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Sony Press Conference Lowdown

Next up was the PlayStation Network, which President of Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison came out to show off. He showcased only five of the 80+ games purportedly in development, but the first was a bombshell. Called Echochrome, it featured stark, black lines on white background graphics, and a fantastic premise. The levels are basically MC Escher drawings, jumbles of beams, stairs, and manholes floating in space. A stick man walks along the beam, intent upon getting from one place to another, and you help him along by rotating the entire level, which alters the geometry.

In other words, if there's a gap in his path, but you rotate the level so that the gap is obscured from your view by a pole, he can walk past it safely. And if there's a hole, but you've rotated the world so that a lower beam appears to be below the hole, he'll fall through and land on it. It's tough to explain, but it's brilliant and creative and unlike anything else we've seen, so check it out immediately.

Moving on to more expected fare, Wipeout HD gives the anti-gravity racing series full-blown high def visuals, and looks hot. Pain seems blackly captivating and both Warhawk and SOCOM: US Navy SEALS Confrontation seem ample, if not groundbreaking. Finally, Phil reminded the crowd of the connectivity of Sony's hardware - you can literally take a photo with your cell phone, have it sent to the wall of your house in Home, then upload it to your MySpace-style web page. And after a quick bout of online Motorstorm, he handed the floor back to Tretton.



Above: Warhawk will soon bring you fiery death from the heavens

There's been plenty of talk about the PS3 losing exclusives, but Ubisoft's Haze looks plenty hot, though the trailer didn't do its druggy gameplay justice. And Unreal Tournament III is now exclusive to PS3... this year. PS3 owners should be happy to have it certainly, but we have to think someone at Unreal parent company Epic was brilliant enough to get Sony to pay them even a single dollar to keep the 360 version out of Halo 3's way.

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