E3 Day 2: Sony Press Conference Recap

The last of the “Big Three” press conferences is Sony. I honestly don’t know what they could possibly announce that is going to best Nintendo or even Microsoft for that matter but here we go.

The presser starts off with a montage of Sony products and games. Controllers, PS3s, there’s a Playstation Move, some older PS3 games, PSP, PSP games, another person playing Move.

Jack Tretton takes the stage to tell us about how awesome the Playstation is. He talks about the great PS3 exclusive franchises – God of War, SOCOM, Heavy Rain and Little Big Planet. He says that Sony has driven the whole world into Blu-Ray and now will do the same with 3D. Sony Bravia 3D TVs are shipped around the world. Playstation 3s will be receiving a firmware update for 3D. There will be 20 3D title available by March 2011 including Motorstorm 3D and Wipeout 3D.

Now they show some Killzone 3 in 3D footage. It looks really good, but I have to wonder if the cost associated is going to hold them back yet again. I mean, first you need to purchase a 3D television – which no one has yet. Then you need a PS3, the game, the controllers (supposedly Killzone 3 will have Move support so, there’s the cost of those controllers too), and the $100+ 3D glasses. For each player. I’m not that rich, Sony. That said, it does look pretty amazing in 3D, the crowd is applauding and cheering.

“What movies like Avatar did for 3D movies, Killzone will do for 3D games.”

“Playstation is the only platform with native 3D gaming.” Umm, didn’t he just say it required a firmware update? Doesn’t that imply that the 360 could, in theory, do the same thing with an XBL update? Either way, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft reacts to this big 3D push by Sony.

The Sly Collection, Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5 will be in 3D. The biggest franchises are returning the PS3, including Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Ghost Recon, and Tron. Presumably in 3D but he doesn’t actually say that this time.

Killzone 3 will be available February 2011.

They’re rolling some footage of Mortal Kombat and Gran Turismo 5.

Ok, so, now it’s just about 20 minutes of PR talk about how 3D and the Move are going to change gaming. Nothing particularly interesting or of note. Playstation Move will give you true 1:1 motion. Apparently a bunch of developers love it, although it’s pretty obvious they are all paid to say so. I mean, honestly, these are all Sony 1st party developers here. He is really emphasizing the buttons on the Move controller. “People want buttons.”

Playstation now has over 40 “partners” working on Move titles or titles with Move support. He mentions LittleBigPlanet and Lights Out.

Sorcery is announced. A brand new title that showcases the Playstation Move. You play as a wizard. This has a very “Harry Potter-esque” vibe to it so far. The presenter is using the controller to move his wand. He flicks his wrist and a bolt of energy flies out at an enemy. He switches to a “Frost” spell and freezes enemies before zapping them with the bolt. He finds a “Polymorph: Rat” potion. It changes him into a rat and allows him access to areas you can’t get to in human form. He actually has to swish the potion around to get it ready, using the controller of course, and then tip the potion towards his mouth to drink it. Now he switches to a whirlwind spell that picks up enemies. He is using the controller to control the movement of the whirlwind. Switching to a huge fire spell that sets all the enemies on fire. Crowd is applauding, game looks like a lot of fun.

Moving on to sports on the Move.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour is demoed. 1:1 motion is touted again. The presenter is explaining that you really have to have a realistic and good golf swing. And if to prove his point, he completely misses the ball on the first swing. And the second swing. And now on the third swing he puts it in a sand trap. Which brings up the problem with 1:1 motion. If you suck at golf, you suck at playing 1:1 motion golf games. He chips a shot out of the bunker and back on the fairway. Next shot gets him close to the green. Ok, he’s on the green. Once of the green it goes into “Putt Preview” mode with a grid on the ground showing sloping on the green. He sinks it. Tiger Woods PGA Tour will be available via the PSN and on the Playstation Move demo disc.

Heroes on the Move debuted. Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper together in one game. Just a short video is shown, no details given.

A new Coca Cola promotion with the PSN. You be able to win PSN points on Coca Cola products. Promotion also involves the Move and Heroes on the Move. We should expect this to be their big marketing push for Move.

That ESPN guy “Kevin” and Jack Butler come on stage and spend about 10 minutes just bashing the crap out of Microsoft. “Gaming is having a huge TV in a one bedroom apartment.” Hey, now, I’m all about gaming as much as the next guy, but do we really need to point out how pathetic most gamers are? Really? Also, what’s up with all the Microsoft and Nintendo bashing from Sony? This is the first time, so far, I’ve seen any company actively attack their competition. Must just be me, because the crowd is eating this up.

“And why millions of people pretend to work while watching this at their desk . . . this is why we made the Playstation Move.” No offense, but I don’t recall Playstation fans asking for motion controls. Pretty sure you are just copying the Wii here and trying to grab a piece of that casual market. Especially considering all but 2 of the announced Move titles (not counting the games that have been promised to have “Move Support”, meaning they play natively on the PS3 controller but will also have functionality on the Move controller, I mean actual Move games that require the Move)  are Wii-esque shovelware. Sports Champions? Really? Now, granted, Microsoft is doing the exact same thing. I even mentioned this in the Microsoft presser – “This is all Wii shovelware” when I talked about the announced Kinect games. But, come on Sony, you even copied the damn controller here. It really seems like Nintendo is taking over and Microsoft and Sony are just playing catch up.

