E3 2011: The Sony Press Conference – Everything you need to know

Sony has had a tumultuous 2011 so far. Highs included LittleBigPlanet 2, Killzone 3 and all the positive buzz about its follow-up to PSP, and the lows included its hardware being hacked to the point of a total online shutdown that ended very recently. Sunnier skies seem ahead, including more concrete details on the NGP (perhaps an official name that may or may not be Vita?), plus probable appearances by Resistance 3 and Uncharted 3, we couldn’t wait to soak in Sony’s E3 press conference...

Above: The action begins around 16:15

- After an amazing sizzle reel filled hinting at games to be announced later in the show, Jack Tretton hit the stage.

- Tretton quickly touched on the PlayStation Network, and after some light jokes, he thanked the third parties and retailers for their support, then apologized to the players, a rather humble moment. Happy now haters?

- Tretton went on to talk about how awesome PSN is now that it works again. He followed that up with a new partnership with Cinema Now, a media streaming service.

- Then it was time for Uncharted to kick us in the ass. The demo began with Nathan Drake walking around an eerily empty cruise ship on volatile seas. After dispatching a few guards and scaling some ledges, it was time for a shootout, only for it to be inconveniently interrupted by the boat sinking.

- Nate did his best not to drown, scaling through the now vertical ship, but the demo ended before he made it out, so we should assume he died.

- Then it was glasses time, as the 3D trailer began. Taking up the rumors of Nathan’s lineage connected to his ring, and both Chloe and Elena made welcome appearances, and the action looked pretty damn impressive.

- Next up was Resistance 3. Must have been a little tense for Insomniac to show off this game after making its multiplatform debut a few hours earlier. The action takes place an alternate 1950s version of St. Louis, as the heroes avoid a giant monster straight out of Starship Troopers. It was brief but fun.

- Then they announced Resistance 3 would have Move support, which went over like a lead ballon.

- It was time for HD Collection talk, as the PSP God of Wars and Ico/Shadow bundles are hitting PS3 in September and will be in 3D. Yay!

- Tretton went on about lowering the price of 3D TVs to gain more consumers. Good luck with that.

- 2K Sports had NBA 2K12 and NBA on the move. It allows one to individually target players for precise blocks, steals, and passes. Kobe Bryant came out to emphasize that people who don’t care about games can excel without really trying.

- Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest. An all new Move game from the makers of SPORTS CHAMPION! Bows, arrows, swords, and barely worked on stage. Can’t believe how used to this we’re getting. Although the lack of inventory is a bit notable, as the players 1:1 actions dictate what weapon you’ll use. Fall 2011.

- InFamous 2 – They showed a trailer… what else ya want? It’s out tomorrow and people seem to like it less than the first.

- Sony isn’t giving up on Move any time soon, with slate of new games ready for it that you probably will never think about let alone buy, and LittleBigPlanet 2’s getting a fall update to incorporate PlayStation Move.

- StarHawk was next. It’s the western flavored space follow-up to WarHawk from Lightbox Entertaintment with tons of crazy violence over land, air and space. Just how big are these maps going to get?

- And then it was time for Sly Cooper to make his stunning return. Hinted at a while ago, we’re overjoyed to see his reappearance. Subtitled Thieves in Time, it’s coming in 2012.

- Dust 514 then took the stage. A persistent shooter and PlayStation exclusive from the makers of EVE Online. Move support, Homespace (?), with an “extended experience” to the NGP. Out in 2012, with a closed beta coming soon.

- After a surprise trailer for BioShock Infinite premiered at Sony, BioShock creator Ken Levine took to the stage, touching on his less than nice comments about the Move. Surprisingly, he decided to give Move controls a shot and added them to Infinite. He sounds pretty excited about the potential. Then Levine makes a promise that the BioShock universe is finding a new home on the NGP. Sadly, that’s all we know.

- Saints Row is also getting an exclusive mode for the PS3. So there’s that, as does the next Star Trek game, and we’ll also get a Move controller that looks like a Phaser.

- EA has exclusive features too, including MT. Fuji for SSX, seven extra cars for Need for Speed: The Run, and Battlefield 3 comes with Battlefield 1943.

- Kaz Hirai hit the stage, talking up the PlayStation Suite more, with PS content coming to Androids.

