We’re just a few minutes away from Sony’s E3 press conference. Now taking bets on whether or not anyone will address the recent security issues the company has been facing. So far, the frontrunner is “not at all.”
While we wait for everyone to take their seats, I give you a joke, courtesy of Game|Life’s Chris Kohler:
“Microsoft displayed everyone’s Xbox Live avatars before their press conference. Sony’s going to display everyone’s credit card number.”
We’re being told to put on our RealD 3D glasses. There isn’t actually anything to see yet, but I’d hate to refuse the disembodied voice giving me commands. That would just be rude.
Here we go. The crowd is going nuts already. We’re treated to whirling, swirling montages of PlayStation controllers, Move, the PSP, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank, Mortal Kombat, and Green Lantern. I’m not a huge fan of 3d gimmickry, but there’s no denying that it really adds something to the huge environments of games like Uncharted and God of War.
Sony president and CEO Jack Tretton takes the stage to welcome us to the press conference. There are apparently about six thousand of us here in the arena at the moment. He brings up the elephant in the room, the PlayStation Network outage.
His reporter friends tell him that their editors love nothing more than controversy, so “To all our esteemed members of the press I say, ‘You’re welcome.’ To our third party publishing partners…I know the network outage was costly to you. We wouldn’t be where we were if it wasn’t for you, and we thank you.” To consumers, “I want to apologize both personally and on behalf of the company.”
This was exactly the right thing to do, and exactly the right way to do it. Tretton addressed the issue immediately, played it straight, and seems genuinely humble and apologetic for the issues that the security breach caused. Well done, Sony. Well done, indeed.
The PlayStation Network will soon offer free access to CinemaNow, a streaming movie and TV service.
Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra from Naughty Dog take the stage to show off Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Nate’s on a boat out at sea during a storm. He pitches back and forth as the boat rocks in the current. Entering the boat, he performs a few stealth takedowns on some bad guys in what appears to be a ballroom. Hands up if you hated the stealth mission in the last Uncharted as much as I did. The lighting in this environment is really well done; stunning visuals are becoming a trademark of the franchise. Nate doesn’t quite manage to sneak past all the bad guys, and now he’s in a shootout, taking cover behind boxes of cargo. A car in the cargo bay runs into the hull, punching a hole and creating a leak. The ship is sinking – looks like we’ll be having more of those exciting sequences like the collapsing hotel in Uncharted 2.[page]
If you want to convince people to buy a PS3, showing off Uncharted 3 is a damn fine way to start things off. The multiplayer beta will begin on June 20. During October, US fans can go to Subway to try and win early entry to the multiplayer aspect of the game. Not a beta, the actual game.
Time for a 3d trailer for the game, featuring Helen Mirren. “Finally, Drake’s secret will be revealed.” That would be Sir Francis, not Nathan. The game will be out November 1, 2011.
Four years after Resistance 2, the Chimera have won. but that’s not going to stop the last Sentinel, Capelli, from trying one last move against them in New York City. He’ll meet several different resistance groups along the way, each with their own way of fighting back. The demo – again, in 3d – takes place in St. Louis. After a brief skirmish on some ruined streets, the demo jumps forward in the game a bit to a point where the player has to grab a power core and do….something. Folks in the audience seem pretty lost as to what exactly is going on. Whatever it is, it sure is pretty. The demo was only about three minutes, and was pretty confusing, but it certainly looked like it would please fans of the series. Resistance 3 will have a sharpshooter bundle. Available on September 6, it will include the game, Move, a Nav and a gun peripheral. All this can be yours for $150.
God of War Origins Collection is a remastering of the PSP titles. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus will be remastered in High Def. Both will launch in September and be fully playable in 3d.
A PlayStation branded 3d display is “perfect for dorm rooms and bedrooms”. Two people playing a game will be able to see unique images – not split screen. Two people, looking at the same screen, will see two completely different images. Let that sink in for a bit. The monitor will come with a pair of glasses, a copy of Resistance 3, and the 24-inch monitor for $499. Additional pairs of glasses will be $69.99.
Kobe Bryant joins some folks from 2k to show off how well Move works with NBA 2k12. If it weren’t for the icons on the screen letting you know where the Move was pointing, you’d swear you were watching a game on TV. Granted, having it displayed on a screen as big as my house probably helps add to the sparkle a bit, but Kobe says the gameplay is realistic, too.
Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest is the next game to show off not just the Move, but also more 3d. There’s no inventory screen or weapon selection screen; to switch between your sword, bow, and throwing stars, you simply change the way you move the Move controller. The game has a playful art style, with lots of cartoony chunkiness. What’s even more appealing, though, is that the motions being used to control the game look like something you could actually do for an extended play session, something I felt was lacking during a lot of the Kinect demos earlier today. That said, the overall gameplay looks a bit uninspired. Skeletons run around, you kill them, more show up, you solve some basic puzzles to move on. It may just not be a particularly compelling demo, but I’m not overly eager to learn more about Medieval Moves.
