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Controller Freak

Chad Sapieha leads you deep into the world of games, covering gaming trends

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E3 predictions: Five products that could appear at this year's show Add to ...

I've never been much for E3 rumours. In fact, I've never been much for E3; I'd rather a steady stream of announcements over the course of the year rather than one giant burst that effectively buries many of the smaller and more interesting games shown.

That said, I'm a game journalist, and I have a role to play. Ergo, the following list of products I think likely to be announced at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Exhibition, slated to take place the first week of June in Los Angeles.

1. Xbox 360 "Magic Wand" - Microsoft's long-rumoured entry into motion-sensitive gaming may well be the company's top reveal at this year's show. Plenty of reputable websites are predicting its immanent E3 unveiling, some even showing pilfered images and references to patents filed. What will it do? Apparently, it will use a mixture of motion-sensing doodads and various biometric sensors (fingerprint reader? Retinal scanner?) to let players control their games in ways never before possible--assuming, of course, you don't own a Wii or PlayStation 3.

2. PlayStation Portable 2 - Or perhaps just a revamped version of the existing PSP (kind of like Nintendo's remodelling of the DS in the DSi). Indeed, a compelling article from 1UP suggests the new device will be more PSP 1.5 than 2.0. Whatever it ends up being, Sony's four-year-old handheld could certainly do with an overhaul to bring it in line with the competition. Features to look for include: easier access to the Sony Store, integrated flash memory, the elimination of those bulky, battery-sucking UMDs, motion or touch sensitivity, a second analog nub, and a camera.

3. New Mario game for Wii - Nintendo's camp is playing its cards close to the vest, which means there's no certainty in this prediction. However, the lack of a major Nintendo property in last fall's shopping season has left Wii fans hungry for something big. What's more, teasing comments from Nintendo reps (one apparently told an IGN reporter earlier this year that his staff "better get to E3 2009 early with a big team" and made reference to "system-selling software") seem to confirm that Nintendo has a Mario-sized surprise in store. That, or perhaps Link's next adventure, though a new Zelda title for Wii seems less likely given that Nintendo has already announced The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for DS.

4. Metal Gear Solid...something - Renowned Japanese game maker Hideo Kojima is currently teasing folks with a promotional website counting down to the show. All sorts of speculation exists as to just what the announcement might be, but the odds-on favourite is a fifth game in the highly successful Metal Gear Solid series (though there's a chance it might be an entirely new IP). Folks who like to try their hands at cracking mysteries can check out the Flash site, which boasts an empty field with changing weather and the occasional randomly appearing number or letter.

5. "All-powerful" Alienware rig - The presence of the PC side of the games industry at E3 has diminished in recent years. That might change at E3 2009 thanks to boutique vendors like Alienware promising strong showings. Indeed, Alienware is whetting consumers' appetites with a teaser site that alludes to a forthcoming announcement of an "all-powerful" machine. No indication as to whether it will be a laptop or desktop, or what it is about the hardware that makes it omnipotent, but you can find out first by signing up to have the announcement texted to your phone when it's made on the show's opening day.

Visit this blog during the show, June 2nd to 4th, to find out the truth of these remours, read interviews with reps from the Big Three, and discover various industry tidbits as they are revealed.

Follow me on Twitter: @chadsapieha

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