Faster Forward: At E3, Nintendo woos gamers

By Rob Pegoraro
Wednesday, June 16, 2010; 1:56 PM

3D technology isn't just for watching movies and sports--or so the video-game industry would have us believe. At the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, Sony and Nintendo touted hardware and software for 3D gaming.

Nintendo's contribution to this genre is a new version of its DS handheld, called (duh) the 3DS. Its top screen is split into two halves that generate a three-dimension effect for the player--without the special "active shutter" glasses 3D HDTV requires.

Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera tried out a sample unit and liked it, declaring that "the 3D effect works."

Nintendo did not announce a price or a shipping date for the 3DS.

Sony, for its part, touted a series of games written for the 3D capability of the PlayStation 3 (announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January and delivered in an April software update), such as Sony's own MLB 10: The Show and Gran Turismo 5 and third-party titles like Electronic Arts' Crysis 2 and Ubisoft's Shaun White Skateboarding.

The other half of Sony's news was the debut of the PlayStation 3's Move controller. This answer to Nintendo's motion-sensitive Wii remote and the Kinect system Microsoft unveiled Monday is set to sell for $49.99, starting Sept. 19.

Like the Wiimote, the Move--a wand with a glowing orb at its business end that makes it look like a remote that's been chewing radioactive bubble gum--allows your movements to be tracked by a camera connected to the console (in this case, Sony's $39.99 PlayStation Eye).

I realize that to those of you uninterested in gaming, these and other E3 headlines may seem disconnected from your electronic experience. But consider this: Although the PlayStation 3 and Wii both date to 2006 and the Xbox 360 goes all the way back to 2005, all three consoles remain current, competitive hardware. Although I appreciate the benefits of constant computing progress, there are times when I wouldn't mind seeing the computer business act a little more like game industry.

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