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What Will Sony, Microsoft And Nintendo Announce At E3?

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The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo starts this week -- what should investors expect?

Unlike an Apple or Google event, E3 is a bit more grounded in reality. There aren't any crazy rumors claiming that Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) will introduce another new console. At best, consumers are simply pondering the existence of a new Metroid game.

Despite the lack of crazy rumors, E3 is still one of the game industry's most important trade shows. Without it and its annual array of company-specific press conferences, Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) would have had to rely on their own events to promote their new game consoles. Critics may still question the show's validity, but that won't stop anyone from following the news this week.

Given that there aren't any ridiculous, iWatch-sized rumors or promises going into E3, some investors might not expect much from the event. But there are many reasons to be excited. Click through the slideshow to see why.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Facebook Microsoft Nintendo Oculus Rift Oculus VRNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga

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    Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality

    Oculus Rift may be a Facebook property, but the company is expected to make an appearance at the show this week.

    Not to be outdone, Sony is expected to provide a more extensive demo of its VR headset, which was unveiled earlier this year.

    And though it hasn't been confirmed, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is also working on a VR headset.

    Thus far, Nintendo does not seem to be interested in entering space, especially after backing away from the 3D capabilities of its Nintendo 3DS handheld game system.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    The Netflix of Gaming

    The Netflix of Gaming

    Nearly two years ago, Sony acquired Gaikai, the Netflix of gaming, for $380 million.

    This exorbitant purchase was believed to be an investment in Sony's future. The potential revenue stream (from a monthly service or individual rentals) could be massive.

    That service is officially known as PlayStation Now and is currently in private beta on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Sony wants to bring the service to PS Vita and select Bravia television sets as well.

    Beyond that, very little is known about how much the service will cost (assuming it is a monthly service), how many games will be offered, etc.

    Expect Sony to answer some (but probably not all) of these questions at E3 this week.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Nintendo's First Toy

    Nintendo's First Toy

    Banking on the success of others within the industry, Nintendo is currently developing its own set of collectible toys.

    These aren't just any toys, of course. Like Disney Infinity and Activision's Skylanders franchise, Nintendo's toys will feature NFC (near-field communication) technology that allows them to interact with the game.

    Nintendo claims that the first set of figures will be released this year. If so, they should make an appearance at E3.

    If not, they may still make an appearance at E3 -- but a release date may not be mentioned.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    Wii U's First New Zelda Game

    Wii U's First New Zelda Game

    Only one Nintendo announcement can be counted upon at E3: The Legend of Zelda.

    Nothing is known about the mysterious game, and a 2014 release seems very unlikely. But consumers are hoping that it takes full advantage of the GamePad, Wii U's tablet-inspired game controller.

    For example, imagine a Zelda game where the GamePad featured a top-down view, while TV offered a 3D look at the action. The game could be played in full from either view, but select puzzles would have to be solved from one particular perspective.

    That's just hopeful speculation. But if there is any company that is capable of meeting or beating expectations for unique control styles, it's Nintendo.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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    A New Microsoft

    A New Microsoft

    Last year, Microsoft attempted to sell Xbox One to sports fans and TV junkies.

    That strategy didn't work out.

    Microsoft has since retooled its strategy, hired a new CEO, and re-worked Xbox One to eliminate customer complaints.

    The company also removed Kinect from the package and dropped the price to $399 -- the same price as Sony's PlayStation 4.

    At E3, expect Microsoft to focus almost entirely on the game experience that Xbox One can provide, not the non-interactive features that it promoted last year.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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