the main hall, panels and events over the full three days - the expo runs from 13th to 15th June.

Only 15,000 tickets will be put on sale - those that get in first will pay an 'early bird' price of $150, while the bulk of tickets will cost $250; that is for the full three days, but it's still quite a chunk of change.

The E3 site is yet to update with more information, but it'll be interesting to see how well this goes. It could very well sell out quickly, though to be blunt it's not exactly difficult to get press badges - the thousands of people that normally crowd the halls demonstrate that. Most people with a website of any size can normally get in, so this seems more like a move to change the image of the show while, of course, boosting revenues.

Are you tempted to try and get a ticket for the LA show?

[via gamespot.com]