Battle lines were clearly formed at the opening of E3, as gaming giants set the promise of virtual reality as the new battleground for this year's convention taking place this week in Los Angeles.
Leaders Microsoft, Sony and Oculus Rift squared off as the show kicked off on Tuesday (16 June) in an effort to promote their virtual reality accessories, which in the past have been synonymous with clunky headgear and the promise of performance that always seemed a generation away.
Dan Ackerman, a senior editor at CNET, the online technology and consumer electronics review site, believes the future for VR might finally be here.
"Sony has the Morpheus headset that should work with the Playstation 4," said Ackerman. "Microsoft has the Hololens, which is more experimental reality and the company called Oculus, that is owned by Facebook. That is the market leader, they were the first guys with workable hardware which should be available to buy next year."
Ackerman added that, so far there has been little conversation about the cost consumers will pay to go virtual, but believes it will be pricey. Some of those that had the chance to enter the virtual world were impressed.
"I think it's come a long way and it's definitely entertaining and feels very immersive in the visual effects," Maheer Kibria said, after spending 20 minutes with the Oculus headset.
"It's complicated at first because you don't use your hands, you use your eyes and you look around and see this great stuff," added Olga Hamlet, who was also among those willing to wait in line to go VR at the Oculus booth.
At this year's E3, there were plenty of familiar gaming franchises making sequels for fans eager to try them out. Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Microsoft's Halo 5 were among the titles generating a strong buzz among gamers.
"Over the last several years the gaming industry has followed the movie industry of a blockbuster formula, if you have something that works than the next year you have to have another version of it," said Ackerman. "These games cost so much to make that its hard to make an investment into something that is new or unusual. That's why you see another Call of Duty, another Halo game, another Gears game. Year after year it is the same pallet that people draw from."
The E3 convention, the largest and most influential gaming show of the year, runs from June 16th through 18th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.