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Nintendo's big reveal and other gaming excitement at E3 2011

E3 is now!

Any reputable gamer knows that the biggest gaming news of the year comes out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, the largest console and PC gaming convention in the country. Today, Microsoft is slated to reveal first details on Halo 4 -- yes, a new Halo! The mega-sequel's existence was actually just leaked, hours before Microsoft's planned announcement at its press conference. A new Halo game always makes my frag fingers twitch, but a caveat: As you may know, beloved developer Bungie will not be making the game. The group working on the game is yet to be announced.

The biggest piece of meat on the conference floor, however, will be Nintendo's next console, codenamed Project Café. According to Japanese site Nikkei, the Wii's successor will sport a flashy six-inch touch screen on its controller. With the addition of a camera and the ability for standalone use, Project Café's controller is starting to sound like the spawn of an iPad, smartphone, Kinect and Wii orgy. But the details are slim, and we don't even know what it looks like yet. Tune in at ign.com, 1up.com, or gamespot.com's live feeds of Nintendo's conference tomorrow for the big reveal.

As for Sony, things are looking slightly drab. Still trying to recover from the PSN outage a month and a half ago by groveling at the feet of its angry customers, the best the company has to offer will be the Next Generation Portable (NGP), its upcoming handheld set to be announced today. Could it make a dent in a market dominated by Apple's iPhone and Nintendo's DS and 3DS? Maybe -- Sony's presentation is tonight.

Unless you're a member of the press or really really lucky, you won't be attending E3 in person. But it's always worth scouring the interwebs for updates, videos and details about your most anticipated upcoming game -- be it The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Battlefield 3, or an indie PC game. Expect news to come out very, very quickly the next three days. Game on!

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