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Roundup: 3D gaming – coming out of a screen near you, Branson brings big bucks to games, Is this E3’smost star-spangled party?

3D gaming – coming out of a screen near you

After being bedazzled by characters leaping out of the cinema, and bludgeoned with ads for new TVs, 3D is being billed as the Next Big Thing in gaming. But unlike those blockbusters and goggleboxes, we’ll be spared the geeky glasses, at least if Nintendo is to be believed. Although a number of 3D-enabled titles that come completed with mood-spoiling specs have been around for a while, when Nintendo unveiled its 3DS this week the big news wasn’t that gamers would be able to see Mario leaping out of the screen but that they wouldn’t have to don special shades to do so. Set to launch in Japan next March, it’s likely to be available in Britain before the end of next year. Sony is also going big on3D, with titles for the PlayStation 3 being announced on Tuesday. Aswell as a 3D ‘Grand Turismo 5’, ‘Crysis 2’, and ‘Ghost Recon’, the company has said it will create a threedimensional ‘WipeOut’. The bad news? You’ll need to put on a pair of those glasses to play.

Branson brings big bucks to games

That Richard Branson, such a shy and retiring chap. A veritable shrinking violet. Not. Sir Richard this week helped raise the profile of his new gaming venture by pulling up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in an armoured truck brandishing $1m in cash. His subtly delivered messagewasthat over the next 12months, Virgin Gaming will run a series of big prize tournaments with cash payouts totalling that amount – which must be pocket change to Dicky, surely.

Is this E3’smost star-spangled party?

At the games industry’s biggest beano, it’s not just about how good your games are – it also seems to matter howmany celebrities attend their launches. The most star-spangled event of this year’s E3? At the time of going to press, Activision wasahead on points, with (deep breath) Pharrell Williams, Usher, Eminem, Soundgarden, David Guetta, Jane’s Addiction and Tony Hawkall taking to the stage. All very impressive, but how to improve the stellar cast for next year?