We talk to Marketplace reporter Steve Henn about what’s going on inside the L.A. Convention Center, specifically in regard to new offerings from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
Yesterday, Nintendo offered a preview of the Wii U, the next generation of game player from that company and heir to the Wii. Wii U (beyond making it sound like you’re imitating a fire engine whenever you say it) offers a little touchscreen tablet for playing your game. This means that games can be played with the tablet as a controller while you play the main game on your TV. It can also mean a game that involves two different screens full of action. Alternately, it means you can simply play the game on your tablet and walk away.
Steve Henn says Nintendo isn’t saying much just yet about how this could be used, but one could easily imagine using the small screen as a portable TV or movie player, so you can play games when you want or use it as a tablet.
Sony kicked off E3 by apologizing profusely for all the security problems it has had recently. It went on to introduce the PlayStation Vita, a hand-held game player with a touchscreen controller on the back and dual cameras. The Vita is available in Wi-Fi or 3G/Wi-Fi models. When you think about connecting to a data network and using Skype, it almost becomes more like a phone.
Finally, Microsoft offered some new updates for the Xbox. Live TV is supposedly coming this fall and new integration with Bing means you’ll be able to search for movies and TV shows from places like Netflix and Hulu and then watch them through the console.
A game journalist Steve Henn spoke to says the number of people playing console games is not growing all that rapidly. That’s why the console and device makers are producing products that go beyond games.
Also in this program, an Austin movie theater kicks people out for texting during the film. One irate evictee left an angry voicemail. The theater made that voicemail into a warning video for other customers and the clip is now going viral. (Warning: lots of swears.)
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