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E3 2009: Sony Press Conference

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Damn it is nice to end on a good note! Sony’s press conference once again delivers. Bear in mind I’m no fanboy, I love my PSX and PS2 like anyone else and I think the PS3 is a good console picking up steam. I also own an Xbox and a 360 and a Wii and a GameCube and a DS. I’m a gamer and that’s it.

But now that I’ve seen all of the Big 3 conferences I come out with the same feeling I did last year: Sony tops the show, but not by much. What makes Sony’s conferences so nice is that there are very stylish, they are pro without being pompous or boring (see the Hannah Montana announcements) and they have games. MicroSoft is always close being with usually a bit more games but in terms of the conference itself they fall just a little short. And then, of course, there’s Nintendo, our beloved Nintendo, which has given us cringe-worthy conferences back to back.

But this is about Sony who reminded us nicely that the PlayStation came out 15 years ago… I know right?

Mantra: One Vision

One of the big ‘news’ today that was not software related was the PSP Go! which as Jack Tretton put it is “the worst kept secret of E3“. As a result nothing really new was said on the technical side. It will have 16G of flash memory with possible extension, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.
Jack made a point to say that the all-digital console would not replace current PSPs and that all games will be available digitally as well as in UMD format.
They also unveiled Media Go which is an app allowing you to access the PS Store directly from your PC. The PS Store will have new content partners including Showtime and Manga Entertainment.
The PSP Go1 will be available on October 1st for $249.99. No price drop of previous versions was announced.

The other big news was Sony’s motion controller. It was unveiled by Richard Marx, creator of the Eye Toy and is in essence a WiiMote but with a twist or two. First of all it seems to be color-coded so for instance if you waggle the controller while it’s red it will throw a fireball, if it were blue it would be an ice ball. Second and most important it looked very VERY precise during the demo, precise enough to actually write smoothly with.
It’s important to keep in mind that, like Natal, this is still a project in development (this is set to launch in 2010) so neither the design nor the technology is final. both technologies are very impressive and promising but for now Sony’s seem more game-ready.
It will certainly be exciting to see where this goes in the future.

Now let’s move on to the games. Sony had prepared 2 videos featuring all the upcoming games for PSP and PS3 and they also announced 50 PlayStation games coming to the PS Store this year starting with Final Fantasy VII available today! But they also had some more in-depth trailers and demos for several games.

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Sweet gameplay demo with lots of destruction and flying objects everywhere. Awesome dialogue as well.
  • MAG. Live demo of a game session involving 256 players at once! seemed very complex but interesting. There appeared to be a very slight lag in the gameplay though.
  • Gran Turismo PSP. it will be in full 60FPSas shown in the trailer and will feature 800 cars and 35 tracks with 60 variations. You can play with 4 players and will be able to trade cars with others.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Ah now that’s a trailer! Unlike yesterday’s lackluster Rising trailer this one was great. This a “true sequel of the franchise” not a spin-off and the MGS4 team is developing, Kojima will write the script and produce. The game will take place in the 70s, ten years after MGS3. It is due in 2010.
  • Resident Evil Portable. Not much was revealed except that it will be a complete new game.
  • Agent. A new Rockstar property that will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 and will be set in the late 1970s.
  • Assassin’s Creed II. Awesome demo and great trailer! you will not start out as an assassin but will become with the help of people like Leonardo da Vinci! You will have more diversity and more options available to you. Double Headed Blade! The game will be out the Holiday season along with Bloodlines for the PSP. Out November 17.
  • Final Fantasy XIII. A new great trailer but with so-so dubbing, not bad but not great either. i’m still on my knees for Japanese VO.
  • Final Fantasy XIV. Wow now that was unexpected. The trailer reveals that it’s actually an MMO and so a spiritual sequel to FF XI. The game will be exclusive to PS3.
  • Mod Nation Racers. The new game in the Play, Create, Share line. It is a fun kart game with more adult graphics. The very impressive demo showed the track creation tools which offer tons of options and can be tried instantly.
  • The Last Guardian. Otherwise known as Project Trico. The trailer was a gorgeous graphical update of the one we saw a few weeks ago, though a few scenes were added at the end.
  • Gran Turismo 5. A decent trailer shows WRC and Nascar but not much else was revealed as usual.
  • God of War III. An amazing demo!! Brutal ,bloody, gorgeous. The game is the final chapter of the trilogy. Coming March 2010.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Industry News, PS3 News, PSP News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

E3 2008 – Sony Press Conference Summary

E3 2008

E3 2008

If there is one thing that Sony is good at it is producing trendy tech designs. From the very first minutes with the buttons symbols shining all over the room to the Little Big Planet genius presentation it was in my opinion the most professional presentation delivery of the 3.

Here is what they announced:

  • New PS2 bundle with Lego Batman including DC New Frontier DVD announced for $149, sadly no Batman logo. New PS3 80GB Core Pack announced for $399.
  • New PSP Entertainment Pack including the Silver PSP, Ratchet & Clank – Size Matters, National Treasure 2 UMD, 1 GB Memory Stick and a voucher for Endochrome. All this for $199.
  • Several news for the PlayStation Network (PSN). Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty announced for $14.99 (the game should be about 3-4 hours long) coming out this summer. Several other titles include Siren, Eden, Fat Princess and more. Gran Turismo TV (not to be confused with the other GTTV), showcasing auto news, reviews, shows and more in SD and HD through the PSN starting August 1st. The Ratchet game looks really nice especially for this price and the GTTV looks very interesting if you’re into cars…otherwise…
  • A bunch of improvements for Home as well. Home will start featuring many more TV Shows in SD and HD starting at $1.99. Likewise with movies starting at $2.99 to $5.99. All these will be transferable to your PSP through either the PS3 or your PC. Content will also feature progressive download so you can watch as soon as you start the download (similar to online videos).
  • As far as games go it was a bit underwhelming. Some very nice footage from Resistance 2 (it’s all in the scale!), and a new game announced for the PSP Resistance – Retribution. For the PS3 God of War III was confirmed which isn’t a big surprise, Infamous was also confirmed for spring 2009. For PSP they confirms Valkyria Chronicles, Patapon 2, LocoRoco 2 and more. SOE unveiled DC Universe Online with Jim Lee as a speakers and even though the speech was nice, the footage wasn’t very impressive (and I have to say I’m doubtful as to how this game will work out in principle).
  • The big game announcement that could become great was MAG (Massive Action Game) which seems to take the idea of Battlefield and Socom and expand on it, with 256 players at once, squads of 8 players and a system of RPG-like character growth. The game looks really interesting and the trailer was nice, now we’ll need to try it out to make sure.

Overall I thought that for the delivery the Sony conference was the best. The BIG highlight of the conference was the Little Big Planet presentation which quite honestly made everything else look stale. Sadly as far as games go, aside from a few good things like God of War III, Ratchet & Clank on PSN and the promising MAG, there wasn’t much to look forward to.

But on the hardware side this might finally be the time when i go to the store to get a PS3.

You can watch the full coverage of the conference here.

July 15, 2008 Posted by | PS3 News, PSP News, Tech News, Video Game News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment