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E3 2011: Editor impressions of the Sony press conference

Sony’s really committed to 3D

Seemingly every gameplay presentation at the press conference was in 3D, and just about every first-party game showcased was revealed to support it. In case there was any doubt, though, Sony underlined the importance of widespread 3D adoption with a $500 monitor bundle aimed at those who can’t afford a TV that costs more than $1,000. Also of interest: Cheaper 3D glasses, and a two-player mode that uses the 3D tech to do away with split-screen, replacing it with two separate images that each player’s glasses are synchronized to see. Whatever you think of 3D as a standard, that’s a pretty cool idea.

Now, if only the TV was a little bigger...


It’s also really committed to Move... sort of

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, we were hearing not just about how Move would open gaming to a new, more casual audience, but also that it would enable exciting new types of play. This year, we learned two different things about the motion-control peripheral, the first being that Sony is totally committed to it. Nearly every first-party game will support Move, and it was frequently mentioned and demonstrated throughout the conference.

The second is that it’s being sold to developers with the idea that it’ll make their games more accessible to people who are terrified of buttons and thumbsticks.Ken Levine’s somewhat sheepish presentation on how Move would make Bioshock Infinite more accessible was evidence of this, as was Kobe Bryant being trotted out to demo NBA 2K12 with Move. The message was apparently that if an NBA star can play an NBA game with Move, then anyone can (which is kind of a bizarre message if you think about it for more than five seconds).

True, I’m more comfortable with the idea of playing, say, a shooter with Move than I am with the bizarre puppeteering Kinect controls demonstrated for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier at the Microsoft press conference. At least developers understand how to use it to enable clear gameplay concepts. But is Move really the preferred method of entry for grandmas and the controller-phobic? Really?

Meanwhile, the only game that on display that seemed to do anything potentially interesting with the technology was Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest, which came out of left field in place of the strangely absent Sorcery. However, given its cartoony appearance, its serious-game cred is still in question until we get more time with it.


Cole MacGrath seems like a good fit for Street Fighter X Tekken

If nothing else, I’m a little surprised at this one. After seeing Kratos shoehorned into two third-party fighting games now, I kind of figured he’d be the default, PlayStation-exclusive cameo character. But seeing InFamous’ Cole MacGrath rendered to look like a Street Fighter IV character was strangely appropriate, and his lightning powers – which included a few from InFamous 2, like the Lightning Tether – seem perfectly suited for a game where shooting fireballs from your hands is considered a basic, run-of-the-mill move. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles when we finally get our hands on the PSV version.


The Last Guardian was a disappointing no-show

Not only was The Last Guardian strangely absent from Sony’s presentations – it was nowhere to be seen. While the remastered versions of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were playable on the post-conference show floor, Last Guardian didn’t get so much as a hands-off demo reel. Is it possible the game’s even further away than we’ve been led to believe? Whatever the case, it was a massive downer to see it so completely shut out of the festivities.


Impressions from PlayStation: The Official Magazine

Editor-in-Chief of PTOM Gary Steinman had this to say: "Sony nailed it again for the second year in a row by focusing on core game experiences. Even better, they got the Vita price right." A man of few words, but to the point.

Jun 7, 2011

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  • Cloud1Fair3 - June 8, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    Well, you can bash Sony. But at least there conference was better than Microsofts. Ooo look I can call out names on mass effect 3 with the kinect, glad I got that device. As for psp bashing. ? Has nobody owned a psp for more than a month here? It's an awesome machine and I use it to play rpgs all the time since my ps3 is lacking in good ones. Plus, 4 hour layover in airport=psp time, so enjoy your lame ds iterations of Kingdom Hearts, I think I'll play BBS. Suck one DS owners. (Although, I kinda want a 3ds>PSVita because of zelda and mario, but I'll stay strong till I see which system has better gaming options).
  • FVHound - June 8, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Honestly, I enjoyed it. I mean I will admit the game's Line up was nothing too spectaculuar, but it's kind of been like that for a while. I'm not a fan of move, but the game they showed, medi-evil what-it-was, Actually looked really fun. On the fly weapon changing, smashing a sword around, NINJA STARS. I mean if the game was preloaded on the Ps3, if I was bored, and if I owned a move packadge, I'd definitely play it for fun. The 3D Tech, Honestly i was interested too, I don't expect most others too, but it's afforadable price made me want to give it a go. Psvita Looked fantastic, Hopefully the touch system will find some unique ways in being used, but the available tech looked better than the 3DS Launch. That being said it is early days. A lot of people clearly may not agree with me, but the press conference actually made me more keen for move, it made me consider 3D (something which I did not expect) and it made my dick hard for Vita. ...metaphoricallu speaking of course... I haven't seen the microsoft conference, but from what I heard, I'm better off not watching.. Only thing Sony needed this year? New exclusives. returning of old classics, and maybe a few more decent move titles. (That last one's a big ask I know, but I don't think it's impossible for move to be fun)
  • Poffle - June 8, 2011 8:36 a.m.

    I was hoping for a South Park BP episode apology. "We're sorry." with Tretton sitting in his pants in front of a fire.
  • PeptoTurismo - June 8, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    The Sly 4 trailer looks "interesting?" From what I see here, it looks exactly, EXACTLY the same as the first three games(although I'll admit I haven't played #3--probably don't need to). The games certainly aren't bad, and the graphics are cool, but compared to Jak and Ratchet they're just not as...um...significant?
  • secretsearcher - June 8, 2011 6:03 a.m.

