June 8 - Sony and Nintendo release their newest consoles, the PlayStation Vita and the Wii U at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Elly Park reports.
A military tank and flashy displays welcomed the 45,000 fanatics who flocked to what is called the ultimate expo of the video gaming industry - Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly known as E3. The annual LA conference gives game developers a chance to show off their latest games and game-related hardware. Once market-leader Nintendo unveiled their new console called the Wii U, equipped with touchscreen and a camera with video-call capability. It's also got user-friendly interfaces for the hardcore gamer. But Martin Rae of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences says it's all about content. SOUNDBITE: Martin Rae, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, saying (English) "It's always about content. Hardware will define what you can do with content. And that was my point earlier about the new Wii system. I don't know what it'll do yet, but really, really good developers will figure out how to make all that work in ways we haven't seen before." Sony, which is haunted by a recent data breach exposing personal data from 100 million of its users, aimed to make a come-back. It unveiled its PlayStation Vita -- a portable device with touchscreen capacities and front and rear cameras. The launch of these devices show a growing trend in the industry -- shifting more and more towards the online gaming market -- appealing to a new breed of gamers. SOUNDBITE: Martin Rae, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, saying (English) "It's brought in different customers, brought in a demographic that never thought of themselves as gamers. But when they're spending $20 or $30 a month buying add-ons for these social games, and they're spending hours and hours on it, those are gamers." Online games played over the Internet on home computers, consoles, and mobile devices are estimated to generate sales of $18 billion dollars this year. The 2011 E3 expo will run until June 9th. Elly Park, Reuters.