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The 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took place in Los Angeles in mid-June. This is the annual trade show for the computer and video games industry. It is an opportunity for developers to present upcoming games and related hardware. The show provides a window into recent and upcoming developments in the video game industry. There are a number of important games slated for launch in the remainder of the year, and there are several other key developments that will have a significant effect on the industry going forward.

A wide variety of games were presented at the recent E3, many of which are slated for launch in the coming months. Some particularly noteworthy upcoming games for the Nintendo Wii include Disney’s (DIS - Free Analyst Report) Epic Mickey and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. There will also be a number of important titles introduced for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3. Activision Blizzard (ATVI) will be introducing new installments of its most successful franchises. This includes Call of Duty: Black Ops, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and Tony Hawk: Shred. Meanwhile, Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) displayed such upcoming titles as Mafia II and Sid Meier’s Civilization V (for the personal computer). Elsewhere, Electronic Arts (ERTS) showcased Medal of Honor, along with the newest installments of many of its sports franchises.

Several new video-game technologies slated for launch in the coming months were also unveiled at the E3. The Nintendo 3DS, is an upcoming handheld game console that can produce 3D effects without the need for special glasses. This handheld device will feature a 3.53-inch widescreen LCD display along with a 3.02-inch LCD touch screen. Elsewhere, Sony has focused on adding 3D capability to its PlayStation 3, and Microsoft will likely also move in this direction. However, this trend may take several years to build momentum. Unlike Nintendo’s handheld model, 3D capability on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 would probably require a 3D television. Customers will likely prove reluctant to buy a new 3D television, especially those who have recently purchased a high definition model.

In order to emulate the success of the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft and Sony have plans to launch motion controllers of their own. The Microsoft Kinect is an Xbox 360 accessory that is a motorized camera housing microphones and sensors that is able to capture players so that they appear in games themselves or as avatars, graphical representations that mimic their movement. This allows users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 using gestures and spoken commands, without the need for a controller. The Kinect is scheduled for launch in November 2010. Meanwhile, the PlayStation Move is a wand-like controller with glowing tips that are tracked by a camera. It allows the player to interact with the PlayStation 3 through motion and position in front of the PlayStation Eye webcam. This device will make its debut in September of the current year. The introduction of these products has the potential to dramatically change how Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are played in the coming years. Nintendo will likely respond to these advances with new products for the Wii.