Though most of the gaming world expected mega-publisher Sony to reveal a whole new PSP console at its E3 press conference, someone forgot to tell Sony. Instead, the talk centered around the arrival of 3D gaming, the importance of motion controls in Sony's current strategy, and a strange combination of beards, Coca-Cola, and sassy urban kids ripping on Kevin Butler's clip-on necktie. Here's everything you need to know:
•3D gaming is at the forefront of Sony's strategy for PS3. As a statement of intent Guerilla games performed a live in-game demo of Killzone 3 for the audience - who were all presented with 3D glasses on entering the auditorium. The jet-pack sequence lent itself to the depth of field effect that 3D does best and led to assorted whoops and hollers from the fanboys.
•The Blu-ray disc allows Sony to put two versions of a game on same disc – a regular controlled version and the Move version.
•Other native 3D titles announced included: Tron Evolution, Crysis 2, Motorstorm Apocalypse, EyePet, MLB: The Show, The Fight Lights Out, Mortal Kombat and Sly Collection.
•Sony's motion control system, Move, will be released September 15 in Europe, Sept 19 in the US, and October 21 in Japan, where people's apartments are too small to actually fit a PS3 into anyhow.
•A single ice cream cone-shaped controller will be $50, the navigation controller will be $30. Or you can get one ice cream cone, one PlayStation Eye, and the game Sports Champions for $99. The first-party games will be $40, and it should launch with 15-20 of them, with that number swelling to 40 by the holidays.
•Heroes on the Move is a Move title that features all of Sony's PlayStation mascots together in a kind of compilation game - so in effect it's the first PS3 outing for Jak & Daxter. They'll be joined by Ratchet, Clank, Sly and Bentley.
•Move compatible games include: Socom 4, NBA 2K11, Ruse, Killzone 3, Singstar Dance, Echochrome 2, EyePet, Time Crisis Razing Storm, while others will work with a patch.
•In one of the more bizarre occurrences of the show, during a demo of Sorcerer a Harry Potter-a-like spell casting game that uses the Move controller as a magic wand, it was shown that certain in-game actions caused the little ping-pong ball to change colour. This resulted in disproportionately enthusiastic applause with certain sections of the audience.
•Sony is clearly targeting third-party exclusive bonuses on PS3 - a version of Dead Space 2 that comes with a Move-enabled Dead Space and a version of Medal of Honor that comes with a high-res remake of Medal of Honor: Frontline. In fact Jack Tretton joked about the fact that his new favourite word was "exclusive". It wasn't really that funny though.
•Sony is teaming with Coca-Cola to promote Move and PS3. Their games will be featuring on a 130 million beverage cans this holiday in some fashion.
•Kevin Butler (the straight-talking funny guy Sony created and is using to promote Move) did a five minute skit which mostly involved taking the piss out of Microsoft. "Am I crazy, or did I just see 100 French Acrobats prancing around in an arena last night?" he quipped. Then he made a joke about gamers and girls and the camera cut to possibly the most comic-book guy-like person in audience. Smooth.
•PSP is still being supported, which is kind of a surprise in itself, with a total of 70 new titles being released before Christmas this year. Bobb'e J.Thompson of Role Models fame (he's the bad-mouthed black kid) has been recruited as 'Marcus' to be the face of PSP. If you want to see what we mean, checkmarcuspsp.com. He's kind of Kevin Butler for the urban kids. With Marcus and Kevin it seems Sony is quite fond of making up characters to promote their games this year.
•We're getting a premium Xbox Live Gold-style PSN service called PlayStation Plus. It'll cost you 49.99 a year and grant you automatic downloads, free minis, early access to betas and demos. In the first month you'll get WipEout 3D, Fieldrunners and Age of Zombies, Qore (wow!), and more, all free, which you own for the duration of your subscription.
•Gabe Newell turned up, showed a Portal 2 trailer, made a joke about his history of criticising Sony and then said that the PS3 version would be the best console version. Which is somewhat surprising given his past form as Mr Sony Hater.
•And just when we thought Gran Turismo 5 was a no-show, bam!, Jack Tretton announces a release date. November 10 in North America. UK readers will have to wait for the EU release date to be confirmed, but there's no good reason it won't be the same.
•The show finale involved Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal driving onto the stage in an Ice Cream truck containing everyone's favourite game drunk, David Jaffe to announce a PS3 Twisted Metal game. After rapturous applause, the demo fell strangely flat as Jaffe read out a soulless script from the teleprompter. It was a fairly subdued end to the event – especially when compared to the Activision party last night which climaxed with Eminem, Rihanna, a full orchestra, a gospel choir and some of the most dangerous indoor fireworks we've ever stood 20 yards from.
Jun 16, 2010