Gamers rejoice; E3 Expo launches in L.A.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES The three day showcase, better known as /*E3*/, opened with the company that made the /*Wii*/ game console a reality.

/*Nintendo*/ unveiled its new products, including a new portable /*3-D*/ device that doesn't require 3-D glasses, and improved game titles like "Donkey Kong Country Returns," "Golden Eye," and "Disney Epic Mickey."

"More games have sold for Wii in the 43 months since launch than any other platform ever over the same launch period," said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo America, who spoke on Tuesday.

But Nintendo's biggest announcement was its new hand-held Nintendo 3DS, which lets players watch 3-D movies, take 3-D pictures and play 3-D games, all without having to wear 3-D glasses.

/*Microsoft*/ wasn't far behind. At the /*Wiltern Theater*/, Microsoft unveiled the latest games due out later in 2010 for its /*Xbox*/ 360 game console, including titles like "Halo: Reach" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops."

The new Xbox is due to hit stores this week. It's touted as being slimmer, stronger and faster.

"This year marks 10 years for Xbox and this is our biggest year ever," said Don Mattrick of Microsoft. "If you love entertainment, Xbox Live will change the way you watch movies, listen to music and connect with friends."

What's even more promising than the new hardware is what Microsoft used to call Project Natal. It now goes by the name Kinect and allows users to play videogames without game controllers.

"It responds to your gestures and it listens to your voice. With technology like this, there are no barriers and no learning curves," said Marc Whitten with Xbox Live.

The Kinect games are aimed more at the family audience. Players can interact with animals, work out at home with a virtual trainer and even watch real sports with enhanced /*ESPN*/ coverage.

The Kinect systems are due to hit stores in November.

/*Sony*/ also pulled the curtain back on a motion gaming device on Tuesday, the /*PlayStation*/ Move. However, similarly to a Wii, a game controller still needs to be used for it to work.

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