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Dual-screen duels: Wii U vs SmartGlass vs Cross-Play

We keep tabs on the future of gaming tablets....

So, maybe motion controls were just a fad, after all.

At this year's E3, all three motion controllers - until recently considered the future of this industry - were very much an afterthought.

After taking centre-stage at last year's Microsoft Conference, the Kinect was reduced to the role of carnival sideshow freak. Being used to attract enemies' attention in Splinter Cell: Blacklist (a game about not attracting your enemies' attention, remember) was about as good as it got for MS' skeleton-tracking camera.

There were a few XBLA oddities with potential, sure, but overall the message was clear: don't bother painting your walls purple to match your games collection anytime soon.

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Still, at least it got a mention. The Wii remote - a controller that sits on millions of coffee tables worldwide - was given short shrift during Nintendo's 'proof of concept' video on Sunday evening.

We already knew that the once-dominant shakestick had been usurped by the Wii U GamePad. But with the surprise announcement of the Xbox 360-inspired Pro Controller, it seems the remote may not even be deemed fit for back-up purposes.

It all depends how the Pro Controller is positioned by Nintendo, but at this point it looks like the remote could be to Wii U what the GameCube controller was to Wii.

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And then there's PlayStation Move. Ironically, the most commercially-moribund of the three controllers was given the most E3 love. Perfectly suited to play the magic wand to JK Rowling's Book of Spells, it appears the Move may finally have found its calling alongside Sony's new Wonderbook - but it's hardly one that puts it at the vanguard of cutting-edge gaming.

So if not motion controllers, then what is the future of gaming? On this, all three manufacturers are in loud agreement. The future, apparently, lies in touch-screen controls. More specifically, in touch-screen tablets which interact not only with your games but across your entire multimedia library.

Over the next three pages, we compare and contrast the three competitors' strategies and determine whose fingers are most firmly pressed against the glass ceiling of the future...

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