- H iraifirst says the PSP isn’t dead, then praises its killer by talking up the NGP.

- PSVita was its real name after all. We suppose some rumors are true. And it’s pronounced vee-tah.

- AT&T is going to be the exclusive Vita carrier, which went over pretty poorly with the live audience. Must be iPhone users.

- After talking up social features, it was time for games. First up was Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Though it was hard to keep up with the earlier Uncharted 3 footage, it looked pretty great, even with touch screen capabilities that are totally optional, meaning you can play it like a real game if you so choose.

- Next was a social action RPG that communicates with the PS3, called Ruin. It’s a top down fantasy adventure, it looked like it totally deserved to exist, with hooks into Twitter and Facebook. You can buy a version for the PS3 and switch between saves with ease.

- ModNation Racers is coming to the Vita. They showed a very simple interface for creating tracks in this original game in the player-friendly series.

- Cross-platform functionality is apparently going to be a big part of the Vita, including in Wipeout 2048.

-LittleBigPlanet was announced for the Vita. It looks like the team found quite a lot to do with all the system’s features. It was easily one of the most impressive Vita games they showcased.

- Street Fighter X Tekken is coming to the Vita?!? That one took us by surprise, and it looks quite impressive on the Vita. And Cole from InFamous is going to be a playable character! What the hell is happening?!?!

- After a sexy sizzle reel of games, including Hot Shots Golf, Kaz returned to the stage and announced a holiday launch for all territories.

- Price? Wi-fi only model will retail for $249, and 3G for $299, a little lower than some estimates. Not a bad way to end the conference if we say so ourselves.

So what hit you as the biggest news? Sold on the Vita? Stoked for Uncharted? Can’t wait for more Sly? Let us know in the comments.

Jun 6, 2011


E3 Sony

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  • punkmetalmage - June 15, 2011 6:14 p.m.

    Well as for the Veta's problematic service provider, if you have a smart phone with Android 2.2 you can use your own service provider via wifi hotspotting.
  • spawn58 - June 7, 2011 8:19 p.m.

    Why did Xbox get to announed the New Tomb Raider game at their conferance, and not at the PS3 conferance? The New Tomb Raider looks great can't wait to play the game.
  • Jordo141 - June 7, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    The Tie/Ridge Racer line was fantastic.
  • Clovin64 - June 7, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    PS Vita looks pretty nice (stupid name though), but none of the confirmed games so far interest me. Can't wait to see more.
  • NightCrawler_358 - June 7, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Pretty nice show, I liked it better than Microsoft's, but besides the "PSV" there was just updates on future releases, I was hoping for some new announced games. Also, Jack Trenton is a good speaker, but says the same "move and 3d will add a whole new layer to the game" or "(insert game) is a great example of how move is so great!" Finally, if the do an ad campaign for the PS Vita, the tagline motto will definitely be "Viva la Vita." count on it.
  • sternparez - June 7, 2011 10:49 a.m.

    I was hoping we'd get Sky Player in the UK like the Xbox
  • Pry0citer - June 7, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Resistance 3, Uncharted 3, Sly 4, and the Vita looks impressive. I think Sony nailed it!! I'm also very interested in the PSP God of War HD, and the Team ICO collection... but... nothing from the Last Guardian?! :'( The 3DTV thing seems interesting. I don't even have an HDTV so, if I can get a 3D one for cheap, then why the hell not? Dust 514 and Ruin look like great ideas. and Street Fighter X Tekken should be boss. I hope they're launch titles.
  • jmcgrotty - June 7, 2011 9:36 a.m.

