3D, Motion Control Rule E3 Announcements

E3 has returned ‘ all powered up and ready to taking gaming to the next level.

The video game industry event, which is taking over the Los Angeles Convention Center from Tuesday through Thursday, has been kicking things off with plenty of blockbuster announcements from the biggest companies in the business.

Among the highlights of the event so far:

‘ Microsoft announced Monday its new Kinect motion-detection technology that will allow players to control the action without pushing buttons or even holding a remote control. A raft of new games for the controller ‘ including a Star Wars title ‘ were announced. The Kinect is expected to be on sale later this year with a price to be determined but rumored to be around $150. Microsoft also announced a new version of its 4-year-old Xbox 360, which will be slimmer, have wi-fi as a standard and include 250 GB of memory.

‘ Electronic Arts announced a number of new games, including a back-to-basics approach on Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. Other announcements included the release next week of a beta for the fall-launching Medal of Honor; a version of the EA Sports Active 2 for Kinect; Dead Space 2, arriving in January; a reward program for the company’s shooter games; and the arrival of Crysis 2 in stereoscopic 3D.

‘ Ubisoft is bringing back the King of Pop for Michael Jackson: The Game, a dance title for multiple platforms. The company also offered a look at Child of Eden, from Q Entertainment; a download-only title called Project Dust; and a Christmas release for the sequel title Driver: San Francisco.

‘ Nintendo unveiled at long last the Nintendo 3DS, a portable device that will play 3D games and allow users to watch 3D movies and take 3D photos. Also announced was The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Wii and a new collection called Mario Sports.

‘ Sony also jumped into the 3D game, announcing Gran Turismo 5 in 3D and says it will have 20 games compatible with 3D technology by early next year. The company also unveiled its own motion-control device, called PlayStation Move, and PlayStation Plus, a new paid subscription service for its PlayStation Network.