May 29, 2009

Gamers locked, loaded for E3 conference

Looks like we're in store for some exciting announcements out of E3 2009, the annual gaming conference that's set to kick off next week in Los Angeles.

Besides the usual parade of new game titles, Sony appears poised to show off the PSP Go, a rumored PlayStation Portable revamp complete with slide-out controls, flash memory, and -- most interestingly -- no UMD disc drive, leading to (even more) speculation that Sony might also be prepping a downloadable game rental service and an online PSP music store.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will have its new touchscreen Zune HD on hand, plus more details on how the Zune Marketplace will take over the Xbox Live video store. Will the Zune finally be able to play movie purchases and rentals from Xbox Live? I certainly hope so.

Finally, motion controllers might make a big splash at E3, with both Microsoft and Sony rumored to have new, Wii-like motion-sensitive controllers in the pipeline. All in all, great stuff.

In other news: Sprint says its Palm Pre exclusive runs through 2009, meaning AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers will just have to wait their turn; IMAX boss promises to better inform moviegoers about the smaller digital IMAX screens; the Circuit City Web site comes back to life; and teens are apparently sending scores (or even hundreds, in some cases) of text messages a day, much to the consternation of physicians and psychologists.


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