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Sony-Microsoft Battle Goes to E3 as Tablets Dent Consoles

Gun-toting fighters take a back seat to Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. this week as the console makers battle to show they’ve got the best plan for selling pricey machines in the age of cheap play on phones and tablets.

Both present today at E3, the video-game industry’s annual conference running through June 13 in Los Angeles, with the $67 billion game market in the grip of two-year slump. Consumers have cut purchases of consoles and costly packaged games for inexpensive Web-delivered titles like Rovio Entertainment Oy’s “Angry Birds,” defined as more casual, mobile and social.