Motion controls to grab players at E3 videogame expo

A new battle in an ongoing war between game console makers is expected to break out at a leading videogames conference which opens in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Typically a stage for new blockbuster titles, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year will also be an arena where Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo duel with motion-sensing controls for rival PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii consoles.

"Motion controls are by far and away going to be the talk of the show," said Scott Steinberg, head of videogame consulting firm TechSavvy Global.

Microsoft has planned a set of high-powered events to debut "Project Natal" technology that lets players control Xbox 360 consoles using natural gestures such as the wave of a hand.

Natal boasts facial recognition capabilities that enable consoles to distinguish between players.

Cirque Du Soleil performers known for magically combining theater and acrobatics have crafted Natal into a show Microsoft is hosting in Los Angeles on Sunday, two days before the official start of E3.

"The big story of the year is going to be motion controls for Xbox 360," said Game Trailers editor-in-chief Shane Satterfield.

"Nintendo sort of broke the mold for the videogame industry with Wii and everyone else has been trying to capture lightning in a bottle ever since."

At a game developers conference in San Francisco in March, Sony unveiled a hotly anticipated motion-sensing Move controller that it hopes will fuel new interest in its PlayStation 3 (PS3).

Move wands that synch with Eye cameras on the consoles will hit the market in time for the year-end holiday shopping season, as will Natal technology to be renamed before it heads for store shelves.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are expected to reveal rich line-ups of videogames they hope will win players to their consoles and motion control systems.

"It's going to be a big battle between Sony and Microsoft," Satterfield said. "On the heels of that, Nintendo has a big show planned. It is going to be tough to topple Nintendo."

A shift to downloadable content will be among the trends on an E3 show floor renowned for action-packed trailers displayed on giant screens, demonstrations of coming titles, and models dressed as popular in-game characters.

Videogame publishers use downloadable content to deliver gaming software as well as virtual items such as outfits or weapons to consoles via the Internet.

Popular titles can be kept alive by selling new missions or sequels to original games bought on packaged disks at real-world stores.

Downloadable content has a dark side, tempting videogame makers to hold back on content in the original package so they can sell it to players later.

Knowing that glitches can be fixed with patches available online can also result in premature releases of titles.

"(Downloadable content) has already been abused," Satterfield said. "It's a slippery slope for developers. Sadly, it looks like that is the direction it is going."

Downloadable content also opens up opportunity for independent game makers to sell titles from websites and for games to be adapted in real time based on feedback from players, according to Steinberg.

For example, Bethesda Softworks resurrected the main character of "Fallout 3" who died at the end of the original title but was brought back to continue the videogame adventure.

"It turns the box product into a gateway experience," Steinberg said. "It makes the games more of a service than a product."

E3 remains, at its heart, a showcase for top-shelf blockbuster videogames.

Hot titles on the expo horizon include "Rage" and sequels to popular franchises including Halo, Call of Duty, Little Big Planet, Civilization, Fallout, Mafia, Mario, Fable and Portal.

Sony used a San Francisco club recently to provide a pre-E3 peek at a "Killzone 3" shooter game that will be playable in 3-D on PS3 consoles.

"It's all about software," Satterfield said. "Hardware is just a chunk of metal and transistors if you don't have games to play on it."

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Technical Business Analyst/SQL Development - London - Permanent - £50k DOE

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

    Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Admin - £35,000 - 5 month FTC

    £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 5 month Fixed Term Contract - Telecommunicati...

    Telecoms Engineer - Telecoms Administrator - London - £26,000

    £26000 per annum + 25 days holiday & further benefits: Ashdown Group: Telecomm...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?