LOS ANGELES: With a new 3-D gadget, motion controllers and a buffet of never-before-seen gaming goodness, last week's Electronic Entertainment Expo was a feast for the eyes - and hands - of 45,600 folks from the video game industry. Here are the trends that emerged from the 2010 show.
POETRY IN MOTION
By the end of the year, every major console is slated to have some from of gesture recognition.
The PlayStation Move system, which employs a wand-shaped controller and camera to precisely detect players' movements, will give the PlayStation 3 the ability to be more like Nintendo's Wii - except with high-definition graphics and a more mature library of games.
Microsoft is further pushing (and bending, twisting and jumping over) the envelope with the Xbox 360's controller-free Kinect system. The gizmo detects gamers' bodies, including their skeletal systems, to do such things as teach choreography in "Dance Central," administer workouts in "Your Shape: Fitness Evolved" and deploy adorable virtual pets in "Kinectimals."
The future is here, judging by the plethora of hereafter-set first-and-third-person shooters showcased at E3.
"Fallout: New Vegas" and "Rage" took decidedly post-apocalyptic routes while "Red Faction: Armageddon" and "Dead Space 2" shot for interstellar territories.
"Homefront," however, imagines a not-too-distant future in which North Korea invades the U.S.
Whatever the future may hold, apparently everyone will be invisible.
"Crysis 2," "Deus Ex: Human Revolution" and "Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier" all featured the ability not to be seen in some fashion.
In one of the show's most surprising moments, space combat was introduced for intergalactic prequel "Halo: Reach," which also includes invisibility.
OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Several beloved franchises were awakened from a deep slumber at E3.
Sony's press conference reached a climax when a creepy ice cream truck driven by freaky clowns ominously drove onto the stage at the Shrine Auditorium to unveil that a new installment of the popular car-combat series "Twisted Metal" was coming to the PlayStation 3 platform for the first time.
Nintendo pushed the nostalgia factor higher by digging deep into its catalog for the return of many classic characters ready for the 21st century: "Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" enhanced for Wii MotionPlus, "Kirby's Epic Yarn" stitched with a new art style, "Donkey Kong Country Returns" injected with new energy and "Kid Icarus: Uprising" presented fully in 3-D.
Developers showed off innovative ways to battle online with new multiplayer modes.
The most monstrously enthralling was the new beast mode for "Gears of War 3," which tasks players to take down human forces for the first time as various baddies from the Locust Horde, including explosive Tickers, behemoth Berserkers and something resembling a giant centipede.
Other notable multiplayer modes showcased at E3 included the kill-or-be-killed wanted mode from stealthy sequel "Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood," breakneck faction mode from car crusher "Twisted Metal" and surrealistic trail blazer mode from "Driver: San Francisco," which allows racers to use the game's new shift ability to leap from vehicle to vehicle.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Sony's plans for 3-D came into sharper focus as the electronics empire displayed PlayStation 3 titles, such as "Eye Pet," "Killzone 3," "Gran Turismo 5" and "Motor Storm: Apocalypse," in stereoscopic 3-D.
The effect - sometimes as impressive as "Avatar," other times as underwhelming as "Clash of the Titans" - required a 3-D television and spectacles.
Nintendo, on the other hand, dominated this year's E3 with the unveiling of the 3DS, the 3-D handheld console that doesn't require glasses.
Attendees waited in a line that snaked all around Nintendo's booth to get their eyes on the surprisingly crisp effect in demonstrations of such games as "Nintendogs and Cats" and "Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D."
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