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E3 Notebook: Let the Games Begin

The company also announced that its new controller will employ motion sensors so that users will be able fly virtual planes or presumably drive virtual cars simply by tilting the controller one way or another. As someone who finds it nearly impossible to play a racing game using the miniscule button on standard game controllers, I find the idea of having an easier and more intuitive controller a great one.

But even there, Sony's effort was somewhat disappointing. The company's controller is clearly an effort to duplicate a similar feature built into the controllers for Nintendo's upcoming Wii game system.

Speaking of Nintendo, the company's presentation on Tuesday was a disappointment in a more straightforward way than Sony's: It announced almost nothing of substance. Unlike Sony's Hirai, Reggie Fils-Aime, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Nintendo's American division, warned early on at his company's event that he wouldn't be giving any similar details on the Wii's launch.

I think many of us stuck around, figuring that he'd have to announce something noteworthy. Unfortunately, he really didn't.

Oh, sure, Nintendo announced there will be a new Zelda game that will be available at the launch of its Wii console. And unlike Sony, Nintendo showed off several real, playable games and promised that visitors to its booth at E3 would find 27 different games available to play on the Wii.

But as with Sony, even those highlights weren't all that bright. Nintendo's been promising -- and failing to deliver -- a new Zelda for several years now, so gamers will likely believe it only when they see it. And Fils-Aime declined to say how many of the games playable at E3 will actually be available on store shelves when the Wii launches sometime this fall.

With Microsoft having launched its own next-generation game system last fall, little in the way of news was expected out of the company's press event on Tuesday. But it made a big splash by announcing a partnership with Take-Two Interactive (TTWO - Get Report) that will bring the next iteration of Take-Two's flagship Grand Theft Auto franchise to the Xbox 360 on the day the game launches. Take-Two has released previous iterations of Grand Theft Auto for the Xbox months or years after it released them for Sony's PlayStation 2.
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