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E3 final thoughts: Will's take

E3 final thoughts: Will's take

Nintendo unquestionably stole the show at E3, with some of the hardest hype as well as the longest lines the show has seen in years. Visitors endured hours of waiting in line just to try out the Wii. Big N's little console might not have the best graphics in the world, but the great new control scheme and the sheer number of exclusive titles really put the Wii on the map. I don't know if the Wiimote is truly the future of gaming, but considering that Nintendo has historically been on the cutting edge of game control--the NES brought the directional pad to mainstream console gaming, and the N64 did the same for the analog stick--I wouldn't be surprised. Unfortunately, Nintendo is remaining as vague as it can with the pricing and release date, although most are guessing a price tag of $200 to $300.

On top of the Wii, Nintendo was pushing the DS as hard as it could. The DS Lite is coming out in less than a month, with a ton of new AAA games in the pipe. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Star Fox DS, Final Fantasy 3, Yoshi's Island 2, and a dozen other games make Nintendo's quirky little portable one of the hottest gadgets that you can fit into your pocket.

Of course, Sony and Microsoft can't be counted out of the game. The Xbox 360 showcased some very impressive-looking games, including the amusingly gory Capcom zombiefest Dead Rising. If Halo 3 doesn't tempt gamers into getting Microsoft's box, maybe the idea of slaughtering zombies in a shopping mall will.

The PlayStation 3 was revealed at last, and the response was a bit underwhelming. Since the PS2 is still getting new titles such as God of War 2 and Final Fantasy XII, the Sony's new system just doesn't look very tempting yet. It has motion sensing similar to the Wii, but it's stuffed into a conventional, rumbleless gamepad lifted straight from the PS2. A $600 price tag for the noncrippled version of the system doesn't make it look any better.

On the PC side, MMOs are still running hot. Blizzard finally unveiled its new Alliance race for World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade. The magical Dranei race got a major makeover, turning from stumpy monsters into demonic humanoids. Guild Wars is trying its best to catch up with Blizzard's online juggernaut, with sneak peeks at the third installment of the MMO universe, an as-yet unnamed chapter that takes place in a Moroccan-themed tropical desert. Those are some of the big contenders in the MMO scene, but everyone is trying to get a piece of the action, from the Diablo-esque Dungeon Runners to the potential nerdfest of Star Trek Online.

It's too early to tell who will "win" the latest chapter of the console wars, but I think Nintendo is finally edging past the competition. The Wii's innovative controller, its broad list of games, and its (potentially) lower price make Nintendo's new system extremely appealing. Still, Microsoft and Sony have months to pull something big out of their hats.