A few things I noticed wandering the expo floor.
I was surprised to hear some people say that this is a fairly decent year for hiring. I thought it was a down time for the industry, but perhaps in interactive entertainment, down just means, not growing as fast. Or, we get this impression from the problems hitting consoles and AAA companies, but perhaps they are as big a source of new employment as they had been.
The level of physical fidelity continues to surprise. Trees with leaves blowing gently in the wind, canvas straps that look so real you can almost feel the rough cloth, surround environments with wind and lighting and sound, faces ..... Human faces. No. Superhuman faces. Beyond the human. Angels and devils maybe. Spirits. I don't know.
The use of the body as a controller is still clunky. Many companies are trying and there were a few apparent successes. A smallish head mounted display that really works. But there were more things that still seemed too clunky for home use. It's getting there, however.
The Indie games were more impressive than ever. We are seeing a clear impact of the democratization of tools. Indie projects just look, sound, and feel so good. They are creative as before, but they are developing such a compelling attractiveness too.