The gaming industry's E3 conference is under way. Like previous years, the show has delivered on its promise of showing off what gaming developers and hardware makers have planned for the next year or two. The show is once again dominated by the gaming big three-Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft-each taking the stage to show off some new technologies. They have also unleashed details on a slew of games that will be making their way to their respective consoles in the coming months.
And while E3 is still not over, there is a good amount of news that has already come out of the show. Some headlines might excite gamers, while others might fall short. But in either case, the following items will shape the gaming industry going forward, both from a hardware and a software perspective. Here are some of the events that have headlined E3 2010 so far.
1. Microsoft has major exclusives, new console
When Microsoft took the E3 stage on Monday, it announced several exclusives that should help it sell more consoles. According to the company, Halo Reach will be coming exclusively to the Xbox 360 later this year. It will also be the exclusive home of Gears of War 3 and Fable III, two titles that promise to be major successes. Microsoft also announced a new Xbox 360, featuring a smaller footprint, a nicer design and a 250GB hard drive. It comes with Wireless-N connectivity included. It's being offered for $299.
2. The year of motion
Motion gaming has taken center stage at E3 this year. Microsoft offered details on its new Kinect motion-gaming device, which will allow gamers to control on-screen action without a controller. It will even let players control the Xbox interface with their voices. Microsoft plans to launch Kinect in November. Sony, meanwhile, unveiled the PlayStation Move. The technology, which requires a peripheral to control, will ship in September. Sony's PlayStation Move will retail for $49.99.
3. Nintendo takes a risk
Few companies have doubled down on 3D technology quite like Nintendo. The venerable firm announced the Nintendo 3DS, a follow-up to its DS handheld. But unlike most other 3D technologies that require glasses for users to get the full effect, 3DS owners will be able to play in 3D without any aids. Like the DS, the 3DS boasts two screens. The lower screen allows for touch capability, while the upper screen will deliver 3D gaming. Nintendo has yet to pinpoint a release date or price for the handheld.
4. Sony and the kitchen sink
Once again, Sony has decided to turn the PlayStation 3 into the single console that can do anything and everything for the owner. According to the company, it plans to launch a surround-sound speaker system to go along with the PlayStation 3. The all-in-one system will include a subwoofer and will ship worldwide in the fall at a price of $199. But who knows what the point of it is. Yes, home-theater systems can improve the game play experience, but is it really Sony's job to make a PS3-branded speaker system? It's a suspect move.