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S.D. gaming companies make presence known at E3

In spite of tougher restrictions being placed on admittance, attendance at this year's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo still rose by more than 1,200 over last year, as eager gamers pushed their way into the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center to get a sneak peek at the video game industry's latest offerings.

Heading in to this year's event, most people were anxiously anticipating Nintendo's unveiling of a successor to the Wii.

Unfortunately, as the curtain was drawn back on the Wii U, the reception was less than enthusiastic.

Not only did the company find itself having to explain that they were actually showing off a whole new console instead of just a slick controller, but Nintendo also found itself having to reassure nervous investors as the lackluster debut immediately drove shares of the company's stock down.

This came as good news for Sony on a week many felt almost any announcement from the company would be overshadowed by its ongoing security issues.

Ironically, in spite of being the target of yet another hacker attack the day of their press conference, in which the group LulzSec successfully stole and posted SCE Devnet source code, attendees seemed more interested in getting their hands on to the PSVITA even on the last day of the event, as attendees continued to wait in long lines that stretched around the company's booth.

San Diego also made its presence felt at E3, with several local companies representing America's Finest City in top fashion.

In particular, a relative newcomer to the area generated a lot of excitement at the E3.

Based out of Redwood City, the development arm of Trion Worlds first opened the doors to its San Diego studio in the fall of 2007 before shipping its first game, "Rift," earlier this year.

Located in Del Mar, the company garnered several "Best of E3" nominations for their upcoming strategy game "End of Nations," as well as for "Defiance," its newly announced shooter that is being developed in partnership with the SyFy Channel.

Admittedly, there is still more work to be done before either title ships, however, with "Rift" already in stores and these two additional titles on the way, Trion Worlds is quickly establishing itself as a company to watch.

Qualcomm was on hand to show off the computing power of their mobile Snapdragon processor in Sony Ericcson's Xperia Play.

This Playstation-certified mobile phone runs the Android OS and certainly seemed to please those in attendance judging from the continual crowd it drew throughout the show.

Local peripheral makers, MadCatz and Razer were also on hand to boast about their latest offerings.

For its end, MadCatz is taking a serious step into the world of video game development with the formation of Thunderhawk Studios.

Based out of the company's office in Mission Valley, this new studio's first project will be working on an as yet unnamed flight-sim, MMO title for the PC.

Razer also showed why it's still a top pick among PC gamers with the unveiling of its exclusively licensed "Star Wars: The Old Republic" line of accessories.

Based off of EA's upcoming MMO of the same name, Razer's new lineup includes a headset, mouse, mouse pad and a programmable keyboard that comes with a touch-screen LCD panel.

Sony Online Entertainment was also on-hand to unveil updates to several of their titles as well as a new game called "Payday: The Heist."

In this title, being developed by Swedish developer Overkill Software, gamers step into the role of bank robber.

This title has already drawn many favorable comparisons to Valve Software's "Left 4 Dead" series with the exception being that police officers have been substituted in place of zombies.

All in all, E3 offered us a promising look at an upcoming year filled with plenty of titles to keep gamers busy.

However, we also learned that according to industry insiders, the PC gaming market is stronger than sales figures have lead many to believe.

Make sure you check back for more on this story next week.

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