Vistiors test new games
Robyn Beck  /  AFP - Getty Images
Vistiors test new games at the Playstation 3 display, one of the hundreds of displays at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Wednesday.
By Denise Ono MSNBC.com producer
msnbc.com
updated 5/11/2006 1:11:32 PM ET 2006-05-11T17:11:32

The annual Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles is such an assault on the senses that it can be difficult to keep track of all the latest and greatest developments in the video game industry.

The show floor is filled with flashing lights, dancing mascots and models, blaring music, attendees clamoring for giveaways and, of course, PR representatives trying their best to get your attention.

However, a few things were able to catch my attention as the show started this week:

‘Eye of Judgment’
This card-based fighting game (it appeared to be similar to “Magic: The Gathering” or “Pokemon”) was demonstrated at the Sony press conference on Monday. The thing that grabbed my attention was the interaction with the PlayStation 3 through its Eye Toy device. Aim the camera at the table and place the cards down. On the TV screen, characters leap out of the cards in 3D and will jump into battle. It’s just like that chess scene in “Star Wars”!

Alienware's Superman computers
Set to be released in time for the movie “Superman Returns” this summer, these limited edition laptops and desktops will feature custom graphics on the outside and on the desktop. The laptop on display was Superman blue, with that familiar red and yellow “S” logo on the front. Alienware, recently acquired by Dell, is known for making high-performance PCs that are especially attractive to computer gamers. Unfortunately, the company does not want to release images of the machines until later this month.

NCSoft’s ‘Tabula Rasa’
Role-playing game legend Richard Garriott (the man behind the Ultima series) is the executive producer of this massively multiplayer online game. Set in a science fiction world, the designers say "Tabula Rasa" will feature more action-oriented play than the traditional online role-playing game. The game interface looked more like a first-person shooter and combat appeared to be much faster than the usual button-clicking style seen in "Everquest" or "World of Warcraft."

Ubisoft's ‘Splinter Cell: Double Agent’
Agent Sam Fisher is back for more stealthy goodness. In this fourth installment of the Splinter Cell series, the hero must go behind enemy lines to infiltrate a terrorist organization.

‘Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising’

Image: Gods & Heroes
Sony Online Entertainment
Roman soldiers face off with the enemy in this screen shot from the upcoming massively-multiplayer game, “Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.”
Under development by San Francisco’s Perpetual Entertainment, this massively multiplayer role-playing game is set in mythic Rome. Instead of fighting the ubiquitous orcs, goblins and dragons, players will face off against monsters like the Chimaera, Medusa and the Hydra. Why did it take so long to get away from the “Lord of the Rings” inspired worlds? “I have no idea,” says Perpetual Entertainment’s Chris McKibbin, “it’s a no-brainer.” Sony Online Entertainment, makers of the “Everquest” titles and “Star Wars Galaxies” will publish the game sometime this fall.

‘Gran Turismo HD’
Although this was just a technology demonstration for the PlayStation 3 at the Sony press conference, the game was very impressive. The crowds gathered along the race course looked incredibly realistic as they jumped out of the way of the oncoming cars. Developer Kazunori Yamauchi explained that the player will have around 300 vehicles to choose from, including motorcycles and scooters. How cool is that?

Black Eyed Peas at Nintendo Party

Image: Black Eyed Peas
Denise Ono  /  MSNBC.com
The Black Eyed Peas perform at Nintendo’s pre-E3 party in Hollywood, Tuesday night.
The critically-acclaimed hip hop group showed the love in Hollywood, funking with the hearts of Nintendo’s guests Tuesday night. The Peas put on a great show, performing their hits as well as some offbeat numbers like a rap in Tagalog and Fergie's rendition of "Sweet Child o' Mine." But why did I suddenly have the urge to shop at Best Buy or purchase a Verizon mobile phone?

‘Space Invaders 3D’ for mobile phone
In addition to wowing the crowd with the announcement of "Final Fantasy XIII" at Monday’s press conference, Square Enix also unveiled some smaller projects. Among those are several games developed for mobile phones. The one that caught my eye was the title that took me back to the early 1980s. Now, where’s that quarter slot in this thing?

‘Marvel: Ultimate Alliance’
Activision’s fighting game for the PlayStation 3 lets you choose from a variety of superheroes from the Marvel Comics universe. The demonstration featured Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America fighting their way through hordes of enemies. But the thing that captured my attention was the ability for competitive co-op multiplay. This means that you and your friends can work toward the same game goals, but compete for kills and experience.

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