Last week, the Electronics Entertainment Expo rolled through the Los Angeles Convention Center, giving people a look at the latest developments in the video game industry. About 45,000 people attended the industry only event, getting a hands-on experience with games from the major players such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo- as well as other first and third-party developers and publishers.
This year’s show brought few shocking surprises, with a lot of the previews focusing on the slew of impending 3D games. While Sony showcased their games running in 3D-compatible modes with the use of specialized glasses, Nintendo revealed their Nintendo 3DS portable system. Thousands of people waited in line for hours to get their hands on the device, which employs an undisclosed technology to simulate the 3D effect without the need for any glasses.
Beyond 3D, the other big buzz at the show was motion sensitive gaming. The Wii is no longer your only motion sensitive gaming choice, as Sony finally revealed details on their Move controller, giving attendees a chance to test it out. Similar in functionality to the Wii’s controls, you can expect Sony to compete with more advanced and engaging games. Microsoft also made sure not to fall behind by showcasing Kinect, a tethered camera which faces the player. Kinect interprets player movements and processes them as in-game controls, freeing the user of a controller. The showcased demos gave people a glimpse into some titles, though it will remain to be seem if the Kinect games will be reserved for quick romps of fun or actually turn into deep games.
Music games also made sure to leave their mark, which is no surprise as their popularity continues to climb as a surefire way to have a good time with a group of friends. Harmonix gave attendees a hands-on go at Rock Band 3, which gives the series some much-needed refreshment by utilizing a real six-string Fender guitar which can be used in-game or by plugging it into an amplifier. Microsoft’s Kinect is also putting your dancing skills to the test, with titles such as Dance Central and Dance Master.
With this year’s show involving 3D and motion controls, it will be interesting to see what direction interactive games are headed in. Judging by the size of the show and the growth of the industry, E3 is sure to be back and even bigger next year, with more surprises and innovations in store.
// Notes from the Road
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