Videogame heavyweights seek fresh start at E3 powwow

Fri Jun 3, 2011 12:06pm EDT
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By Liana B. Baker

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comeback stories will be the unofficial plotline of next week's Electronic Entertainment Expo, the annual event where the videogame industry shows off a dizzying display of new games, consoles and assorted gadgets.

About 45,000 reporters, industry types and analysts will converge on Los Angeles for the E3 conference, sprawled across a space the size of eight U.S. football fields.

This year's conference, running June 7-9, comes as the industry tries to cope with the rapid growth of online and mobile gaming -- and as two of its stalwarts find themselves on unsteady footing.

Nintendo, once a leader in hardware sales, is struggling to win users from Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp and is coming off a disappointing launch of its 3DS handheld device. In a bid to return to the top, it will be unveiling a new video game console designed for the home.

Sony, meanwhile, will try to erase the black eye caused by a data breach that exposed the personal information of more than 100 million of its video game users.

Both Japanese companies will be hosting press conferences ahead of Tuesday's official start of E3.

Nintendo so far has released few details about its new device, but it is widely expected to feature HD graphics, a special controller, motion sensors and technology that allows it to run old Nintendo games.

The introduction of a new home console -- the first in five years -- could jump-start the struggling $65 billion global video game business, industry executives said.   Continued...

<p>Tao Yunsheng reacts to a game character at the Sony PlayStation display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, California June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas</p>