E3

Chris Nuttall

The video game industry looked to the razzle-dazzle of its annual trade show in Los Angeles this week to lift it out of depression and E3, in part, delivered.

Sales have been suffering as interest has waned in the current generation of consoles, now seven years old, but Nintendo showed more than 20 games that would feature on its innovative Wii U console, due to launch later this year. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Sony was the only console maker to unveil new hardware of any significance at the video game industry’s E3 trade show in Los Angeles this week.

However, the Wonderbook is the most natural looking peripheral you can imagine – it looks just like a real book but works with an Eye camera and Move controller to conjure augmented-reality 3D images from its pages. . It will go on sale later this year for $40 bundled with its first title, Book of Spells, an original work from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

In an interview at E3, Andy House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, told me how the Wonderbook came about. Highlights after the jump. Read more >>

Wii U

Faced with growing competition from smartphones, smart TVs and tablets, console makers at the annual E3 video game show this week demonstrated they were upping the ante in the form of second-screen accompaniments to their devices. Sony also announced a spellbinding innovation in console-linked eBooks.

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While the giant screens showing forthcoming blockbusters from video game publishers and console makers still dominated this week’s E3 trade show, it was their response to the challenge from much smaller screens that was more striking.

Consumers are increasingly seduced by the experiences that growing social, mobile and cloud gaming companies – camped out on the show floor’s periphery – offer to users on smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

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Chris Nuttall

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s chief executive, did not make his usual appearance at his company’s E3 press conference on Tuesday, preferring instead to tweet backstage about the announcements as he explores social media ahead of the launch of Nintendo’s Miiverse social service for its gamers.

But in an FT interview shortly afterwards, he talked in person about his hopes for the Wii U, the new console launching this holiday season, the concept of asymmetrical gaming it introduces and the early attempts by rivals to match its features. Highlights after the jump: Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has announced Xbox SmartGlass, a new way of transferring content from smartphones and tablets to a TV, using its home console.

When movies and other media are moved to the TV, the phone or tablet becomes a second screen on the couch, offering more information on what is being shown. Microsoft also announced the long-awaited introduction of its Internet Explorer browser to Xbox, tight integration with devices running the new Windows 8 operating system and a revamped music service. Details from its press conference on the eve of the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles are after the jump. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Pop quiz question – what Activision Blizzard game will make the biggest waves this holiday season?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the obvious answer, but Bobby Kotick, Activision chief executive, gave me a different one at E3 this week. Read more >>

Chris Nuttall

Nintendo has announced the Wii U, a new home console with a companion controller that can switch gaming from the TV onto its 6.2in touchscreen.

The controller amounts to a reinvention of the Wii. Nintendo said it would change the way people played games when it appeared in 2012. The controller rather than its console was the focus of Nintendo’s press conference at the E3 video game trade show on Tuesday. Read more >>