E3 2005: Big Excitement Around “Big Three”

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The Electronic Entertainment Expo, aka E3, hit L.A. May 18 to 20, 2005, showcasing more than 1,000 new products, although the biggest excitement revolved around the “big three” game consoles.

Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 (slated October release) with its new wireless functionality, enhanced graphics, detachable hard drive and formats for HD television sets, as well as added features such as music downloads and connectivity with your home network.

Sony also unleashed the new feature set on its Playstation 3 with a new chipset boasting speeds of 2 teraflops (which is in the range of today’s supercomputers). The new console will also offer Blu-ray discs that hold more than six times the amount of a current generation DVD. Video chat, Internet access, digital photo viewing, and digital audio and video upgrades will be part of the package. The slated release will be Q1 2006.

Nintendo also rolled out the stops for its new Revelation console. They have chosen not to compete with Sony and Microsoft on some of their common functionality but rather want to stick to the wireless, touch panel ability and the built-in mic features for the games specific to their platform.

Many of the audio departments are looking at the new Ogg Vorbis standard for compressing audio. Jason Hayes, audio director/composer for NCSoft reports, “I became interested in the Ogg Vorbis (OGG) format because mp3 files wouldn't loop cleanly. OGG files allow for this capability, and sound great too.” Ogg refers to the Ogg Project, an Open Source multimedia initiative; Vorbis is the name of the actual audio compression format. Ogg Vorbis is a new audio compression format comparable to compression formats such as AAC, TwinVQ, PAC and MPEG-4

E3 2006 will take place May 10 to 12, 2006. Visit www.e3expo.com for more information.