Dear Sucker Punch: Thank you for not making the Infamous 2 trailer in 3d. The game comes out tomorrow, by the way. This fall, players will be able to create their own missions for the game, with Move.[page]
In September, a much deeper Move functionality will be added to LittleBigPlanet 2.
Now it’s time for a look at Starhawk, a new run and gun shooter from the folks who made Warhawk. The trailer is a mishmash of disparate elements: cowboys, mechs, spaceships. “Welcome to the new frontier,” it says. It kind of feels like what Firefly would’ve been without the sense of humor.
And now,ladies and gentlemen, SLY COOPER. (Yes, I am very excited about this.) We watch as Sly jumps and sneaks his way across the Paris rooftops, slipping past the police as he melts into the shadows. He returns to the hideout and reveals, ho ho! He’s actually Dimitri! Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time will be out next year on the PS3.
Dust 514, which will be a PS3 exclusive, and Eve Online will combine to form a single universe. Dust will feature support for Move, and the experience will extend to the NGP. Closed beta end of this year, full release next spring
Let’s take a look at BioShock Infinite now. It’s a montage of gameplay scenes from the game, delivered quick fire. A Big Daddy-esque monster with wings attacks from above. The SkyLine, which looks like a way to travel around the city on something like roller coaster rails. Ken Levine comes out and mentions that he dissed the Move in an interview, which led to Sony asking him for a meeting. They wanted to make him a believer, to convince him that Move wasn’t about goofy movement, but about removing the barrier between the game and people who love the world of BioShock. He’s not going to talk about how they’re integrating Move yet, though. But there is a project that he wants to mention – something BioShock related on the NGP. And that’s all he’s going to say. You’re such a tease, Ken.
There’s going to be a Move peripheral that looks like a phaser to go along with a new Star Trek game based on the JJ Abrams movie. The demo of the game itself is pretty damn gorgeous and action packed. My nerd glee is off the charts at the idea that I can play it using a phaser.
You already know about SSX from the EA press conference, but the PS3 version will have an exclusive run down Mt. Fuji. The PS3 version of Battlefield 3 will also come with Battlefield 1943 bundled on the disc. Nifty.
Kaz Hirai comes out to talk about Sony’s mobile gaming options, but first takes a moment to applaud Jack’s tie. One of the most important things they learned from the recent outage was the trust and the loyalty of their fans. The Network experience is not only vital for home entertainment, but also mobile entertainment. PlayStation Suite will make PlayStation content available on something other than PlayStation hardware. It will work on things like Android phones and tablets. He’s not giving away many details about it, but is sure that if folks can sample PS content on something they already own, they’ll inevitably find their way to a PS3 or NGP.
NGP’s official name is PlayStation Vita. Which, let’s be honest, you already knew. But they’re confident that PSVita will blur lines between games and your real life. The features alone are “cutting edge”, like front and rear touch pads, motion sensing technology, front and rear cameras, two sticks. There will be both WiFi and 3G/WiFi models, and Sony will be partnering with AT&T exclusively for the service for the Vita. The crowd is clearly not excited about that news.
Vita will also have a social connection tool called Near, which will allow you to recommend content to other players, and one called Party, which will let you voice chat with your friends in the same Party room, no matter what they’re playing.
The tech looks pretty slick, but I’m dying to know what the battery life on this thing is.
My musings will have to wait, because we’re going to look at Uncharted: Golden Abyss now. This should be quite interesting after glorious demo we saw for Uncharted 3. The screen on the Vita is huge, which helps keep Nathan looking pretty. Unfortunately, the demo is a camera pointed at the Vita while someone plays the game. It’s basically like looking over your friend’s shoulder; you kind of get the idea, but it’s hard to really get a full picture of what’s going on. You can use the sticks and buttons to control Nate, use the motion control to tilt the Vita and have Nate jump in that direction, or use the touch screen to guide him. Drag your finger across the screen to highlight the route you want Nate to climb, or tap an enemy to perform a stealth takedown.
Those big juicy touchscreens are just begging to let people use their fingers to design levels, which really can mean only one thing: LittleBigPlanet. (Ok, it means Mod Nation Racers, too, but Sackboy fo’ life, yo.) LBP on Vita will have all the tools from LBP2.
Street Fighter. Cross. Tekken. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and now there will also be a Vita version. In collaboration with Sucker Punch, Cole from Infamous will be joining the fighters. His electrical moves and flying attacks make him a natural for the game. The touch screen can be used to control the fighters – right now, Ryu is kind of kicking Cole’s ass. So will Cammy find her way into Infamous 2? We can only hope.
PlayStation Vita will be out this holiday season. The WiFi only model will be $249; the WiFi/3G model will be $299.