This past week hasn't been shy as far as introducing new gadgets and technology. With WWDC on Monday, you'd think we couldn't have gotten any more excited (after all, iTunes Match seems fairly spiffy). Oh, how wrong we were.
Though E3 didn't officially start until Tuesday, we were already seeing keynotes on Monday. Microsoft pumped up their Kinect-system, showing off a slew of games such as Dance Central 2 and Kinect Star Wars. Other games were introduced that will still use the basic controller, but aren't left out from the Kinect system: voice-controls used through the Kinect's mic can be utilized during gameplay.
Even the main XBox360 menu is getting a makeover. The new UI will later include Bing voice search for Hulu, Netflix, live TV, and even YouTube. With this much integration of the Kinect, Microsoft likely won't even need a new console for quite some time.
On the other hand, Sony let out a bit of news on their NGP - now officially named the PlayStation Vita. This handheld has received quite the popularity since it was introduced in January, and there were several demos to be had. Several of these games are available for both PS3 and PSVita, and Sony announced that games can stop on one machine, only to pick up on a different one (for example, switching from your PS3 to your PSVita). Most importantly, though, was their announcement of the final price and date: $249 for the WiFi model or $299 for the 3G model, hitting stores this holiday season; AT&T will be the sole carrier. That's got to be one strong battery to display the crazy visuals of the Vita while maintaining internet connection...
Aside from their keynote, Sony also introduced the PlayStation-brand 24" 3D monitor and 3D glasses, available for $499 as a bundle. With these, you'll be sacrificing the comfort of your ears for the joy of being able to play with friends locally while viewing a full screen. According to Sony's press release, letting the Lithium Ion battery in these glasses charge for 3 minutes results in 3 hours of use, with 45 minutes bringing you roughly 30 hours of wear.
Meanwhile, Nintendo took a different approach to their keynote. After a large symphony orchestra playing through a montage of Zelda-scenes to honor the 25th anniversary, Nintendo dived into showing off new games for the Nintendo 3DS and the handheld's infamous AR (augmented reality). More importantly, though, was their announcement of a new system: the Wii U, which will make use of a 6" controller with a screen. You can use the controller to share pictures and videos from your tv to your handheld, or you can use it to play certain games (for example: holding it up to the screen while playing baseball makes it act as a virtual glove). Nothing was mentioned as far as how the remote will be powered or charged, however.
Oddly enough, the actual Wii U wasn't spoken as much as the Wii U remote was, but from photos during their keynote, it looks very similar to a Wii but with rounded edges. It will be backwards compatible, so all your odd Wii gadgets will work with it. The Wii U is scheduled to release in 2012.
Source: engadget, prnewswire