Kicking alien booty and increasing the body count were still on the agenda at the E3 Media and Business Summit, the gaming industry’s largest trade event which kicked off yesterday in Los Angeles, but this time the big players like Electronic Arts, Sony and Microsoft were gunning for the mainstream audience.
If the success of both the Nintendo Wii and DS gaming consoles are anything to go by, the casual games market is growing exponentially, and most of the companies at the E3 expo had a strong collection of games aimed at young children, pensioners and everyone in between.
While the dashboard for the Xbox 360 has changed with a lighter focus set to draw in the teen girl market, Microsoft also unveiled Lips, its new karaoke game that promises to “have you loosening up like never before”. Eh, okay.
What that means is you won’t be simply standing there like Songstar– you’ll have to shake your hips as well as move your lips because the microphone has a built-in sensor that will gauge both your moves as well as your vocal abilities.
There was also plenty of news from Will Wright, the creator of the world’s best-selling games series The Sims. Previously you could control cities, the planet and the mundane details of the lives of your Sims characters but now Wright has created Spore, which he demoed – a game where you can really play God. Darwin would not approve.
You get a chance to create and show off your own unique creature from the microscopic to the macroscopic and choose its location, be it primordial ooze or a far flung planet. You can then let your creatures meet other players’ creations and interact. The demo is available to download from www.spore.com.
Sony has yet to kick off its press conference at the E3 event but is said to be unveiling a brand new product which some rumour sites are guessing may be a laptop-sized PS3 console but which more than likely is a sub-notebook.
By Marie Boran