not much that’s real in Hollywood, so the signs celebrating the
arrival of Matrix on Sunset Boulevard simply repeat the obvious.
However, as we made our way into the L.A. Convention Center we
found the feeling of unreality persisted. Much of the business
of E3 is done long before the show ever opens. This year, Microsoft,
Sony and Nintendo staked out territory with Sony making the biggest
splash for its PSP, a device Sony president Ken Kutaragi called
the Walkman of the future.
Microsoft is building on the Internet talk capabilities
of the Xbox, allowing players to “trash talk” as a form
of meaninful communication. Hey, it works—Sony PlayStation
is now highlighting on that very same feature. As for Nintendo,
the company is game, but confused. New president Satoru Iwata
said the Game Cube is going to grow up with more adult games and
then rhetorically asked the audience just how far the industry
could go and should the industry go in the pursuit of thrills,
chills and the prurient interests of young men. Then the company
demonstrated “Geist,” a game that is frankly
disturbing, with demon possession being one option of game play.
So far the positions in the three horse races of the console
business put Sony ahead by virtue of its long time in the market,
Nintendo barely squeaking into second by some accounts, and Microsoft
thrashing around in third with absolutely no intention of staying
there. The company promises over a hundred new games in the coming