Preview: New games consoles and add-ons at the Electronic Entertainment Expo

Prepare for a deluge of news regarding consoles and games from June 14 to 17 as one of the world's biggest Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles gets under way. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all have exciting new hardware to reveal. Microsoft have new motion controls, Nintendo are going 3D, and Sony are planning on introducing a bit of both.

Microsoft's new device is a camera that plugs into the Xbox 360. It can track movement, recognize faces, and respond to voice commands. It's supposed to be totally hands-free, and whilst in development was known as Project Natal.

The company are very excited about this gizmo and want the addition of camera controls to make the Xbox 360 as popular as the Nintendo Wii. Imagine playing the Wii's fitness and party games but with better graphics and no cables to fuss over.

It's also possible that a new, cheaper, and smaller version of the Xbox 360 will be announced, just as Sony came up with a slimmed-down PlayStation 3 in 2009.

Sony have their own take on motion controls, called the PlayStation Move. The Move is a combination of Wii-like wand controls and the PlayStation Eye camera. Again, Sony hope to take Nintendo's Wii ideas to the next level using the PlayStation 3's power.

They are also expected to push 3D TV technology, not only updating the PlayStation 3 so that it can output 3D signals, but also highlighting old and new games that will have 3D capabilities, and the kind of TVs that they will work on.

Nintendo also have a 3D trick up their sleeve in the form of a new handheld game console. Currently known as the '3DS', it's intended to be the successor to the highly successful portable DS games machines.

Not much is known but at least one of the screens will display a 3D effect - no special glasses required - leaving room for the company to make the 3DS' second screen 3D at a later date, should they choose to do so.

E3 hardware presentation schedule
Microsoft: Monday June 14, 10am (1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CET / 2am, 15th, JST)
Nintendo: Tuesday June 15, 9am (12pm EDT / 5pm BST / 6pm CET / 1am, 16th, JST)
Sony: Tuesday June 15, 12pm (3pm EDT / 8pm BST / 9pm CET / 4am, 17th JST)

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, is a press event but video from the various conferences can be seen live and online at the following websites:

G4TV - http://e3.g4tv.com
GameSpot - http://e3.gamespot.com
GameTrailers - http://www.gametrailers.com/e3
IGN - http://e3.ign.com

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