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Attend E3 without leaving your home town

Plugged In

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Nintendo at E3 2012 (Credit: Getty Images)

E3, the annual video game extravaganza, has mostly been a closed gate. Industry insiders can attend, as can media and retail partners, but the heart of the industry, the gamer, has been forced to watch from afar.

The Entertainment Software Association hasn't changed its official policy on the show, but that's not stopping E3 2013 from breaking out of its cage this year.

Every major press event will be televised and/or streamed online. Some publishers are bypassing the media entirely. And, for the first time, the world at large is going to get the chance to try out some of the same brand new video games people on the show floor are testing.

Nintendo is leading the charge in these efforts. The company shocked showgoers earlier this year by announcing it would not have its traditional pre-E3 press conference. While select media will be let onto the show floor early to play demos and hear a few remarks from officials, Nintendo plans to rely instead on its Nintendo Direct broadcasts to talk directly to consumers.

On June 11, at 7:00 am PST, the company will stream a broadcast with an update on the state of upcoming Wii U games. That’s pretty cool.

Even cooler? The next day, it will partner with over 100 Best Buy stores around the country to offer demos of many of the same games that are on the show floor.

It's an unprecedented move, but it's also one with a short time frame. If you want to try the games (and the company won't announce what, exactly, will be playable until that Nintendo Direct event), you'll have to be at the stores between 4-8 p.m. local time on Wednesday, June 12 or between 1-5 p.m. local time on Saturday, June 15. You can locate the nearest participating Best Buy here.

Sony's doing something similar in London with EToo. The company is one of the lead sponsors of the event, which will showcase games from over 30 developers. Among the expected demos are Lost Planet 3, DuckTales, The Last of Us and Rain. That event runs Monday-Thursday.

And if you happen to be in LA during the show but don't have a ticket, Microsoft has you covered as well. On Monday, June 10, the company is having a meet-up at the Microsoft Store in Century City, where the general public will get to see the Xbox One and get hands on time with the new controller. Microsoft's Major Nelson, in announcing the event, cryptically added "I may have one or two other surprises there as well." Free t-shirts? Could be anything.

Perhaps the best news to gamers scattered around the world is the fact that all four major press conferences on Monday -- Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony -- will be livestreamed in a variety of formats and locations. Beginning with Microsoft’s shindig at 9:30 PST, we’ll have a feed of all four here at Yahoo! Games.

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