E3 News Round-Up

The video games biggest annual shindig, E3 (Entertainment Electronic Expo) concludes today, and there’s plenty of news for games fans.

Several stories we covered at the rumor stage have now been confirmed by official launches, including a hands-free control system for the Xbox 360 and a new version of the PSP made smaller by the removal of the UMD disc system. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr also appeared at the Los Angeles event to hype up the Beatles edition of Rock Band. (Intriguingly the BBC claims this is the first time the band’s music has ever been licensed to a third party.)

In other news from the event:

  • Activision revealed that as well as mixing 80 tracks through a special turntable controller (pictured above), players of DJ Hero will also be able to have a friend use the Guitar Hero controller on 10 bonus tracks to produce dance/rock hybrids.
  • Sony announced a motion control system using two hand-held controllers and a set-top sensor, the idea being that the three points can track location and make possible three-dimensional movement in games.

     

  • Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto told the BBC he was flattered rather than worried by Microsoft and Sony following in the Wii’s footsteps with unconventional games controllers, and noted the firm is working on a device for Wii Fit named ‘Vitality Sensor’ which measures the player’s pulse.

     

  • Nintendo showed off some of the events from Wii Sports Resort. As well as introducing new games such as archery, canoing and ‘swordplay’, it will be bundled with WiiMotionPlus, a clip-on device designed to make the Wii controller more accurate.

     

  • Contrary to some expectations, none of the major console manufacturers announced any price cuts. Sony in particular was tipped to drop the price of the PS3 to become more competitive but it appears that, with the device already reportedly being sold at a loss, it would have been a tough sell to stockholders.
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