    Also, it sounds like they are using the original voice actors for Sly 4 This is good. But Sucker Punch is not involved... This is worrisome. :/
  • secretsearcher - June 8, 2011 5:49 a.m.

    SLy 4 = only reason I paid any attention to Sony this year
  • spawny0908 - June 8, 2011 1:15 a.m.

    After seeing Sony's conference I can only think 3 words: SLY FUCKING COOPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .....*ahem* That is all
  • pimpdaddie - June 8, 2011 1:04 a.m.

    Boring ass snooze fest! LAMO FUCK SONY!! CAME DEAD LAST! LOLOLOLOLLLLL XDDDD
  • JoeMasturbaby - June 8, 2011 12:45 a.m.

    Sly 3 was so bad i couldnt bring myself to finish it. I'm very skeptical of a new one unless its created as a successor to Sly 2 instead of 3.
  • Amnesiac - June 8, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    Yeah, Sony's show was pretty damn mediocre. Say what you will about Vita looking awesome, but the Uncharted demo was all kinds of unimpressive, and did you see the lag while they were demoing ModNation Racers!? That was pretty disconcerting. And at this point the lack of TLG has gone from annoying to worrying. How long before we see something concrete? That said, Sony is finally releasing a handheld with a competitive price point, so good on 'em for that.
  • Spybreak8 - June 8, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    Well I'll say this, the big three all stuck to their guns; Microsoft with their Kinect, Sony with their Move/3D and Nintendo with their well Wii name. I think we all got good news, some ok news and some oh god stop talking news lol.
  • monkeywolf - June 7, 2011 11:58 p.m.

    @jmcgrotty Please....Give this man a medal he deserves it!
  • Yeager1122 - June 7, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    Really liked the price of the Vita and Sony defintley did a better job than Micrsoft way to much kinect in that one.
  • jmcgrotty - June 7, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    I think I have said all this elsewhere, so no reason really to repeat myself... but I will anyway. Of course, I say all of this with zero hands-on time, I admit. First and foremost, you can't not mention the single best quote in years. After Kaz Harai ripped on Trentons tie, and Trentons follow-up was "I can't believe Kaz made fun of my tie. I'm tempted to bust out that Ridge Racer line, but I like my job too much." While I love Kevin Butler, that line alone made it better this year than last year. "In the end, we got something much better: an apology. Not one that sought to deflect blame or attention, but a seemingly heartfelt, humble and direct appeal to Sony’s customers for forgiveness" Bullcrap. Personally, I am 100% rational and I know that the PSN problem amounted up to absolutely nothing but a sidenote story. It is irrelevant. That being said, if you feel you have to address the issue, you better damn well have a better response than what Sony did say in their press conference. Unacceptable. Can we PLEASE not call it the PSV? Vita is just one letter more and I can't help but think "Wow, they talked about the Playstation 5?! No. Just call it Vita. Please. Overall, Vita looks like a trainwreck and it has no chance of success. They really should not have shown the Uncharted demo, because that was a mess. It was awkward, sloppy, not-as-accurate as I would hoped and just plain pathetic. Touch screens DO NOT work. All the 3D coverage made me embarassed for Sony. It's a dead tech no matter how hard they try to show otherwise. That being said, the tech behind 1 tv screen showing 2 separate images, that is very cool. Move really is already irrelevant. While I get on them for other cases where they keep pushing dead tech, I don't mind the Move coverage happening, just because it is easy to phase out. They need to give up motion control and they know it. Overall, the whole presentation just basically bored me. Looks like 2011 is going to be a VERY easy year to afford everything I want to buy. I put the number of interesting titles for all systems combined at 1. Maybe 2.
  • ThinkingWithPoodles - June 7, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    As far as the name goes, yes it's a little cheesy but you could call it the PSWarts and it would still sound better than Wii U
  • ThinkingWithPoodles - June 7, 2011 10:47 p.m.

    "What now Jeremy?" "Nice shot Jeremy." "I speak in mono-tone Jeremy." I think that Jeremy could become the new 'meme' for E3.
  • Gameguy94 - June 7, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    Can't they just call it a PSP2? What the fuck is this Vita shit? It means life? Lame. I'm being negative, but I must say Sony did put on a great show. Microsoft's was great until they showed all of their Kinect crap. The price of the Vita(THAT FUCKING NAME!) was also good to hear. It was also great seeing Ken Levine and his announcement of a portable Bioshock. I need to see Nintendo's see what they did.
  • twinkletitsMcGee - June 7, 2011 10:40 p.m.

    the only thing about the handheld is it seems like it's gonna do the same as psp. At announcement everyone say "wow it's powerful and looks so nice" but a couple of years later everyone is tryng to sell the ones they bought at launch because they realise it's not very good. Sony has a horrible history with handhelds and idon't see this changing soon
  • Hdfisise - June 7, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    I wonder if it would be possible to pair a PS3 and a PSVita to offer the same experiences as the Wii U. If so Sony could beat Nintendo to the market kinda
  • markeywo - June 7, 2011 10:10 p.m.

    The conference has given me a lot to think about. I still don't think I will be picking up a Vita, as I feel the 3DS just offers more. Let's face it, apart from LBP, Sony's first party handheld games are nothing to get excited over. I agree with the other comments, in the sense that the Microsoft was a giant Kinect plug, although I like the look of the Wii U, but I wish they had made a proper return to the hardcore gamers. Japan seems to have owned the show as far as I'm concerned.