The Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3, starts next Tuesday as all eyes in the gaming world turn to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the latest information from the gaming industry. Here’s what to expect from the bit three gaming companies — Ninetendo, Sony and Microsoft — in terms of hardware .

Nintendo: Nintendo has provided gamers with the most solid information to get excited about: the company announced last month that it will preview its next-generation console at the show, and it will launch the new console sometime in 2012.

That’s where the solid information ends, but there have been plenty of rumors about the Wii 2, which is said to be code-named “Project Cafe.” It’s widely thought that the new console’s controllers will have a touchscreen in them, thanks to “industry sources” who’ve leaked information to IGN and Develop.

Nintendo will also be hyping its new handheld, the 3DS, with new titles to pump some life into its less-than-thrilling lineup at launch. In addition launching its eShop, an online store and browser for the 3DS, on June 6, the company will likely preview big titles such as The Legend of Zelda.

Sony: Sony needs a good showing at E3 to win back fans, buzz and credibility. The company is expected to have more details about its next-generation portable, which it’s calling the NGP. The portable is supposed to have a 5-inch touchscreen, a rear multi-touch pad, dual joysticks, and WiFi and 3G connectivity and front and rear-facing cameras.

Sony will also likely show off some new games and features for the Xperia Play, which launched in the United States last week, but there probably won’t be that much in the way of announcements for the next PlayStation.

The PS3, which came out in 2006, still has a lot of life left in it and comments from Sony on its last earnings call indicate it’s still in early development on the next PlayStation.

Microsoft: There’s been very little chatter out of Redmond on what the company will be previewing at E3 this year. Undoubtedly, Microsoft will be mostly focused on software.

Still there has been a whisper or two about changes to the Xbox 360. TGDaily reported that E3’s official site,, has an ad that indicates the price of the XBox might fall by $100 to $299.99.

The same report said that hints about a white Xbox have been making their way through the rumor mill.

Early last month, Develop reported that Microsoft had sent its next-generation console to EA developers for testing, but those reports were dismissed. The company is most likely to show off more features of the Kinect, its hugely popular motion-gaming peripheral.

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