What’s worth US$25 billion?

Believe it or not, the video gaming industry has grown to such proportions.

Microsoft (United States), Sony and Nintento (both Japan) are among game-makers from 90 countries converging on the Los Angeles Convention Center for an Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) which begins today.

The "world’s premier interactive entertainment trade-only event" is in its 12th year and some 400 companies have come to tout their software, electronics and accessories in a cavernous space equal to 40 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Sony and Nintendo both planned to use the conference to preview their consoles, PlayStation 3 and Wii respectively.

PlayStation goes into the fray as the clear market leader, but has to convince gamers its new console is worth a premium price and a wait, since Sony does not plan to have it in stores until late this year.

Exhibitors at the conference will show off nearly 1,000 "never-before-seen" games, according to event organisers.

The conference, which is scheduled to end on Friday, will also feature workshops with panels of industry leaders, according to organisers.

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