An armchair view of E3 2010: Sony

Sony Conference: June 15th 8:00pm GMT

Predictions going in: a little hard to judge this time. The new subscription level of PSN played up like it’s a good thing is probably a given. Other than that? I’m curious how down played the failure of the PSP Go will be or if they’ll take their lumps and just admit it. Please don’t be as Move focused as the Microsoft was Kinect.

  • The show opens with a flashy trailer montage followed by Jack Tretton taking the stage. Sadly, due to some technical hitches I missed the first minute or two but that turned out for the best as I missed an insane speech about a future proof entertainment product.
  • I join the party just in time for Kaz Hirai to take the stage. His mic is way too big. “What Playstation did for Blu-ray, we’re doing for 3D.” And now he moves on and introduces Killzone 3, a live demo in 3D.
  • Tougher and scarier enemies than ever before” the demonstrator states. The audience is told to put on 3D glasses and are reminded that it is a live demo and not a recording.
  • So for me, no glasses naturally, it looks a bit fuzzy as a result. ‘Pre Alpha Code’ stays printed on the demo throughout. Other than that it just looked like Killzone 2 with different enemies, but I’m sure the 3D will add to the immersion. How much will branded Sony 3D glasses cost I wonder? Place bets now for $599.
  • Lots of new jet pack bouncing around action and exploring through a decaying ship of some kind. Controlling the character seems a lot less cumbersome than in Killzone 2 and less difficult to twist and aim.
  • Scene switches to manning a gun on a flying ship to being tasked to take out AA guns. On the rails stuff you’ve seen a million times before (granted, not in 3D). Much shorter than the first section. The release date is February 2011 and it will be fully compatible with Move.
  • Hirai is back and his mic is still way too large. That button on his shirt and the wire of the mic makes it look like he’s wearing a fashionable question mark. He lists a few games coming out with 3D integration including Gran Turismo 5, Mortal Kombat and Tron Evolution.
  • 3D + Move = Win. Paraphrasing an overly long sentence there.
  • Audience is told to stick their glasses back on again for another 3D video. A football match, golf match and some misc animal footage all flash on screen quickly followed by a floating PS3 and accessories. Why? Because they can. Would you look at that; official Sony 3D glasses. Gameplay of other 3D games including Crysis 2 and others take turns appearing on screen, some mixed with Move.
  • Tretton is back now and he has not one but two oversized mics stuck to his person. Talking about the past, PS2 and so on. Distracted by his very gold watch – is he the Origami Killer? Moving on and the PS3, Netflix and so on being spoken about. Ah, now we are onto Move.
  • Peter Dille is on stage now (oversized mic as per) with the Move sex toy. I mean wand. I mean…whatever. “How does it work and what makes it special?” he asks as he points out that it uses the Playstation Eye for “ultimate precision and interaction”. Get on with showing it working, Peter.
  • Nope, still talking about sensors and things. They should just say: “Take the camera stuff from Kinect and take the controller stuff from the Wii and you’ve got Move.”
  • An awful and incredibly patronising (granted in an effort to be ‘funny’) advert for Move. So far not going a good job selling me on this at all. Wii and Kinect are safe, so far.
  • Now he’s talking about the usefulness of buttons, I mean seriously. You don’t say! Buttons are useful! I’m stunned. I need to sit down, give me a minute.
  • Something big now…hopefully. A new game or two revealed. Sorcery is the first up, a third person action game for Move. I suppose they had to go with Sorcery because Harry Potter was copyrighted. The person doing the demonstration limbers up before doing so, as if he’s about to participate in some strenuous event. His stance and posture are near enough identical to using a Wii. Better graphics, though.
  • The purple glowy bit of the Move sex toy matches the colour of the blast that the ‘apprentice’ is unleashing in the game. He freezes enemies, shatters some, harasses a bookshelf for some reason and gets a morphing potion. Changes to a wind spell (Whirlwind) and the tip of the remote changes to green to match on screen.
  • Mixing of spells, Whirlwind plus Firewall. An AOE blast to end on, making a rune shape on the floor. Next a puzzle is shown by using a mending spell on a broken stone bridge to fix it. It’s out in 2011.
  • Tretton is back yet again. For some reason higher up than before and for a few seconds his stupidly large chest mic stops working. Next up is Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 for Move.
  • Andrew Wilson demonstrates how to play golf using Move. If you’ve played a golf game on Wii then you already know everything you need to since it’s identical.
  • He hits into the bunker twice. On purpose? He’s going to show the wrist action of hitting the club correctly to get it out of there. Does a good swing, not bad. Thanks to these camera angles, when he bends into his swing position and holds the Move remote down like that it looks very, very wrong – like he’s coated something in neon paint that he really shouldn’t have. Manages to make Par and everyone claps.
  • One final title for Move is about to be introduced. Heroes on the Move (working title), a trailer plays. Takes characters from numerous exclusive titles (Ratchet, Sly, Jack, Clank, Daxter) and joins them together for what looks like an adventure game.
  • Something about Coca-Cola now supporting active living. Do people know how many calories a can of coke has in it? This is new; using an E3 conference to plug a brand partnership.
  • Ugh, Kevin Butler takes to the stage with a coke in hand. No jacket and rolled up sleeves. looks like he was shaken awake five minutes ago and that coke is the only thing keeping him standing.
  • We learn that he can’t pronounce ‘Lara’.
  • I love gaming,” he declares. Then pauses. Someone in the audience says they love him. “I love head shots, I love staying up till 3am earning a trophy that isn’t real…but is,” he adds. I love getting to the point while the audience is still interested, Kevin.
  • …And girls who know that the way to a man’s heart is with a melee attack.” Alright, that made me laugh. Good job. He’s working the audience far better than the so called comedian at Ubisoft.
  • Terribly heroic music plays as Kevin begins an epic and deliberately over the top speech about fanboys and in the background is a great picture of him using two Move remotes as a bow. He ends with saying that we all support gaming. I feel like I’m ready to go to war. With who? Don’t really know.
  • Move launches at a price point of $49.99 with the controller being $29.99. The Eye, Sport’s Champion game and the Remote for $99.99. A console bundle is available for $399.99. Released September 15th in Europe, 19th in American and October 21st in Japan.
