New gadgets, new ways to play games, new ways to look at games, and plenty of new games. That's what we expect to see at this year's big Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
Each year E3 lays out the details of what gamers can expect to see over the course of the rest of the year during a week-long celebration of all things gaming.
This year's big news will most likely be hardware driven, with both Microsoft and Sony expected to detail their different forms of motion-based gaming. The still code-named Project Natal for the Xbox 360 will most likely get a price (we're hearing it could be $100 or so) and official name. While Sony's Move will likely give us a price and a bit more insight into what we can expect from their system.
Nintendo, already the leaders in motion gaming, will instead be focusing on their next big handheld. The Nintendo 3DS, we've heard, will include a 3D screen that won't require glasses, a built-in accelerometer, and the ability to capture 3D images with a special camera.
There are also rumblings that Sony too could be unveiling a new portable. Their Playstation Portable and PSPGo handhelds haven't gotten the ground swell they expected, so it makes sense that the company sees itself at a point where it needs to either leave that market or make a final attempt at nailing the price and form factor for a sexy new portable.
Other big news expected to hit during E3 includes updates to both Microsoft and Sony's online services as well as plenty of new downloadable games, including the recently announced addition of Dreamcast titles to both services.
But the show isn't just about those big three companies. The biggest third-party game makers in the world also descend on Los Angeles to show off their best titles. Among them, every year, is the game of the year.
We'll be hearing more about the next step in the incredibly popular Halo and Call of Duty franchises, as well as news about Valve's sequel to their sleeper hit Portal.
Game makers Epic will be showing us a bit more about Gears of War 3 and their bloody, ultra-violent Bulletstorm. We also wouldn't be surprised to see news on Battlefront 3, Resistance 3, the next Zelda game and the perhaps even Bungie's next non-Halo title.
And despite all of the rumblings we're hearing, the leaks and rumors, what makes E3 so much fun are those wonderful surprises. Could there be a remake of classic shooter Golden Eye? Maybe we'll hear about a new version of one of the consoles? It's all part of the fun.
Judging by what we do know right now, Nintendo is a strong candidate for not only taking the show, but once more redefining what portable gaming is and can be.
Well Played is a weekly news and opinion column about the big stories of the week in the gaming industry and its bigger impact on things to come. Feel free to join in the discussion.