Giant video gaming conference E3 gets going in L.A.

Richard Hough and others play games on their Nintendo DS portable consoles while waiting in line to try Nintendo's Wii consoles at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 12, 2006. These days, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are trying to stave off mobile and social games.

Jeremy Hobson: The giant video gaming conference known as E3 is happening this week in Los Angeles. The big question for some attendees is whether the big three game console makers -- Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony -- can hold onto gamers in a mobile world.

Marketplace's Queena Kim reports.


Queena Kim: Wii, Xbox and Playstation were once the stars of the video game industry. Now they're the aging stars.

Brian Blau is a gaming analyst at Gartner.

Brian Blau:  Their consoles are now five and six years old.

And sales have slipped as customers hold out for the new models.

Blau: The industry is collectively holding their breath to see what’s coming next.

Today, Nintendo will formally unveil its new Wii Gamepad. But some details have trickled out. The gamepad has a second screen and a social network feature. The Wii has been hit harder than Microsofts's Xbox and Sony’s Playstation because it caters to families and casual gamers. The same players who are attracted to mobile games like "Angry Birds" and social games like Zynga’s "Farmville."

Scott Steinberg is an analyst at TechSavvy.

Scott Steinberg: You can now get thousands of games free online on Facebook.

Microsoft and Sony are also battling for gamers as mobile games get more sophisticated. But there's no word on when they'll unveil their new consoles.

In San Francisco, I’m Queena Kim for Marketplace.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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