    Wish comments were editable, but since they aren't: Quick clarification on my PSN comment. Yes, I know that there was actually data loss in the hacking of PSN. My point was that there have not been reports of peoples accounts being used illegally, no reports of credit card info having made it out, etc. My point is that, yes there was data loss, but it lead to nothing.
  • jmcgrotty - June 7, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    While I like to pretend that I am not biased for/against any brand, I admit a certain alliance towards Sony. That being said, I have good and bad views on what happened... First, there was the absolutely BEST line of the show for ANY company was 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." Priceless. While I think the PSN situation was totally blown out of proportion (it ultimately had NO impact on anyone. No data loss, etc), if they were going to address it, they needed to do a better job. Their pathetic "I'm sorry" at the start was unacceptable. Again, it wasn't needed at all, but if you are going to do it, do it right. While I knew the NGP was going to completely underwhelm me, that demo of playing Uncharted on it absolutely bombed. It's basically impossible to play with any sort of fluidity at all. The touchscreen is completely unacceptable as an input option. (Note: I know the touchscreen controls are optional) The pushing of 3D was not only underwhelming, but depressing. It is really apparent that this is just another failed tech that Sony can't seem to accept is a failure. Granted, it isn't like people are forced to use it, but just the idea that they are putting resources behind 3D is disappointing. Having said that, the coolest tech I saw (and few are talking about) was the split screen 3DTV. Allowing 2 players wearing the special glasses and seeing different versions of the screens on TV? That's pretty cool, even if just on a tech level. Not sure if it just came across bad, but the Kobe Bryant appearance seemed to show the opposite of what they were trying to get across: that the game can be played by regular people. To me, Kobe had major problems controlling the thing. I could go on and on about how bad Move is, but I really actually just don't care about it. It's another failed tech. Story over, let's move on. Overall, at first I thought I was underwhelmed, then the more I thought about it, my expectations were low to begin with. So they probably just nailed exactly what I expected. Heh. Ridge Racer line... love it.
  • CitizenWolfie - June 7, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    After playing the inFamous 2 demo, I'm less inclined to pick it up really. It's a shame as I was a big fan of the first one. Maybe if it drops in price. But other than Vita, Uncharted 3 (wooo!), and some decent EA exclusives like in SSX, I am disappointed. More Move stuff and HD collections don't float my boat if I'm honest.
  • TheWebSwinger - June 7, 2011 7:58 a.m.

    I'm getting the Vita. $249...I can't not! Why do I need two current generation Playstations? I don't know...damn this infernal addiction.
  • tuomotaivainen - June 7, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    @Zidane Alcor That is indeed Bleach, but that game in particular has been announced already. Can't remember the name of it though XD
  • nelly24 - June 7, 2011 6:20 a.m.

    Quite a good conference for Sony I thought. I have never played a Sly Cooper game but all the hype around it has made me interested. One thing I do want to know is how much the PSVita is going to cost in the UK! I just know were going to get stung on the price, like we always do. It be suprised if it was lower than £300. (ANYONE KNOW?)
  • NanoElite666 - June 7, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    Good show from Sony. That just leaves Nintendo tomorrow to finish off the Big Three.
  • ZidaneAlcor - June 7, 2011 6:04 a.m.

    At about 20:07... Is that... Bleach? Please tell me I'm not the only one who is excited about that tiny half-second clip.
  • Yeager1122 - June 7, 2011 5:21 a.m.

    Only thing i really found intresting was the return of Sly Cooper everything else was eh for me.
  • CoryM1134 - June 7, 2011 4:58 a.m.

    @Spades, Underwhelming has become the "generally good" of E3. It seems like as long as your conference isn't downright embarrassing, you're in the clear. Sony's PS3 pricing = embarrassing. Microsoft's Cirque du Soleil routine = embarrassing. Miyamoto's sexual prowess(?) on stage? Embarrassing. Sony giving giving we were expecting without any real worthwhile surprises? Pretty good, I guess.
  • SpadesSlick - June 7, 2011 4:27 a.m.

    I found their conference to be incredibly underwhelming personally but that's jsut me.
  • district9000 - June 7, 2011 4:06 a.m.

    overall sounds like a good conference. and now the NGP becomes very tempting... @sutrebla15, ive heard from some podcast that they probably wanted to get away from the PSP name and start fresh. PSP did kind of flop to my expectations but the NGP is looking pretty good at 250.
  • QWERTYCommander - June 7, 2011 4:03 a.m.

    I was keeping a straight face, until I noticed that Vita is getting a Modnation Racers sequel. Loved the first one, but I definitely thought that it could use a bit of touch-up, like easier level creation (Still don't know how to make gaps), and better character creation that seemed to favor novelty items over practical items (I had to improvise for some of the Mods I made.) An MNR sequel sounds great, and could just be the only reason I would pick up a Vita.