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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 May, 2004, 00:24 GMT 01:24 UK
Gaming pleasures to come
As the E3 video game show shuts its doors, BBC News Online's Darren Waters in Los Angeles looks at some of the most impressive titles and products.

NINTENDO DS

Nintendo DS
Nintendo's twin screen hand-held console was arguably the star of the show, overshadowing Sony's PlayStation Portable because people were actually able to play the machine.

The concept of two screens, one of them a touch screen, is strange and it remains to be seen how developers exploit the technology.

The technical demos running on the machine were impressive, especially a new version of Metroid.

SONY EYETOY CHAT

Sony EyeToy Chat
Sony were keen to show off innovation too. EyeToy Chat is a development of the PlayStation 2's wildly successful USB camera.

It simply and straightforwardly allows for video telephone calls to be made via a broadband connection, putting users directly in contact.

People can also leave video mail and use text and audio chat rooms. It can be used as fun for friends but also has practical business applications as a cheap solution to video conferencing.

HALO 2 - XBOX

Screenshot of Halo 2
On show only behind closed doors, Halo 2 looks set to greatly improve upon the original, which is already considered a classic and video gaming masterpiece. Stunning visuals and improved game play were immediately evident.

Only the multiplayer option was on show, but it was enough to convince the lucky few who had the chance to play that Halo 2 is set to be something very special indeed.

KILLZONE - PLAYSTATION 2

Screenshot of Killzone
Unofficially billed as Halo for the PlayStation 2, Killzone is a futuristic first-person shooter influenced by classic war movies of old.

Extremely stylistic with the very highest production values, the games looks set to establish itself as the PS2's premier shooter.

Levels on show did feel extremely linear however, with players corralled from one set piece to another. It may need more freedom of movement to establish itself as a classic.

GRAN TURISMO 4 - PLAYSTATION 2

Screenshot of Gran Turismo 4
The greatest driving simulation series of all time looks likely to reach unparalleled heights of accuracy and innovation with the fourth iteration. Featuring more than 500 cars and 16 locations, as well as 50 different tracks, the level of detail in the game is quite staggering.

It matches the real world of driving within 1% of accuracy, according to the games creator Kazunori Yamauchi.

As well as a bewildering array of driving options, users can also enjoy a photo mode - printing off a hyper realistic photo of their favourite car in a favourite location.

CONKER: LIVE AND UNCUT - XBOX

Screenshot of Conker
An action adventure platform shooter, featuring a rodent, hardly seems to have the makings of a classic game. Yet the title by developers Rare has exuberance, a visual flair and sheer energy unmatched by any other game.

As a single and multi-player game, it combines the best of modern platform games with the cream of online action titles. As well as looking crisp and colourful, it feels solid to play, and the game is not even scheduled for release until next year.

The multi-player game was one of the most popular at E3 and it looks set to be a deserved hit for developer Rate.

EA ONLINE TITLES FOR XBOX

Screenshot of Fifa 2005
Perhaps a strange choice yet the announcement that Electronic Arts titles will appear on Microsoft's Xbox Live online service could be hugely important.

EA is a video game juggernaut and the value of titles such as Fifa and Madden NFL playable online on the Xbox should not be underestimated.

In clinching the deal, Microsoft may just have given itself a chance of winning the battle with Sony and Nintendo.




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