Edinburgh International Entertainment Festival

The two-day festival will showcase the latest games, the annual Edge award ceremony and conferences

Preview by Graeme Strachan | 14 Aug 2006

First established in 2002, the EIEF gets ever-stronger as it reaches its 4th incarnation. Each successive year the festival has grown in size as the video game culture roots itself ever more firmly in the popular consciousness. The two-day festival will host events for both the buying-public and the industry executives, featuring showcases of the latest games, the annual Edge award ceremony and conferences covering everything from machinima and mobile-phone gaming to topics like censorship and 'games that make you cry'. This year's event has the potential to be more important than ever before as three heavyweight industry leaders prepare to duke it out in both the console and the handheld markets.

Last December, Microsoft released the Xbox 360, which has been immensely popular worldwide, marking the first blood in the latest generation of console wars. Although it has the head start, many gamers are still waiting to see a game released which uses the technology to its full potential.
More conflict is on the cards from other companies, with Nintendo's Wii and Sony's Playstation 3 both due out before the closing of the year, the competition to drum up the enthusiasm will be fierce, as Sony are looking to make up the ground they lost at E3. With the PS3's technology failing to inspire and even the ability to play Blu-Ray DVDs being subdued in the face of the hefty price tag, Sony still have a lot of legwork to do.

On the other hand, the competition will be just as fierce from Nintendo, who will be pimping out their three Edge nominated DS titles; with a particular focus on the latest avant-garde offering 'Electroplankton', hoping no doubt to use lateral thinking and creativity to win out over Sony's technologically superior PSP. Although the focus of EIEF is geared far more towards industry-suits than the high street-pounding public, there will be an all-day Game Screening event at Edinburgh's Odeon on Lothian Road. While the event is free, tickets will be limited in number and are available soon.

On the 21st and 22nd of August. http://www.eief.co.uk/