An armchair view of E3 2011: Sony

Sony Conference: June 7th 01:00am GMT

Sony has had a brilliant year! …(*audible cough*). The only thing I predicted for this conference on Twitter was an on-stage suicide. Let’s see if I am correct. It better be good. I stayed up to cover this! Obvious games will be Uncharted 3 and Resistance 3.

 

  • 3D glasses are being handed out to the audience. Oh dear. Things running a little behind as a result. At least I think that’s the reason. Wouldn’t it be fun if the conference was hacked? Someone comes out wearing a V for Vendetta mask they win the internet.
  • Still more waiting. Crowd control is apparently to blame. …I don’t know either.
  • Here we go. Finally. The command is given to have glasses ready, probably means Uncharted will be opening the show.
  • PS3 generic advert begins, NGP seen also and Move. All to terrible dance music. A (presumably) 3D trailer than starts showing a few different games. Very…underwhelming.
  • Focus then moves to N4G or whatever they chose to call it briefly before the Move again. This seems like space filler – is this really the start of the conference?
  • Jack Tretton takes the stage. About time. He looks a lot more tired than usual. Get on with it, Jack.
  • Straight onto PSN outage. Good man. An apology to their third party developers, retail partners and finally consumers. Glad they didn’t try to work around it. I mean it isn’t a genuine apology, it’s a well rehearsed one, but still.
  • Too much talking after that about Netflix and such like. CinemaNow access also revealed.
  • Jack moves to Uncharted, as expected. Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra take to the stage to display the game. As usual the game looks good. Drake is on a fairly large boat in a storm searching for something. The movement, while obviously trying to imitate the boat moving on choppy waters, seems very strange at times.
  • Tension seems to build as he makes his way deeper into the ship. I sense a water themed catastrophe in the near future. He is caught by guards but quickly escapes and accidentally also makes the ship spring a leak. Who’d have figured?
  • Water is slowly flooding the area while fighting continues. The ship overturns along with everything else. Platforming gameplay next and decent water effects. Gameplay ends abruptly to applause.
  • There’s chat about the multiplayer, the Beta begins June 28th. They announce a partnership with Subway in the US for some reason. Ends with a full 3D trailer. Release date is November 1st.
  • Jack’s back talking about Insomniac Games and Resistance 3. Marcus Smith is there to demo, wearing a jacket at least two sizes too big for him.
  • He is playing in 3D. Shield Drones, shoot the drone to make the enemy vulnerable. Various weapons are shown off, many of them the typical weird variety you expect. The demo then skips ahead to a chase type sequence showing off some action in the background and pretty visuals. Doesn’t last long and cuts off very abruptly.
  • Jack moves on to talk about a sharpshooter bundle for R3. Because you all wanted to buy it for $150 with a shooter, camera and Move set up.
  • Next he talks about two ‘special collection’s. God of Wars Origins collection, remastered to HD. Same for Ico and Shadow of the Collosses. Playable in 3D.
  • Playstation is the ultimate solution for 3D.”
  • He’s talking about pricing now. “Breaking the pricing of 3D.”
  • A PS branded 3D display for affordable access to 3D. Interesting dual screen feature no split screen. No idea how that works but it sounds very interesting.
  • This Fall people can get active 3D glasses with Resistance 3, HDMI cable for $499 (including the display I think – I hope).
  • Now Jack’s wasting space with Move. From 2K Sports a couple of guys come on (complicated names) to give a sneak peak and tedious basketball simulator 2012.
  • Does it really say a lot about your previous game if the only accolade it had was having Michael Jordan on the cover?
  • Pro cameraman tip: try not to get other on-stage camera men on camera with their mouth hanging open gawking at the person there with them.
  • Some NBA person is on stage now. Good point for a toilet break. Go now. I think I’ve heard of that guy actually, but not for good reasons. Must have been found not guilty. Moving on.
  • Jack back again chatting about Move and a new title. Two more names I’m not attempting come to the stage to talk about Medieval Moves. Audience told to put on 3D glasses.
  • You can slash, throw weapons or use a bow without inventory screens it’s down to the motions preformed. It seems quite responsive, far more so than the Kinect stage demos. You seem to be playing as a child skeleton of some kind. Looked a little interesting, but also aimed at the younger gamers.
  • Infamous 2 next…seems a little pointless given it’s released tomorrow but I suppose they know the world is watching and are whoring as much as humanly possible.
  • Further down the line there will be player made missions.
  • This links Jack well into Little Big Planet and integrating Move to that.
  • The next game on display is Starhawk. A trailer plays. No real gameplay but battles are shown using a variety of vehicle types on land and in space.
  • Where is Jack going now? Something from 2002. A family friendly series? Oh, Sly Copper I think it was called. Hundreds of people email him about that? Really? Sly Cooper Thieves in Time coming 2012.
  • Time for publishing partners. Something from EVE Online creator. A new game called…Durst, I think. PS exclusive. A console shooter directly connected to EVE Online to create one ‘why-brent’ universe (accents are fun).
  • Trailer plays. First thought was “This all looks a bit Halo.” Second thought was “This all looks a lot like Halo, with a dash of Modern Warfare.” ISK (EVE currency) comes into play near the end of it. Land battles for EVE basically? Really hard to tell what’s going on. Sleep deprivation may also be to blame. Dust 514 was the name. I have no idea what I just saw.
