E3 – The Big 3 Round Up: Part 2 – Sony’s Turn
After the disappointment of Microsoft’s presentation, Sony had a great chance to really impress us with what they had up their sleeves for the near future.
Sony kicked off their presentation with a 3D video featuring their new hand held console, the PlayStation Vita (more on this later), as well as a preview of move compatible games due for release.
Sony’s Jack Tretton then took to the stage, almost immediately apologising for the recent PSN fiasco, as well as saying how well PS3 has been selling recently. After getting that out of the way, he announced more content for the dashboard, including streaming of films. This is a good chance for competitive console film rental, which I believe is over priced on the 360.
The first exclusive game to be shown was the massively anticipated Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. There was a brief game play demo, which showed Drake running around a cruise liner, which appears to have been taken over by some unsavoury looking bad guys. As with the previous Uncharted games, it is visually stunning and very cinematic. A short, very impressive, trailer was shown afterwards, showcasing the game in 3D. I cannot wait to get my hands on this!
We were then treated to a demonstration (again in 3D) of Resistance 3, Sony’s exclusive FPS series. It looked OK, but I didn’t get too excited as I found the previous installments somewhat average. Though I can say it’s the best FPS I’ve played that’s featured Grimsby and Manchester. Along with the demo of Resistance 3, a PS Move bundle for the game has been announced.
God of War Origins, the PSP versions of the popular PlaySation franchise has been given an HD and 3D upgrade for the PS3. We will also see a HD remaster of cult favourites, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus for the PS3, both on the same disc.
A new ‘affordable’ 3D monitor has been announced which will be marketed for use with PS3. This will come with Resistance 3, a pair of 3D glasses and a HDMI cable for $499. I’d hazard a guess of around £300 on these shores, if the bundle comes out over here.
Then 2K sports came along talking about their next instalment of the NBA franchise, NBA2K12, utilising PS Move. They had LA Lakers player, Kobe Bryant come on and demonstrate how easy it is for beginners to just pick up and play their new Move basketball game.
Another Move title announced was Medieval Moves (yet again, in Sony 3D!!!). Another motion control game and another step away from the core audience. These types of games may be ok for a quick pick up and play fix, but so far, the majority of games we’ve seen are trying to appeal to casual gamers.
We then saw some brief footage of inFamous 2, sequel to the electrifying (pun intended) open world adventure game from a couple of years back (and currently available for free on PSN due to the outage).
A brief announcement showed that Little Big Planet 2 will receive an update, giving it a deeper utilisation of the PS Move. We then saw a trailer for Starhawk. A new sci-fi shooter by the looks of it. This was swiftly followed by a teaser trailer for Sly Raccoon 4. Things then moved onto an FPS called Dust 514. Made by the same guys that created EVE Online, Dust will be an MMO exclusive to PS3. Afterwards, a video of the much anticipated Bioshock Infinite certainly impressed. I admit I’m not a big fan of the series, but this looks great! This was followed by an announcement that it will be Move compatible. There will also be a version of Bisoshock available for the PS Vita (more on this below). Bioshock Infinite will come as a special edition including the original game.
A Star Trek game has been announced. While set in the Abrams Star Trek universe, it is a unique story and not based on the film. What was shown looked pretty good. It included Giaccino’s excellent score, too.
EA have revealed a few PS3 exclusives for their Multi format games. The PS3 version of SSX will have an exclusive course of Mount Fuji. Need For Speed: The Run will feature 7 exclusive vehicles and The PS3 version of Battlefield 3 will include a copy of Battlefield 1943, the excellent online shooter.
Sony announced the next generation of PlayStation handheld consoles; the PlayStation Vita (means life, apparently!). This will include touch pads on the front and back, dual analogue sticks allowing for better controls and integrated cameras on the front and rear. It is also set to include 3G and wireless internet connectivity. There was a brief game play demo of Uncharted: Golden Abyss. The hand held version of the brilliant series. The visuals look great, but the limited range of decent titles on the PSP, leaves me sceptical about this new console. Another title shown for the Vita was Ruin, an action RPG. This is a top down hack ‘n’ slash in the same style as the Diablo games. ModNation Racers also featured on the Vita, showing off the almost instant track editor, which did look pretty neat. You could draw a shape with your finger on the touch screen and that would be the shape of the track. And this works almost instantly (which can’t be said for anything on the PS3 version!).
A new Wipeout game has been announced as well. Wipeout 2048 will be cross compatible with the PS3, which means you could race against someone on the PS3 when you have the PSVita version. A Vita version of Little Big Planet has also been announced, with a video showcasing the touch screen capabilities of the game. It looks mighty impressive, I have to say.
We then saw Capcom introduced Street Fighter X Tekken. A franchise cross-over between the 2 beat-em up power houses. 10 years ago I’d have been pumped for this, but these day’s I suck at beat-em up games! There will also be a version available for the PSVita, along with exclusive character, Cole, from the inFamous games, as shown in a demonstration. At present, there are 80 titles in development for the new hand held, so hopefully, when it comes to launch time, we may be spoilt for choice for once. Too many consoles these days are released with limited choice. A couple of Vita games that caught my eye in the closing Vita video were Super Stardust and Lord of the Rings. The Vita is going to be available from winter in a WiFi only or 3G and WiFi. The WiFi only model will retail at $249.99, which I assume will be the same in pounds. The 3G/WiFi model will retail for an extra $50. Again, I think it’s safe to assume that it will be that same amount in pounds.
And with that, they ended with a load of people banging drums and a video montage of what we had just seen.
While there was nothing really to write home about, it was certainly a more impressive presentation – and a lot less disappointing – than Microsoft’s. With 2 down and 1 to go, how will Nintendo fare when it comes to showing their wares of the imminent future?