"Nintendo's hit critical mass already with the Wii and really, for all intents and purposes, the battle's over," says Shane Satterfield, editor in chief of GameTrailers.com. "Nintendo's won the battle."
To avoid losing the war against the Wii, Sony and Microsoft will use this year's E3 as a launch pad for their own motion-control devices. Microsoft used last year's E3 to give gamers a sneak peek at its Project Natal motion analysis device and to leak development partners including Electronic Arts (ERTS) (read: Madden titles and Grand Slam Tennis), but is increasing the device's visibility this year with a June 13 demonstration broadcast by MTV and featuring Cirque du Soleil.
Sony, meanwhile, unveiled its Wii-meets-sorcerer's-wand PlayStation Move controller-and-camera system at the Game Developers Conference in March, but will likely debut software from avowed Move-backing developers including Activision (ATVI) and Konami (KNM). Microsoft's motion device is expected to fetch between $50 and $200 this holiday season, while PlayStation plans to debut the Move for $100 this fall.
That doesn't mean Nintendo will be idle, as it plans to introduce the glasses-free 3D version of its popular DS handheld device to the E3 throngs. Considering that all incarnations of the DS outsold the Wii last year by more than 2 million systems -- the amount of units sold by Sony's competing PSP handheld -- and outsold the Xbox, PlayStation 3 and PSP combined in April, there's nothing small about the new handheld's debut.-- Reported by Jason Notte in Boston.
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