It was business as usual at the E3 gaming showcase in Los Angeles today as the three industry giants, Nintendo, Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), all unveiled exciting new products and innovations. Leading the way was Nintendo, with the company’s announcement of the Wii-U, a totally original, “console/controller combo.” The new console will allow gamers to switch back and forth between playing on a digital HD controller screen and on their TV. The Wii-U hopes to appeal to more mature audiences, and these efforts are reflected in the systems’ initial game offerings, which will include “Aliens,” “Ghost Recon,” and “Ninja Gaiden.”
Microsoft also made headlines today largely through its plans to expand the capabilities of its motion-control gaming device, the Kinect. Having previously been compatible with a paucity of games, the XBOX maker announced that it has struck a new series of development deals to bring new titles to the Kinect that will offer more choice to gamers. Among the most sought-after titles will be “Mass Effect 3,” “Ghost Recon,” and popular sports franchises from EA Games (NASDAQ:ERTS) such as Madden and FIFA. Microsoft also announced expansive add-ons to its online gaming network Xbox Live, which promise to allow users to watch TV through the console with “LiveTV.”
Finally, Sony (NYSE:SNE), the much maligned victim of recent hacking escapades, unveiled a new, handheld gaming console called Playstation Vita. The new device is slated to hit markets before year end, with pricing at $250 (wifi-only) and $299 (wifi and 3g). Sony is working in tandem with developer Take Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) to publish games such as “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception,” “Resistance 3” and “Bioshock Infinite,” in time for the consoles’ release.