I apparently missed the speculation over the weekend, but today various news outlets confirmed that the E3 we know and love/hate is no more-- the trade show atmosphere will be gone from any future shows, and the remaining event (whatever it may be) will focus on "press events and small meetings between media, retail and development."
You could call E3 a virtual world in its own right-- wandering among the booth babes, bands, and flashing lights, it definitely feels like something not of this earth. A place where people wear outlandish costumes, and engage in activities they might not normally try in other places. Some say they hate it, yet keep going back, addict-like.
But what does this mean for virtual worlds? I'd be hard-pressed to say that I thought it mattered much at all. I'm sure the gaming press will continue to be well or over-informed about new and expanding MMOs, and publishers will keep trying to sell MMOs and cut their various deals. Maybe it *is* time for E3 to end, or transition into something else. But I'm sure glad I got to see one in the "old style" before that happened.