E3 well underway

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is this week. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have all had their press conferences now. There will coninue to be updates from third-party publishers the remainder of the week, but the most anticipated events are wrapped up.

Among the biggest disappointments, Sony didn’t have a single “killer app” lined up for its PS3, the online gaming service was not detailed or shown, the PS3 itself is going to cost $600 for its premium package (vs $400 for premium XBOX 360), PS3 is not going to have dual-HDMI outputs as previously mentioned at last year’s E3. The PS3 basic package loses wi-fi and SD memory capabilities and has no HDMI output at all for $100 less. Sony really over-hyped the PS3 last year to try and keep people from buying a new XBOX. Now the PS3 comes off as gimmicky with no real content.

Microsoft showed teasers for Halo 3, Fable 2, Forza 2, all looking really good. They also announced a few accessories; wireless headset, camera, and force-feedback steering wheel. The most exciting potential is that they also announced that Windows Vista will have “Live” integration, so some titles could support me playing on my XBOX 360 and Travis on his computer playing the very same game with each other. The same Gamertag is used across the entire Live platform which is really awesome. That should rejuvenate the PC gaming scene.

Nintendo showed off Zelda, Mario Galaxy, Duck Hunt, Crystal Chronicles and a lot more for their new console, the Nintendo Wii. The Wii-mote, their new motion tracking controller, looked effortless to use and very versatile! The Wii will be always on the net, allowing for content updates (sounds similar to the way a Tivo gets updates periodically), is designed to be very fast at loading up games, supports 4 traditional GameCube controllers and allows for GameCube-sized disks.

As far as the 3 conferences go, I think Nintendo stole the show, Microsoft demonstrated incremental growth and expansion, and Sony failed miserably. I expect many will decide to buy both a 360 and Wii because combined they cost less than the PS3 and either of them alone looks to offer more fun experiences.

Sony Press Conference
Nintendo Press Conference
Microsoft Press Conference

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