Monday, June 6, 2011

Sony E3 2011 Press Conference Recap

I'll try to keep this one shorter than the Microsoft presser... just the highlights worth mentioning. It was the Playstation Vita's time to shine at Sony's E3 2011 Press Conference and even though it didn't hog all the spotlight along with some dragging moments, Sony will be fine this holiday season after what they showed off tonight. Plus, count on good old Jack Tretton to deliver the goods again (he's a pretty good MC at these things anyway).

Sony started off with the showstopper as Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception gets the demo spotlight. Nathan Drake is in some ship level and the amazing water effects gets shown off here. Its one of many reasons why its my most anticipated game of the year and also contender for game of the show. The new campaign trailer is also pretty nuts as well with the epic locales Drake and Sully travel plus it confirmed Chloe and Elena!

There was a Resistance 3 demo too, but it didn't seem that impressive. Then again, I'm not a Resistance fan, but there are fans out there for that franchise. Even Infamous 2, out tomorrow, got a mention tonight, which I thought was funny talking about a game out the same week as E3. Sony is also continuing the HD collection business with the already announced Ico/Shadow of the Collosus Collection and God of War: Origins Collection, which are the two PSP games remastered and 3D support. Speaking of 3D, Jack announced a Playstation-branded 24-inch 3DTV and 3D glasses at affordable prices (The TV is I think 500 bucks) especially a bundle with Resistance 3.

Playstation Move also had some minutes in the spotlight with a crappy game called Medieval Moves (pretty much Sorcery now). NBA 2K12 is a different story with their new point and play Move control scheme. It seemed sketchy during the demo, but at least Kobe was there to help out even though he felt trolled playing against the Heat (You could of done something about that Kobe if you're in the finals now). LittleBigPlanet2 is also getting a big Move patch soon as well.

Another PS3 exclusive only got the trailer treatment at tonight's press conference which was Starhawk. Looks like a lot of people watched the GameTrailers TV reveal a couple weeks back. However, one returning character is finally getting his fourth game as Sly Cooper returns to the Playstation 3 with Thieves on Time. Besides the trailer above, it is Sly's turn to mess around with time (Ratchet did that already this generation).

One of the other new games announced at Sony's presser was Dust 514 from the Eve Online peeps. Its just another third-person shooter to me, but it apparently has PS3/PC connectivity support and some sharing feature with Eve Online (from what I can remember). Still though, its just another shooter that will be swept up by the competition. The new Star Trek game that is related to the movies, however, (trailer below) could of pretty cool and for once be something good for the franchise.

The big third party dude at Sony's presser was Irrational's Ken Levine as he showed off BioShock Infinite's newest trailer. That game continues to amaze as it is also a top contender for game of the show. Ken had his doubts about motion controls, but he announced Move support for Infinite along with a BioShock game for Playstation Vita. The original game is also exclusively packaged with PS3 versions of Infinite, so that's a win for Sony for me. Sony has their own exclusive deals with third parties such as Move support for Saints Row: The Third, exclusive levels for the new SSX (Yes!), Battlefield 1943 free when you buy the PS3 version of Battlefield 3, and also Need for Speed: The Run.

With the PS3 only stuff out of the way, time for Kaz Hirai to talk PS Vita details!!!

  • 250 bucks Wi-Fi! 300 bucks Wi-Fi/3G! (That's a deal folks!)
  • Party systems with friends, "Near" social network service, AT&T provider (lol), cloud saves with PS3 versions
  • Still the same looking NGP (touch controls, rear/front cameras, gyroscope, etc.)
  • Holiday 2011 launch
  • First party lineup - Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Modnation Racers, Ruin (also for PS3 - cloud save feature was demoed), LittleBigPlanet Touch, and more to come.

The fighting game fan in me went nuts when a Vita version of Street Fighter X Tekken got announced. The same console game will be there on the handheld along with touch controls for simple commands (like SSFIV 3D Edition on 3DS) and a guest exclusive character only for the Vita version, which is Cole from Infamous. Okay, Cole doesn't seem like a guy that would appear in a Capcom fighting game (I rather see him in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 than this since it probably makes more sense), but Ono and crew can pull it off. I'll have more about the console versions later this week (UPDATE - Cole is also confirmed for the PS3 version too = yay?).
That's pretty much it about Sony's press conference this year. They have a solid lineup for the rest of 2011 and the first half of next year. Uncharted 3 is gonna blow people's minds as their big first-party game of the holiday season. Their Move games are not impressive though, but at least they're trying to be better than Kinect and Wii on the motion control front. Playstation Vita's pricing shows that Sony is willing to compete against Nintendo's 3DS rather than try to be its own thing (Even though it pretty much is since they're two completely different systems now). They knew the PSN outage was very unfortunate, but Sony was able to rebound on the right track and it indeed shows at E3 this week.

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