  • Another trailer for Move and the various actions that can be preformed with it. All things that a Wii remote can do as well, but don’t tell them that. “This Changes Everything” – no, it changes nothing. Well, except I now hate ‘I like to move it, move it’, even more.
  • Oh! The PSP and PSP Go is shown, how brave of them. Talk about how badly it’s done. Do it. “We’re kicking off a new campaign to support the PSP” – about damn time! A fairly amusing advert plays followed by another one, both staring young Marcus plugging various aspects of the PSP.
  • Really annoys me when non-Japanese refer to Japanese as -san when not addressing them directly. That is all.
  • God of War: Ghosts of Sparta trailer plays, all cinematic and nothing substantial.
  • Another trailer to plug…basically everything ever including the camera attachment for PSP. The stream got a bit choppy here, I was secretly thankful. Amusing that 90% of the PSP game footage is shown being played with a Go.
  • First gameplay footage of Parasite Eve 3 – The 3rd Birthday, looks good. As does Valkyria Chronicles 2. Some in-game footage of Ghosts of Sparta is shown for approximately three eights of a second.
  • Now we’re back to the stage and the plugging of PSN. This will be the new membership option, just you wait and see. Build it up to justify charging for very little. Go on, I dare you. Or not.
  • Time for Little Big Planet 2. Alex Evans takes the stage to demo. Talks about expanding features, the grappling hook and Sackbots. Demos made within LBP2 are shown starting with a quick moving button bashing game they have dubbed ‘Super Block Race’.
  • Next a level they have called ‘Crashy-crash’ which is a top down sumo type game, a tiny bit like Hungry Hippos in terms of visual angle and design.
  • Last is…what looks like a Smash Brothers parody of sorts, but with helmets on the Sackboys that shoot rockets. This is followed by a trailer with some other types of things you can do with the new construction tools. They invited developers to come meet them and gave them a day to see what they could come up with, some impressive stuff here.
  • Next we’re back to…ha! Playstation Plus. A year’s subscription for $49.99. Things thrown in include some free mini games, something to do with Infamous, others things I missed due to choppy feed, and then some utter BS about “elevating your gaming experience” in some undefined, illogical manner.
  • We’re back to more Medal of Honor and Greg Goodrich (amazing facial hair) is on stage to talk about it. A trailer is then shown with nothing amazing within it, other than the silhouette of the soldier next to the title having the same facial hair as Greg. The multiplayer is being built by Dice.
  • Unlockable beards. You heard me.
  • A multiplayer map is demonstrated from various perspectives, once again you’d need to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t Modern Warfare 2 or really any modern day shooter from the last year or so. The beta, as stated in a previous conference I think, is June 21st.
  • A remastered HD version of Medal of Honor: Frontline will be coming exclusively to PS3.
  • Dead Space 2 next, hopefully the live demo they are about to show is not the exact same as at the EA conference. Ah, it isn’t. It actually picks up just about where the previous one left off with a monster screaming in Issac’s face. The battle against it is then shown with lots of visceral flinging about and explosions. Issac ends up outside and on the side of a ship still fighting with the boss, which is where it cuts off.
  • A limited edition Dead Space 2 with Dead Space Extraction (now with Move support – that isn’t surprising, really) is exclusive to the PS3.
  • Tretton is back and welcomes to the stage for the first time…GLADOS. Oh, and Gabe Newell. Talking about his previous negative comments (specifically regarding the PS3) and in the background Portal 2.
  • He bigs up the PS3 something rotten. Portal 2 is coming to the PS3. The sign behind you throughout that speech kind of gave it away, Gabe. Steam on PS3 and the first look at Portal 2.
  • I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.”
  • Tretton is back yet again and Newell is gone. Time for a new preview video of Final Fantasy XIV. Lots of in game stuff for a change including some big monsters. Make that very big. Just noticed how annoying “Playstation” being said in a high-pitched voice at the end of every trailer is.
  • Next is Mafia 2, but just like that he then skips over to Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (mentioning that the PS3 version will have an exclusive set of features and PS3 is the only platform to get the beta).
  • A multiplayer trailer for Brotherhood plays. What looks like a Templar running from an Assassin across rooftops and streets. Various different classes (?) are shown and some unrealistic techniques like teleportation and instant disguises.
  • Exclusive is my new favourite word” – took a few years though didn’t it, Tretton?
  • A quick video now to show the ‘biggest’ titles coming to PS3. Ignore the fact that more than half are also on 360 and/or PC. The music for this montage is awful. I know you can’t hear it – jab a pencil in your ear to recreate the same sensation.
  • And now we have…Gran Turismo 5. Hurray for cars. This is going on way too long. Novemeber 2nd release date.
  • InFamous 2 now with a gameplay trailer. If you ever really wanted to see Cole’s backside or shoes then this trailer is for you. The new voice actor is less impressive than the other, more annoying though. Ends with ice powers and a big black monster.
  • One last surprise” and a jump into another video. Is this…talking about what I think it is? An ice cream van’s chime is heard. Twisted Metal? Yup. An ice cream van takes to the stage with a couple of developers to talk about Twisted Metal, exclusively on PS3. Gameplay follows of online team deathmatch and begins with the player in control of a helicopter and then a motorbike rider wielding a chainsaw. Sixteen player online matches. Very destructible scenery as usual, but not exactly realistic destruction.
  • One new weapon is a granny riding a rocket. That deserved its own point.
  • Another mode is shown and introduces class based play. It’s called ‘Nuke’. Camera pans around various areas. The objective of Nuke is to destroy the huge statue of the opposing team before yours is destroyed. You must catch the opposing team’s leader in order to drag them to a yellow ring around a missile launcher and if they are kept there long enough a missile will fire on that team’s statue. It’s playable at the Sony booth.
  • Tretton is back and talking about Playstation history again. Sounds like he is wrapping up here. Wonder if there’s one last surprise? Doesn’t seem like it. That’s all she wrote. The Sweet Tooth cosplayer in the ice cream van is left to wave at people on stage.

