E3 2009 – Stuff.tv's top trends

1. Motion gamingOne of the biggest unveilings at E3 has been Microsoft's Project Natal (right) for the Xbox 360, the motion sensor that allows you to

1. Motion gaming

One of the biggest unveilings at E3 has been Microsoft's Project Natal (right) for the Xbox 360, the motion sensor that allows you to get your game on without a controller.

Of course, Sony was not about to be outdone by its biggest rival, and also unveiled new a motion sensing device that works with the PS3 Eye add-on. Slightly less impressive as you do have to hold a controller a la Nintendo's Wii, but Sony argues this will make for top accuracy, and its 3D pointing will track your movements in a 3D environment, similar to the Wii MotionPlus add-on.

Not wanting to be left out, the Wii has also had in on the motion sensing gaming, albeit through Ubisoft. Its "Your Shape" game will come complete with a camera that will track your body shape and moves, even being able to understand the smallest movements like nods. There's no speech recognition here though, so hardly a challenger to the mighty Natal.

2. Social networking

Nintendo did jump on the social networking bandwagon as well though, with the announcement that users will be able to upload pictures taken with their DSi directly to Facebook. This will be possible with Facebook Connect that will come with a system update in the summer.

3. Entertainment

Called Zune Video (but has nothing to do with Microsoft's PMP, apparently), the service will bring 1080p video streaming, complete with 5.1 surround sound to Xbox Live.

Due to hit in the autumn, the service will allow users to flick through a selection of movies and TV shows, and select one for almost instantaneous HD loveliness through their console. Marvellous.

Off the back of its PSP Go announcement, Sony also confirmed it would be upping its entertainment offering for its handhelds, and has set its video delivery service live. This means video and gaming downloads will be able to be done directly through the PSP, without the need of a PS3 or PC to aid the process.

4. Game sequels

However, probably the most controversial outing was Metal Gear Solid: Rising, that will see the series drop its PlayStation exclusivity for the first time and make the move over to the Xbox 360 as well. With Microsoft dominating the E3 coverage so far, that's got to sting Sony...

5. Health

Although Nintendo hyped it up quite a bit, it was still quite vague about how and why you would exactly use it – so we'll put that one on the back burner for now.

Of course, there was the Wii Fit Plus announcement, with 15 new games and extended work outs available for those Wii Fit pros among you, and the Ubisoft "Your Shape" game, both looking to help you keep fit without the gym.

And finally, if the Natal demo video is anything to go by, Microsoft seems to be planning some sort of notion sensing fitness game for Xbox 360 as well, but whether it will size up to the Wii Fit remains to be seen. Watch this space...