E3 is a three-ring circus -- and like any circus, it's filled with spectacular sights and things of wonder. (And, thanks to Twisted Metal, it also has a few freakish, scary clowns.)
But it also has a slew of attractions that are just downright weird. We didn't see any lines of dancing poodles at this year's show, but here are a few of the less common things on and around the show floor.
The French-kissing video game
Kiss Controller - Hye Yeon Nam Motion control is *so* last year. At E3's small IndieCade
showcase of independent games, one developer was demonstrating an experimental
title that was controlled by sticking your tongue down someone's throat.
In Kiss Controller, one partner wears a retainer-like headset, while the other has a magnet attached to his or her tongue (secured with Fixodent, naturally). The magnet-wearing kisser has to keep their eyes open and move their tongue quickly left and right, as dictated by the on-screen prompts. After 10 seconds of face sucking, a bowling ball rolls down the aisle - and the number of pins knocked down depends on how successful you were at
keeping up with the flicking tongue on screen. Yes, it's real. Real creepy.
Wappy Dog - Activision Forget Nintendogs -- this robot canine, due in the fall, is the next step in virtual pets.
Interacting with the robotic pooch via your Nintendo DS, you'll raise it from pup to adult, naming it, teaching it tricks and 'talking'
to it (publisher Activision says the dog understands 18 questions and has over 350 different responsive barks). Going out of town and don't want to be that weird person on the airplane carrying a robotic dog? No worries. The game has a travel mode, letting you care for your pet on the go via Wifi.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Spyro Toy - Activision While Activision might be best known for shooters like Call of Duty and MMOs like World of Warcraft, it's focusing on the 6-10 year old
market with these action figures that come to life when hooked up to a console game.
A chip inside the toy stores character achievements and progress - and the game story was written by two of the writers of Toy Story. What's impressive, though, is the toys are cross-platform. You can play with them on your Xbox 360 at home, then take 'em to a friend's house, plug 'em into their PS3 and pick up right where you left off. They'll launch next fall.
TX-1 Throat Mic
TX-1 Throat Mic - Gioteck Headsets get the job done, but it's hard to be stylish with a microphone sticking out in front of your face. Gioteck's TX-1 Throat Mic
literally wraps around your throat (like a choker necklace), placing a small microphone near your voice box. It claims to be based on military technology -- and, we must admit, it does look kind of cool.
Zoom - Nyko The Zoom is essentially a zoom lens for your Kinect motion sensor peripheral, and while it might be odd, it's pretty darned useful. The
Zoom slides on top of the peripheral's visual sensors and automatically reduces the amount of required space in the room by 40 percent. Better still, it doesn't distort the camera's image. Apartment-dwellers who haven't been able to use their Kinect because of its space requirements will finally be able to get in the game. It goes on sale Aug 16 and will cost just $30.