Apple Stores Offer Hands-On With The Sims 3

Electronic Arts' highly anticipated The Sims 3 debuts next Tuesday, June 2, but Apple's stores are giving customers a chance to check out the game early with hands-on demos of its Create-a-Sim feature. New features in The Sims 3 include more customization options for Sims' looks, the ability to choose up to five traits to construct unique personalities, goal-oriented gameplay with short- and long-term objectives, new movie creation capabilities, and more.

Players will also be able to customize everything as well as have their characters interact with others in a seamless neighborhood. In previous Sims games, players had to wait through a loading screen to visit another house go to a specific location, such as a downtown shopping area. Through the game's launcher, players will be able to maintain profile pages where they can compose blog posts, connect with other players, and use the My Studio section to manage their movies, stories, images, and custom-created objects.

When it ships, The Sims 3 will include a downloadable second town called Riverview, a store for purchasing more in-game content, and ways for players to track their downloads, uploads, created media, and more. It will also feature US$10 worth of SimPoints toward the purchase of exclusive in-game items, such as outfits and furniture. Players will be able to purchase more SimPoints through the Sims 3 Game Launcher, which will also connect players to the Exchange, where they can share movies and screenshots from the game, upload and download shared content, and more.

The Sims 3 will be available in a Mac/PC edition as well as versions for iPhone and other mobile devices. System requirements include Mac OS X version 10.5.7, an Intel Core Duo processor, 2GB RAM, 128MB video RAM, and 6.1GB of hard drive space.