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E3 shows off new games and consoles

posted 6 Jun 2012, 02:04 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jun 2012, 02:04 ]

The Electronic Entertainment Expo showcases the newest games and consoles - and some flashy presentations.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 5, 2012) (REUTERS) - The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) took over the Los Angeles Convention center on Tuesday (June 5) for a show of flashy exhibits, sneak peaks at new video games and a chance for video game industry members to get their hands on the latest technology.

One of the biggest announcements at the expo is Nintendo's Wii U, which supports 2 "Gamepad" controllers that look and function like tablets, and can be integrated into gameplay in a variety of ways.

The Nintendo display was heavy with consoles, letting media and industry people get a first hand look at the console. One of the biggest hurdles for new consoles is developing new games to take advantage of the new hardware.

NBA2K13 is one of the games that is slated to be an early adopter of the Wii U. Jason Argent, from NBA2K13 developer 2K sports said that any new hardware is a challenge.

"We try to keep the game play and everything as consistent as we can across all the platforms. And of course, different platforms allow for different things. We develop the game for that platform so Wii will be a different thing for use but we're confident we'll have a really great product," said Argent.

For the gamers looking for the next big franchise release, Microsoft Xbox is betting on Halo 4. The latest installment of the long-running gaming series will add a few new elements to the familiar battle-hardened characters. The new version, which is slated for a November release will include a new multiplayer element.

The video game business, which is a nearly $78 billion dollar industry, has not seen the best in sales recently, raising questions whether it will continue to grow at the rates of past years.

Martin Rae, the president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, thinks that the business of video games is diversifying.

"Certainly retail sales, as they're traditionally measured, have been off in the last few months and some months a little worse than others but it continues to be a growing business, the pie is getting redistributed a little bit. And so when you have, where it used to be just PC and console games, look at Zynga," said Rae. "I think the pie is just getting sliced up a little differently."

The gamers in attendance at the expo were getting in to the action. Many jumped in front of motion controllers and tried their hand, or body, at some of the latest titles. Others honored their favorite characters by wandering the floor in costume.

The video game expo often pits gaming companies against each other to try to show off the biggest, brightest and most engaging displays. Game company Trion gave fans a chance to climb into a giant robot-like structure for a photo-op and SEGA brought in an original prop from the film "Alien" to promote it's upcoming game "Aliens: Colonial Marines."

E3 takes over the Los Angeles Convention Center through June 7.