More than 48,200 people descended upon the City of Angels to attend the largest video game convention on the planet in early June! Dubbed E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), this exclusive event is attended by video game industry professionals, investor analysts, various media and retailers from 102 different countries around the world. Although the main focus centers on video games, this show also features gaming peripherals, computer hardware and software, multimedia devices and cellphone technology.
If you're wondering what all the fuss is about, consider the fact that 58 percent of all Americans play video games and that each American household has an average of two gamers. When you add that 51 percent of U.S. households own a dedicated gaming console and that the average age of gamers is 30 years old, the result is an entertainment industry that has a nearly unlimited earning potential. But enough with the statistics. Let's get onto the highlights of the show!
Both Microsoft and Sony showcased their upcoming next-generation consoles to the delight of attendees. Microsoft's Xbox One comes with an advanced version of its motion-sensing Kinect technology as well as built-in DVR, and it will be released this November for $499. Sony's PlayStation 4 console is highlighted as a multimedia device with cloud technology that will be released this holiday season for $399.
• My favorite Xbox One exclusive title is the epic action game, "Ryse: Son of Rome." This gorgeous action-packed adventure puts players in control of a powerful ancient Roman soldier at the forefront of battle against legions of human and supernatural enemies. Free-flowing combos and brutal finishing moves plus the ability to create formations and command fellow soldiers round out the impressive features.
• Sony's Steampunk-inspired action-shooter, "The Order: 1886," gives players the opportunity to guide a mysterious character through an alternate version of Victorian England. With game play that focuses on the use of powerful futuristic weaponry against a deadly inhuman force, this title will surely offer players a decidedly different experience than modern military shooters.
• UbiSoft once again combines modern and ancient-era game play with "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" on modern and next-gen consoles. In addition to traditional stealth and action-oriented game play, it's possible to command a 17-century pirate ship to fight against and hijack other ships as well as attack forts and land bases.
• Square Enix also offers an excellent stealth experience with the re-imagining of the popular series, "Thief," for the PC and next-gen consoles. This open-world first person game lets players control a master brigand called Garrett as he investigates and disrupts corruption in a pre-industrial city. Among the highlights are a handy bow with multiple arrow attachments, advanced sneaking capabilities and various puzzles.
• Towering over the online competition was the ultra-stylish military shooter, "Titanfall," by Electronic Arts. This third-person action game puts players in command of a futuristic soldier who fights on foot and can also jump into a two-story tall mechanical beast to inflict massive damage on enemies! It's both visually and technologically impressive and will only be available on Xbox 360, Xbox One and the PS4.
• B.J. Blazkowicz is back and ready to destroy the Nazis in Bethesda's frantic first-person shooter, "Wolfenstein: The New Order" for next-gen consoles and the PC. Set in an alternate version of 1960s Europe where Germany won WWII, this game pits players against technologically-advanced robots and ubersoldiers with a wide variety of standard and futuristic weaponry.