This week, geeks and nerds around the world unite for the annual E3 video games convention in LA. It's closed to the public, but it's a video game festival, a circus-preview of the upcoming year of games. All the big companies, from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft put on presentations, detailing their upcoming projects and teasing release dates on their most anticipated offerings. All after seeing what all three had to offer, it's clear that if you thought there was a focus on motion sensor games before, you have no idea how much more there's going to be in the next year.
Microsoft - The straight-up T-2 breakthrough of the week was definitely Project Natal, which I don't feel bad about saying is completely revolutionary. There's no controller. Nothing to hold, or click. It's a combination camera and scanner, with voice and emotion-recognition software.
You simply stand in front of the screen and you're scanned into your 360 (the technology does not seem to require you to buy a new console, which is nice). Now you can literally, get to the chopper.
Nintendo - Hinging their bets on Wii Motion Plus, a new add-on to the Wiimote that projects your movements in a 1:1 ratio, Nintendo's physical will probably tighten up. You'll be able to throw a frisbee, and your golf game will suck even more, since it'll more realistically capture your back swing. While both companies are taking cues from Nintendo by introducing motion-sensor controllers this week, Nintendo seems content to ride out the Wii wave. It certainly seems like the other two companies are innovating at a faster pace than Nintendo, but by announcing two new Mario games and a new Zelda title, they may be winning back the core gamers.
Sony - After Microsoft went all "through the looking glass" on day one, many felt like Sony had a lot to live up to. Amazingly, they did, introducing their flavor of motion-sensor control. By spring 2010, players will use one or two wands that will become objects in whatever game you are playing. Golf club, tennis racket, sword, all were projected into the game based on the also 1:1 ratio of control. While the Wiimote's have to be pointed, this controller just needs to be moved through a plane of motion.
Remember when you used to have to sit on your couch and use your thumbs to move around video games? Man, I feel so old.