3-D Is in Focus at Videogame Conference

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Programmers have long tailored videogames for computers, television consoles and mobile devices. Now they are also targeting three-dimensional simulations enabled by special eyewear, a key focus of a conference this week in San Francisco.

Many developers descending on the Game Developers Conference are expected to come toting prototype videogames, movies and virtual-reality goggles—updates of offerings that ignited a short-lived technology craze in the early 1990s.

Microsoft’s New Xbox Girds for a Smartphone Battle

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Microsoft Corp. will unveil its new Xbox on Tuesday. What’s underneath the hood of the latest videogame console represents a multiyear odyssey of trying to figure out how to keep the machine “cool” in the age of smartphones and tablets.

Since the last Xbox debuted in 2005, Microsoft has produced multiple prototypes for a new console and experimented with different technologies for it, said people familiar with the matter. The company has looked at streaming games from far-away servers to the latest Xbox; sending recorded videos of game exploits on the Web from the console; and including various television technologies, these people said.

The Big Game Battle

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In a slick two-minute trailer from David Fincher, the director of “The Social Network” and “Fight Club,” a young boy is stolen from his home, turned into a surgically enhanced supersoldier known as “Master Chief,” then set loose to battle hordes of evil aliens.

The splashy preview isn’t for Hollywood’s latest major motion picture. It’s part of the elaborate build up to the release of “Halo 4,” the latest installment of Microsoft’s blockbuster videogame for the Xbox 360. When it debuts on Tuesday, the game, in development for four years, could easily end up bigger than most movie releases. Its predecessor, “Halo 3” sold $300 million worth of copies in the first week following its 2007 release.

Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to ensure that every male under 45 in America knows “Halo 4” is on its way. In partnership with PepsiCo, there will be Halo-themed Mountain Dew and Halo Doritos. Boys can wear Halo Axe deodorant while playing a Halo version of Risk.