Games: Nintendo vs. Sony vs. Microsoft

_E3 MINI: This year's version of the Electronic Entertainment Expo - newly christened the E3 Media & Business Summit - was much smaller than last year's, but it wasn't just the lack of crowd noise that made it seem a lot quieter. Last year, Sony and Nintendo were still gearing up for the launches of the PlayStation 3 and the Wii, respectively, while Microsoft was trying to build momentum for the Xbox 360. Now that the pre-launch jitters are out of the way, all three companies are focused on finding a larger audience.

_Wii ALMIGHTY: Nintendo had the most to crow about, with Wii sales gaining on the 360 and the DS dominating portable gaming. The company didn't make any big new software announcements, concentrating instead on 2007 releases like "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Metroid Prime 3: Corruption" (for the Wii) and "The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" and "Brain Age 2" (for the DS).

Nintendo did show off some new peripherals designed to appeal to the more casual gamers who have made the Wii a smash. The Balance Board is a pressure-sensitive panel, about the size of a bathroom scale, that you stand on while working out to the company's new "Wii Fit" software. The Wii Zapper turns the Wii remote into a gun, for shooting games like Capcom's "Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles"; the Wii Wheel turns it into a steering wheel, for driving games like the next-generation "Mario Kart."



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