Move will be released in September. Motion controller is $49.99, navigation controller is $29.99. The flash some games that will have Move support – Time Crisis, Echocrome, Heavy Rain, SOCOM. They are playing the video they had at GDC. The crowd isn’t too happy. They are openly chanted “Too much” in regards to the price.

Bundle with Move and Sports Champions announced for $399. Sports Champions includes golf, bowling, boxing, volleyball, ping pong, archery. Crowd is still heckling them. Navigation controller is not included in the bundle. Loud wave of boos.

Start the Party, a party game for the Move. Looks very similar to Mario Party (now Wii Party) or perhaps Fusion Frenzy if anyone remembers that game.

Now they move on the PSP. A new ad campaign will be rolling out for the PSP staring their new spokesperson. “Marcus”, a young kid. These are just ads now. He mentions Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Invizimals (Nintendogs for the PSP), and Ghost of Sparta. Again, these are just teasers and new ads for the PSP and games. Crowd is continuing to get restless.

They blast through a bunch of upcoming games for the PSP. Tron, Kingdom Hearts, Ace Combat, Toy Story, Hot Shots Tennis, Madden, Papaton, Fat Princess, The Oath, Valkyria 2. Tetris. Yes, that’s right, the wait is finally over – Tetris is finally coming to the PSP.

Moving on to updates about the PSN. The Playstation Network has 50M registered accounts in 58 different countries. Interesting considering there are only 35M PS3s out there.

The Tester 2 is coming. Casting call begins today. Wow. The crowd is openly mocking The Tester. And those that aren’t are laughing at the idea.

The PSN is a media delivery service. Over 100 games ready and free to play. They’ve replicated their E3 booth inside PS Home. Everyone at home can go through PS Home and check out the products.

Now they’re talking about LittleBigPlanet. Media Molecule was so critical that Sony acquired them. They are showing LittleBigPlanet 2 now. A slew of new tools and community features. You can make any kind of game with these new tools. RPG, Shooter, Racing, Puzzlers, and even Sports games. Now they are showing a bunch of games made with the LBP2 tools. Crashy Crash a top-down Sumo game. Now a side-scrolling platformer. Now a gallery shooter. Now an RTS. It all looked great, however, I wonder if they were able to address one of the biggest issues with the original LBP and that was that most people make crap content and you had to filter so much of it out. I’ll be interested to see the community and sharing tools they mentioned and see how they plan to filter content.

Playstation Plus announced. It is an additional subscription plan for the PSN. $49.99 per year or $17.99 for 3 months. It grants you exclusive digital content, early and preferred demos, additional free content, and invitations to betas. The crowd is pissed. Additional map packs are mentioned. Wait, wait, wait. He just said “for the duration of your subscription”. You don’t get to keep any of this additional content if you stop subscribing. Loud boos from the crowd. So, you will have to subscribe to get the full DLC on your games, demos, betas, and free PSN games. Guess that technically doesn’t make them “free” anymore, per say. Anyway, this presser is going downhill fast. The last 4 or 5 announcements have been met with boos and heckling.

Medal of Honor is debuted. Medal of Honor will be getting exclusive content for the PS3. A short video is shown. Drivable ATVs and Helicopters are in the video. Coming Oct 12, 2010. Multiplayer is being done by DICE. They’re talking about all the unlockable weapons and gadgets. Including unlockable beards. Wow, they’re serious. I thought they were joking for a second. The multiplayer looks almost exactly like Bad Company 2, probably because it is the same engine and the same developer.

Dead Space 2 is shown next. Dead Space 2 Limited Edition comes with Dead Space Extraction with Move support. That’s a great package offer.

Crysis 2 in 3D is next. Just a short announcement.

Gabe Newell comes on stage with GlaDos on the screen. Portal 2 is coming to the PS3 with Steamworks support. Portal 2 for the PS3 will be the best console version. Emphasis on the word console. Not from me, from Gabe. Coming 2011.

Now some Final Fantasy 14 CG footage. No gameplay is shown.

Mafia 2 will have exclusive day one content on the PS3.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will have exclusive content on the PS3. Multiplayer beta will be exclusive to the PS3. Assassin on Assassin action. Nov 16th, 2010.

Now they fire off a bunch of other games that will either be PS3 exclusives or how exclusive content on the PS3. SOCOM 4, Killzone 3, Dead Space 2, Mafia 2, Lights Out, Tiger Woods, Sports Champions, EyePet, Start the Party, LittleBigPlanet 2, The Shoot, Echochrome 2, Gran Turismo 5, Motorstorm Apocalypse, True Crime, Mortal Kombat, Castlevania, Dead Nation, Sorcery, DC Universe, The Sly Collection, Tron, and Final Fantasy 14.

Video comes up of Gran Turismo 5. The tracks look fantastic. Coming Nov 2, 2010. Finally, a launch date for GT5. Crowd cheers. Will be in 3D as well.

inFamous 2 is shown next. All we are really shown is a huge monster and a date of 2011.

One last big surprise.

Twisted Metal returns on the PS3. Ice cream man music . . . and there’s Sweet Tooth. Looks like a great update to a truly classic game. Lots of cool multiplayer is shown. They bring the actual car on stage. Crowd erupts. It looks like there will be destructible environments. Motorcycles with flaming chainsaws. The game is playable on the show floor. Crowd is back to cheering now, oh how fickle they are. And that’s the end of the Sony press conference.