Registration for E3 2012, which will take place from June 5-7 next year, opened yesterday, and prospective registrants were in for a bit of a surprise when they got to check-out. The cost of a three-day expo pass, which was previously $400 (or $500 if you registered after a certain date), is now $795 or $995 respectively.

Press and many industry professionals will still get complimentary passes, of course, but for smaller developers and retailers this may prove a death sentence to their ambitions to attend. On one hand, this is another step toward making sure E3 is for the big industry players only; on the other, we won't be terribly disappointed if there are fewer random Gamestop employees running around the show floor like headless cuccos next year.

Is this a last-ditch effort to salvage a dying expo's viability, or has E3 just gotten to big for its enormous britches? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.