Ah, what a difference a year makes. At the beginning of last year's E3 tradeshow, one of the most visible gatherings of the video game industry, Sony and Microsoft were belles of the ball, and Nintendo was a Cinderella still in rags.
A Nintendo official recently recalled that some were suggesting last year that the company drop out of gaming hardware altogether. But at this year's E3, which entered its third and last day on Friday, it is Nintendo that is the polished princess.
In the intervening year, Nintendo's Wii has rocketed to first place among game consoles. Its lower price and motion-sensing controller have attracted family members who don't normally play video games, and, in the process, a new market segment is being born.