  • Closed Beta at the end of the year.
  • Time for another guest, but not before a 2K trailer of Bioshock Infinite. The trailer was entirely in-game footage. Not enough people have done that this year.
  • Ken Levine starts chatting about the game. Goes back to an interview he did a while back where he talked badly about Move. I assume by the squirming that he is about to announce Move compatibility. He’s babbling. Get on with it, it’s obvious.
  • Yup, Bioshock Infinite will have Move in some capacity.
  • From his back pocket he pulls out an NGP (and calls it that). Doesn’t show anything on it and walks off. Thanks, Irrational Games, for an irrational presentation.
  • On the same blu-ray, people who buy Infinite get the first Bioshock for free on it.
  • Saint’s Row 3 next. Exclusive ‘game mode’ on PS3. Out November 15th. Implied Move for that as well, but not sure.
  • Talks a little about the co-op Kirk/Spock Star Trek game, apparently it will also be Move compatible. There will be an exclusive digital-only prologue to it. Some ‘early’ pre-alpha footage is then shown. Coming 2012.
  • EA content is next. Jack reveals three more PS3-exclusive bonuses to certain games. SSX – Mt. Fuji course. Need for Speed The Run – seven additional super cars. Battlefield 3 – Battlefield 1943 on the blu-ray.
  • Kazuo Hirai takes the stage. The guy everyone knows and loves. They really gave him the job of announcing THE price we all want to know?
  • He chats a little about connectivity and the outage. Good man. Thanks for the fans. Moves onto portable entertainment. Here it comes. Get ready for it.
  • Or not. Something called Playstation Suite. For Android Smartphones. Alternate name: Playstation Steam? Hard to tell, not many details given.
  • Chatting about the PSP. Then NGP. “Breaks traditional boundaries of entertainment”. Duel touch pads, duel cameras, AR experience. Here it comes for real now. Dip into your pocket.
  • The official name is Playstation Vita, to no one’s surprise. “What does Vita mean?” – that all the good names were patented.
  • Two analogue sticks. 5” screen. Front and rear touch pad. Six-axis. Front and rear cameras. Eh, never before seen? Did no one buy him a 3DS? 3G and Wi Fi versions. He’s building up to the price here.
  • They will be partnering with at&t, to a mixture of boos and strange noises from the crowd. That’s the US though, other territories will follow.
  • A feature called ‘Party’ to use voice chat no matter what game they are playing. That sounds familiar. Social connection tool called ‘Near’. That sounds familiar too.
  • Scott Rohde takes the stage with him to chat about Vita and show some demos. Mentions advanced technology never seen before on any hand held. Uncharted Golden Abyss follows.
  • Visuals are a clear improvement on the PSP. Large screen size doesn’t seem overbearing at all. No specifics given about specification, but they mention real time shadows and other graphic features.
  • Can use traditional controls or screen when climbing. Six-axis tilts to make jumps in certain directions when hanging. Touch controls work as do the standard ones.
  • ‘Painting edges’ is next, coated numerous climbable sections, like stacking up commands.
  • Fairly impressive overall, but we need to see more than Uncharted.
  • Next is a “Social Action RPG” compatible with PS3. Called Ruin. Some microphone problems as they come on. Guy speaking sounds nervous. Combat begins, assuming they don’t mess up something here. Looks very Diablo style.
  • Other players are rivals. Isn’t describing it well,nerves are getting the better of him. Footage is fairly boring. The player is apparently attacking the lair of a rival. Player stops on Vita and picks up where he left off on PS3.
  • Next on stage is Mod Nation Racers. Not exactly interesting. Also: wearing a rugby shirt to a presentation like this gets on my nerves. The player uses his finger to trace a course in seconds. Back touch panel used to make mountains, that’s fairly fun. Touching the front touch panel pushes down the land to make lakes and the like.
  • More Vita connectivity with the PS3 being discussed. Titles which play on both, cross-play. Now talking about LBP and it being on Vita. A trailer of it plays. Shows some very creative uses for what Vita can do. Can share costumes with PS3.
  • Still no price given yet.
  • Publishing partners on Vita now. From Capcom. Street Fighter X Tekken. A very cheerful gentleman from Capcom Japan takes the stage to chat about the game via translator.
  • There will be a Vita version of the game. Awkward pause waiting for applause. Audience eventually gives in.
  • They also announce that Cole from Infamous will be appearing in it. They then show a video of him in action. Showing it off doesn’t last long, probably because it’s still heavily in development. There were no health bars or a visible GUI.
  • Wrapping up Vita now by the sounds of it. Apparently 80 titles are in development. A video of some of them plays before Kaz returns to the stage. Wipeout. Locoroco. Some kind of snooker game. Something that looks like Tenchu. Dynasty Warriors.
  • Kaz is back. Here’s the price. Come on. Nope…release date. Holiday season this year. Price! Wi-fi only model $249. 3G model is $299.
  • Jack is back, Kaz is gone. Chatting about what’s been seen tonight. Points out Vita launch titles will be amazing. Won’t take much to beat 3DS.
  • And that’s it folks. A little underwhelming, I was expecting a big finish of some kind.

 

Everyone will be talking about PS Vita, the 3D screen and of course the prices of both packages. Game wise there weren’t any real surprises.

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Written by Ian D

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

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