Not as Move focused as I was worried it would be, so that’s a good thing. It seems like Sony are sick of losing out on exclusives and have tried to fix that which is a good thing. The fact they are finally bothering to market the PSP is also a good thing.

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Written by Ian D

Misanthropic git. Dislikes: Most things. Likes: Obscure references.


  1. Kevin M /

    Not a bad show, but the lack of PSP2 news was a bit disappointing. It’s great that Valve are bringing Portal 2 (and hopefully other titles!) to PS3 (about bloody time!) I thought Gabe Newell looked a bit sheepish and nervous, but he was quite funny as well. I do think Sony are making too big a deal about 3D, as I certainly ain’t spending £3000 on a new TV for the full 3D experience. Still at least they had core games to show with their Move controller, and Little Big Planet 2 does look amazing!

  2. steven g /

    Its great to see such strong support for the existing PSP platform, but you wonder if they should just bite the bullet and move onto PSP2 now, before Nintendo steals a march on them and Apple consolidate the high end market.

  3. Kevin M /

    Yeah it’s good to see Sony supporting the PSP for once. But you’re right I think they need to get a touch screen, dual nub PSP2 out there soon, before Nintendo & Apple steal some more marketshare from them. The 3DS is already causing a stir and Apple have built up a lot of hype for iPhone 4 as well.

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